Tottenham lack of quality obvious as Brentford come closest and spring fresh top-four twist

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Tottenham failed to reclaim fourth place in the Premier League from Arsenal after a lacklustre 0-0 draw away at Brentford.

The two north London rivals came into the weekend level on points, with Spurs ahead on goal difference. Arsenal made the first move on Saturday, beating Manchester United 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium.

Tottenham would have gone back above the Gunners with a win at the Bees. However, a poor first half set the tone as they remained fifth, three points behind their rivals.

Brentford dominated what proved a quiet first period for both sides. The Bees had seven shots – five more than the visitors – but neither side hit the target.

In the second half, Brentford had their moments and despite Tottenham dominating, neither side had the end quality to find a winner.

The closest Tottenham came in the first half was a Rodrigo Bentancur shot, which albeit sailed well over the bar.

Brentford, though, came much closer, with Ivan Toney causing Spurs a host of problems in the first half – although they were problems the away side could have solved.

Toney was continually unmarked from a succession of corners and was allowed to make a range of runs – to the near post, back post and to attack the ball on the penalty spot.

And it was from the latter run where he hit the crossbar from one ball in. Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris landed awkwardly after trying to make a save but played on.

However, Spurs just did not get going up the other end in the first half. Son Heung-min being flagged offside at the start of the game was a sign of things to come.

Although, Brentford deserve credit for their defending. Pontus Jansson kept Harry Kane at bay and limited the England captain’s threat.

Brentford, Tottenham lack of quality

Ryan Sessegnon, Vitaly Janelt Brentford v Tottenham April 2022

Lloris was heavily involved straight away in the second half. He cleared away in panic and under pressure from the Brentford press before colliding with Toney well away from his box. However, Toney could not capitalise and get Brentford ahead.

Those moments saw Spurs hit back. Kane was one of three players in a row to have quick-fire shots inside the Brentford box. But, all three were blocked away well.

Nevertheless, Brentford were still a threat and Kane had to get back and head off the line after Lloris made a save.

Antonio Conte’s second Tottenham substitution saw forward Lucas Moura come on for wing-back Emerson Royal. However, he struggled to have much of an impact.

Both sides had late free-kicks, but Son’s effort went straight into David Raya’s gloves. Up the other end, though, Toney headed onto the post and Bryan Mbuemo hit the side netting with the rebound. Kane had the last laugh with a scissor-kick, but the missed chance was the final one of the game.

Brentford’s point moved them above Brighton into 11th. Still, the focus will be on Tottenham. They now play Leicester, Liverpool and the crucial clash with Arsenal in their next three games.

 

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