Tottenham 1-3 Brentford: Harry Kane stunner a consolation as Bees fight back
There was a fabulous new street mural of Harry Kane to admire and a placatory pre-match message from the chairman Daniel Levy in the programme but little else changed as Tottenham continued to slide into the end of this miserable campaign.
In many ways, this final home game encapsulated the entire season. They flickered early on and led through a wonderful free-kick by Kane and then went under in the second half as protest rumbled around the stands.
Bryan Mbeumo turned the game with two goals in 12 minutes for Brentford at the start of the second half and Yoann Wissa added the third in the 88th minute, to secure their first win at Tottenham since 1905, before either team were in the league.
Victory here moved Thomas Frank’s team within a point of their hosts with one game to play. Brentford finish at home to Manchester City and Spurs travel to Leeds on the final day, when they could still require a point of more to secure European football next season.
All of which has been hard to swallow for Tottenham supporters, some of whom launched a protest in the 23rd minute to mark 23 years of Levy’s regime. They chanted for the chairman to go and released a few black balloons.
Brentford fought back to stun Tottenham and dent their European bid after Bryan Mbuemo’s clinical second-half brace
Mbeumo netted two goals in 12 minutes to secure the visitors’ comeback and spark wild scenes inside the travelling section
Harry Kane was condemned to another day of misery on what may prove to be his final home game in Tottenham colours
But the mood did not catch, partly because Ryan Mason’s team were completely in control at the time and a goal up thanks to Kane’s free-kick, curled into the top corner in the eighth minute.
It was his 28th in the Premier League this season, his 211th on his 300th appearance in the competition. Inevitably, it came with a record because Kane has scored them in 25 different games.
After the early goal, Tottenham produced some of their most fluent attacking football in weeks and might have stretched clear with more goals before half-time.
Bees ‘keeper David Raya denied Heung-min Son as he burst clear on a quick counterattack and left-back Rico Henry raced back to make a vital clearance from his own line to keep out a header by Emerson Royal.
Son was full of familiar verve and energy, and hugely influential in the first half, providing the cross for Royal’s header and another, clipped in from the right to Arnaut Danjuma, who glanced a header wide.
MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS AND TABLE
TOTTENHAM (4-2-3-1): Forster 6; Royal 6.5 (Porro 75, 6), Sanchez 6, Lenglet 5, Davies 5 (Perisic 85); Skipp 6, Bissouma 6.5; Danjuma 6 (Moura 66, 6), Kulusevski 6.5 (Richarlison 75, 6), Son 7; Kane 7
Subs not used: Austin, Tanganga, Dier, Craig, Sarr
Goals: Kane 8
Bookings: Mason, Bissouma
Coach: Ryan Mason 6
BRENTFORD )(4-3-3): Raya 8; Hickey 7 (Roerslev 89), Pinnock 7, Mee 7.5, Henry 7; Onyeka 5 (Damsgaard 46, 6.5), Janelt 6.5, Jensen 7 (Baptiste 72, 6); Mbeumo 8.5, Wissa 8 (Dasilva 89), Schade 6 (Jorgensen 78)
Subs not used: Strakosha, Ghoddos, Ajer, Trevitt
Goals: Mbeumo 50, 62, Wissa 88
Coach: Thomas Frank 7.5
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
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Kane (pictured, left) made the breakthrough in the early stages of the match after being teed up by a clever flicked free-kick
The pull-back handed Kane an angle to pull the trigger, with movements in front of him freeing him up to pick out the corner
It was Danjuma’s first Spurs start since making his loan move from Villarreal in January, and he started wide on the right with Son on the left and Dejan Kulusevski in the number 10 role behind Kane.
Ben Mee hurled himself in front of a shot from Son as Spurs exerted more pressure in first half stoppage time and Raya produced another fine save from Kulusevski when the visitors were caught out by a quick throw, taken by Ben Davies.
Brentford flickered on the break but created very little on their first outing since top scorer Ivan Toney, already ruled out with a hamstring injury, was handed an eight-month ban for breaking the FA’s gambling rules.
Kevin Schade wriggled into the penalty area from the left without testing Fraser Forster and Mathias Jensen side-footed over at the end of a crisp passing move. Frank made a change during the interval, however, sending on Mikkel Damsgaard to replace Frank Onyeka, and they levelled from their first effort on target.
Yoann Wissa beat Clement Lenglet with a change of pace and a pass to Mbeumo who cut inside from the right, skipped past Davies and beat Forster with a low drive into the far corner.
Kane celebrated wildly with his team-mates, although the showdown later soured with the visitors taking all three points
Mbeumo slotted home two neat finishes in the second period and wheeled away to share the moment with the away end
Son Heung-min combined neatly with Kane on a number of occasions before his influence in the game quickly faded away
Suddenly, Brentford found a better rhythm. Mbeumo connected sweetly with a volley only for it to fly straight at Forster, who saved. Those in the away end found their voices, singing in support of Toney and taunting Kane when he miscued a chance to restore Tottenham’s lead, wildly off target.
There were echoes of the first in Mbeumo’s second.
This time, a pass by Aaron Hickey, slid between Davies and Lenglet, and another precision finish with his left foot, beating Forster in the far corner.
Spurs claimed there had been a foul by Hickey on Kane at the start of the move but referee Jarred Gillett did not agree. Nor did his VAR and this seemed fair. Kane went down easily and made a meal of it.
Question marks surround Kane’s future and a number of elite clubs are expected to swoop in for him in the summer window
Rookie boss Ryan Mason was left disappointed once again after his side fell to a second straight defeat in the Premier League
Lucas Moura came on for his last appearance before his five and a half years at the club come to an end when his contract expires next month. He will never be forgotten for his hat-trick in the Champions League semi final in Ajax but that feels like a world away.
Bees boss Frank reinforced at the back to prevent any late comeback. Raya made further saves and Wissa scored the third. Shandon Baptiste won the ball from Oliver Skipp, found Mbeumo who squared to Wissa.
In nine games since Antonio Conte’s critical outburst at Southampton, Tottenham have taken eight points.
They are withering and they were booed off at the end.
Chairman Daniel Levy watched on from the stands and was the target of numerous chants calling for him to leave the club