Tottenham salvage a point against Brentford as they drew their 2023/24 Premier League opener without Harry Kane.
Brentford: Flekken; Collins, Ajer, Pinnock; Hickey, Jensen, Norgaard, Janelt, Henry; Wissa, Mbeumo.
Tottenham: Vicario; Emerson, van de Ven, Romero, Udogie; Skipp, Bissouma; Kulusevski, Maddison, Son; Richarlison.
It was the first time after a decade that Tottenham will start a competitive game without the club’s talisman Harry Kane.
Harry Kane left the Lilywhites after 19 years for Bayern Munich this summer, refusing to renew his contract.
The game was another big test for Tottenham new manager Ange Postecoglou, who faces a tough task of returning Tottenham to the top four and breaking the jinx of trophyless domestic campaigns.
Thomas Frank led Brenford to a 3-1 win in their last encounter last season and had hope to replicate same feat hosting the London neighbors at Gtech Community Stadium but the Bees faced a tough task having lost four of their last 10 games against Tottenham, winning two and drawing four.
The game began on a frantic pace as both sides tried to dominate play and exert control but calm was restored three minutes into play after Mbeumo and Romero had a head clash, demanding the attention of medical staff who rushed into the pitch to attend to the two players.
They were back on their feet after being attended to as the game proceeded speedily getting more physical again with strong tackles.
Tottenham wrestled the game from the hosts with a spell of possession, forcing Brentford into their half as play progressed.
Eleven minutes into play, Christian Romero steered Tottenham into the lead after he raced into the box and head home James Maddison’s freekick.
Brenford fought back to nail the equaliser in the 23rd minute after Tottenham conceded a penalty following Son’s tackle on Jensen.
The penalty was controversial but was awarded after a VAR review with Mbeumo beating Tottenham goalkeeper, Vicario, and rolling it into the bottom corner.
Tottenham swept the game after the equaliser, making a concerted effort to return to the lead but were held by Brentford.
Against the run of play, Brenford came from behind to take the lead with Wissa’s 36th-minute strike.
After receiving a pass from Henry, Wissa struck with the ball deflecting off Van de Ven into the net.
Brentford nearly ran out with a first-half win but were hit with a 45+4th-minute strike by Emerson from 20 yards.
The first half ended with both sides settling for a dramatic 2-2 draw.
Tottenham were the better side in the second half as they dominated play and tried to return to the lead. Both sides tried to break the goal deadlock with some glaring opportunities but failed to make them count.
Brentford nearly landed a golden chance to take the lead after a 79th-minute tackle by Van de Ven on Jensen inside Tottenham box attracted calls for penalty.
After VAR review, it was no penalty. Both sides made late substitutions trying as the game neared the end all to no avail as they finally settled for a 2-2 draw after the final whistle.