Tottenham stuttered in the race for the top four, after Antonio Conte’s side drew 0-0 with a determined Brentford at the Brentford Community Stadium.
Before kick-off all the attention was on Christian Eriksen, who was taking on Tottenham for the first time since leaving the north Londoners in 2020, while also renewing acquaintances with Antonio Conte, who managed the Dane to Inter Milan’s first Serie A title in over a decade last season.
In a quiet first half Brentford had the only chance of significance, after Eriksen floated a delightful corner into the box that was met by the in-form Ivan Toney, but the striker could only rattle his header against the crossbar.
Brentford almost took the lead twice in the second period, but Harry Kane showed off his defensive instincts to header a Pontus Jansson attempt off the line while Toney’s last minute header rattled the far post.
The draw puts a dent in Spurs’ top four chances, with the club now in fifth place, two points behind rivals Arsenal, while the Bees move onto the hallowed 40 points mark.
Next up Brentford go to Old Trafford to take on a Manchester United side in poor form, while Spurs will hope for an improved performance when they play Leicester next week at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
SPURS MUST FIND A WAY TO FEED THEIR FORWARDS – Tottenham delivered another lacklustre performance after last week’s defeat to Brighton, and for the second game running struggled to feed the once prolific front three of Kane, Son and Kulusevski.
Incredibly, over the last 180 minutes of football Tottenham have failed to deliver a single shot on target.
Meanwhile their top four rivals Arsenal are purring in attack, having put four past Chelsea in the week and scored three against Ralf Rangnick’s ponderous Manchester United earlier today.
If Conte’s side are to reignite their top four charge, they will need to move the ball quicker across the back and provide better service from the wings to the world-class talent in their team.
As May approaches the north London derby, 10 days before the end of the season, is looking increasingly likely to be decisive in determining who out of Tottenham and Arsenal, will take that final Champions League spot.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Christian Eriksen (Brentford) – Eriksen delivered a number of wonderful crosses into the Tottenham box and on another day, the Dane would have added to the two assists he has provided since joining Brentford in January.
Then again, Tottenham gave their former colleague far too much space to manoeuvre in the midfield
The dominant display was the latest milestone in Eriksen’s return to football after he survived a horrifying cardiac arrest last summer at Euro 2020.
Raya – 6, Roerslev – 6, Jansson – 7, Bech Sorensen – 6, Henry – 7, Janelt – 6, Jensen – 7, Eriksen – 8, Mbeumo -7, Toney -7, Ghoddos – 7… Subs: Dasilva – 6, Wissa – N/A,
Spurs – Lloris – 6, Romero – 7, Dier – 6, Davies – 6, Emerson -5, Hojbjerg – 6, Bentancur – 6, Sessegnon – 5, Kulusevski -5, Kane – 6, Son – 7 Subs: Sanchez – 6
16’ – CHANCE – In a first half starved of chances, Toney powered a header past Lloris, but against the cross bar, after a floated corner into the box from Eriksen.
65’ – CHANCE – Kane’s defensive instincts kicked into gear after the England captain headed a Jansson chance off the line.
90’ – CHANCE – With the game in its final stages Eriksen put in a brilliant delivery that was met by Toney once again, and the striker’s header beat Lloris before striking the far post.
90+2’ – CHANCE – Kane was almost the hero for Spurs after the striker met a Kulusevski cross with a beautiful scissor-kick at the far post, but his effort was just wide of the goal.