Skip to main content


Tottenham begins life without Kane with draw at Brentford

Tottenham celebrates Tottenham celebrates - The Canadian Press

LONDON (AP) — Tottenham began life without Harry Kane with an entertaining 2-2 draw at Brentford in the Premier League on Sunday, with new manager Ange Postecoglou praising the team's resilience after a trying week.

All four goals came in an action-filled first half that gave a first indication of what Tottenham will look like under Postecoglou, and without its talismanic striker.

A day after Kane sealed his move to Bayern Munich, Spurs dominated possession and scored from its only two efforts on target in the first half, and yet still had to come from 2-1 down after being undone defensively on a couple of occasions.

While both teams settled into a more cautious rhythm after the break, the opening 45 minutes of Postecoglou’s reign were enough to show that his underlying tactics will be a far cry from his predecessor Antonio Conte’s defensive rigidity and focus on counterattacks.

And while Spurs couldn't find a winner, a draw at Brentford could be seen as a positive first step given that Thomas Frank's team beat Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool at home last season.

“Football clubs move on pretty quickly,” Postecoglou said about coping without Kane. “I haven’t needed to address it, I haven’t needed to give them a warm fuzzy cuddle just to see how they are. We had a game to prepare for and they knew that. I think that was the important thing for us. ... We showed a real resilience that we’re going to need because it’s going to be a challenging year for sure."

The game's kickoff was delayed by six minutes after an issue with the water supply meant the toilets inside the stadium couldn't be used. It came a day after Arsenal's home game against Nottingham Forest was delayed by 30 minutes because of an issue with the club's new digital ticketing system.

“It is the most crazy reason for delaying a Premier League game I ever heard,” Brentford manager Thomas Frank said. “I know we normally hit the headlines for a lot of good things. Probably is not the worst thing to hit the headlines with, but yeah, quite crazy. ... Probably also the first time in the Premier League wasn’t it? Again, making history.”

The visitors took the lead when James Maddison delivered a pinpoint free kick that was headed in by Cristian Romero in the 11th minute. The defender then had to be taken off, though, after showing signs of a possible concussion following an earlier clash of heads.

Brentford equalized after the hosts were awarded a penalty when Son Heung-min made light contact with Mathias Jensen in the area, and Bryan Mbeumo converted from the spot. Tottenham were exposed defensively again on a counter in the 36th, when Rico Henry delivered a cross to Yoane Wissa, whose shot took a deflection to sneak past Tottenham’s new goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario.

Emerson Royal then leveled for Tottenham in first-half injury time with a one-time shot from outside the area after another assist from Maddison.

Tottenham forward Richarlison, who has the job of filling the shoes of Kane, was largely kept quiet but had a shot saved by Mark Flekken in the second half.

Flekken started in goal in place of David Raya, who is expected to complete a move to Arsenal. ___

AP soccer: