Son Heung-min steals in to secure Tottenham victory over Brentford
Last modified on Thu 2 Dec 2021 21.46 GMTDespite Antonio Conte’s misgivings, Tottenham may yet find the Champions League to be their standard. They are firmly in the mix for fourth place, with a game in hand over West Ham and Arsenal, after a comfortable win against opponents whose form is becoming a concern. Conte will not have failed to observe Spurs’ propensity to drop off for discernible periods but there was plenty for him to enjoy here too, particularly a fast-paced start that drew an own goal from Sergi Canós and a genuinely exhilarating break that brought Son Heung-min’s second-half clincher. They could have won by more while
Brentford, who woke up too late to make an impact, look a shadow of their early-season selves.Fortunate though it was, Spurs’ opener stemmed from a purposeful early spell that could already have borne fruit by the time an unwitting Canós had beaten Álvaro Fernández. Conte would surely have demanded an extended repeat of the stirring second half performance that saw Leeds off 11 days previously, although events had conspired to check their momentum since then. The shoddy defeat to Slovenian minnows Mura led him to state his new club’s current level is “not so high”, while any hope that a visit to Burnley would quickly banish that memory was put in the deep freeze when snow smothered the north-west on Sunday.
Read moreThe same side that would have started at Turf Moor lined up here, the benefit for Conte being extra time on the training pitch. They began with zest, as if intent on informing their head coach he had underestimated his charges’ capabilities. Early pressure brought a corner that Ivan Toney thudded clear; it only took six minutes for a genuine chance to materialise, though, when Harry Kane turned into space and slipped Lucas Moura through. Fernández saved his drive, from an angle on the right, with a sharp display of reflexes, but a breakthrough would arrive soon enough. headtopics.com
It was doubly harsh on Canós given the right wing-back had conceded the corner that brought the goal, showing laudable awareness to divert the ball behind after Eric Dier had sought to release Reguilón from halfway. Son Heung-min took the set-piece short, receiving a return pass and delivering from near the byline. It might have been relative meat and drink for Pontus Jansson but Canós, challenging near him, was in the way of his header. The speed of the ricochet gave Fernández no chance; a sheepish Ben Davies, who had been closest to Canós, took plaudits from his teammates and the tannoy announcer. Spurs could celebrate scoring from a corner for the first time this season.
The rest of the opening period was a reminder that, as Conte appears well aware, Spurs are not yet capable of consistently maintaining the tempo he would prefer. That is not to say they ceded control: Brentford tend to make a point of asking questions, rain or shine, but only caused the mildest consternation when hesitant defending from Charlie Goode’s long throw led Christian Nørgaard to hook across goal, Davies heading away. Otherwise Spurs were untroubled before the interval, although they only came close once more when a strong run and shot from Son brought a firm one-handed save from Fernandez.
The Brentford keeper looks a sharp shot-stopper, if less reliable under high crosses. Five minutes into the second half the stadium audibly gasped in expectation as Kane, sent away by Oliver Skipp, looked certain to double his league tally for the season. Fernández blocked and Kane cursed his fortune yet again; moments later the striker should have at least claimed an assist when Højbjerg met his cross-shot but fired into the side netting.
Spurs had again come out strongly and there was no doubt by now: the game should have been made safe. In the 65th minute it finally was, and that brought relief because Brentford had just begun to sow seeds of concern. An uncertain defensive header from Davinson Sánchez prompted jitters in the stands; then Toney, with his only sight of goal, scuffed a low shot at Hugo Lloris. headtopics.com
The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email.There would be no head of steam for the visitors, though, and that owed to a delightful Tottenham move. Son laid the ball back to Kane just inside his own half and set off into opposition territory while his teammate swept a sumptuous 50-yard pass into Reguilón’s path. The marauding wing-back’s run was scintillating and his centre accurate enough for Son, who had not broken stride, to tap in from six yards.
Lloris denied Toney late on but Brentford, who have lost five in seven, had no route back.Read more: The Guardian »
Politics UK news latest: Downing Street police officers give 'extremely damning' evidence to Sue Gray
Politics latest as Boris Johnson facing make-or-break week for his leadership; Sue Gray investigation expected to conclude this week; Downing Street officers have reportedly been interviewed about partygate claims; Tory MP claims she was sacked as junior minister over her 'Muslimness'. Read more >>
Louis Watkiss: Parents held son as he died in SnowDome crashLouis Watkiss, 12, was pronounced dead in front of his father minutes after he arrived at the scene. Rip little man
Dad, 30, denies killing toddler son in cubicle at public swimming bathA TRIPLE murder suspect has today denied killing his toddler son in a cubicle at a public swimming bath. Dad Jordan Monaghan, 30, is accused of smothering 21-month-old Logan on August 17 2013 as we…
Shirley Ballas' son urges her to stop being 'guarded' on Strictly Come DancingSHIRLEY BALLAS has been urged by her son to stop being so 'guarded' on Strictly Come Dancing.
Stacey Solomon's son Rex's sweet reaction as Elf on the Shelf comes down chimneyStacey Solomon's son Rex has adorable reaction as Elf on the Shelf arrives down chimney
Will two-year football kit cycles become the norm? Brentford FC's keeping its home shirt for two seasons - and some say other teams may follow suit. I used to go to games every weekend until the late 80s. Never saw a 'replica kit'. A few years ago I saw a huge, bloated bald guy at King's Cross in a Newcastle shirt with the name 'Anita' on the back. For some reason it made me think of the Decline and Fall of Civilisation. Always used to be 2 years 🤷♂️