Brentford 2-2 Tottenham: Kane and Hojbjerg seal fightback point for Conte´s side

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Harry Kane and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg scored in the space of six second-half minutes as Tottenham fought back from 2-0 down to claim a draw against Brentford in the first Premier League game following the World Cup on Monday.

Spurs, boasting a line-up including a host of players who featured at Qatar 2022, were dismal in the opening hour in west London and deservedly found themselves two goals behind courtesy of efforts from Vitaly Janelt and Ivan Toney.

Kane, playing for the first time since his vital penalty miss in England’s quarter-final defeat to France, pulled one back for Antonio Conte’s side with 25 minutes remaining.

And the visitors claimed a share of the spoils soon after when Hojbjerg coolly slotted home his fourth league goal of the season.

Brentford were rewarded for a bright start in the 15th minute when Janelt prodded in his second goal of the season from close range after Fraser Forster had kept out Mathias Jensen’s deflected strike.

Spurs scarcely improved after that, with only the outstretched leg of Forster preventing Mathias Jorgensen putting the hosts 2-0 up 10 minutes before the interval, while Toney saw an effort ruled out for offside on the stroke of half-time.

A Spurs improvement failed to materialise after the break, with Brentford doubling their advantage in the 54th minute when Toney poked home Christian Norgaard’s knockdown from a corner.

Conte’s men halved the deficit against the run of play after 65 minutes when Kane superbly headed home Clement Lenglet’s cross from eight yards.

The away side sealed a point soon after when Hojbjerg sent a composed finish past David Raya from the middle of the penalty area following good work from Dejan Kulusevski.

Late Spurs pressure failed to yield a winner, although Kane came close when his header hit the crossbar.

What does it mean? Spurs continue to make life hard for themselves

Spurs came away with a point but Conte will be concerned that his side’s failings prior to the World Cup were still very much on display.

Janelt’s goal meant Spurs have conceded the opening goal in each of their past six Premier League matches – their longest run of conceding first in the competition since April 2014 under Tim Sherwood (also six).

Brentford, meanwhile, will be disappointed they were unable to hold on for victory, though they are clearly heading in the right direction under Thomas Frank, who signed a new deal during the mid-season break.

Record-breaking Kane

Kane shrugged off his World Cup woe to break the Premier League’s goalscoring record on Boxing Day, with his header his 10th goal on 26 December.

The captain, who surpassed the previous record set by Robbie Fowler (nine), also maintained his record of scoring in all seven of his Premier League appearances on Boxing Day.

Toney on target again

Toney, who could face a ban after being charged by the FA for betting offences, has now been directly involved in 30 goals in his first 50 Premier League appearances (23 goals, seven assists); the most by an English player after 50 games in the competition since Jamie Vardy in 2015 (also 30).

Key Opta Facts

– In English league history (top four divisions), only Aston Villa (20 between 1890 and 1913) have ever had a longer run without defeat on Boxing Day than Tottenham’s current streak of 16 matches without losing between 2004 and 2022 (W12 D4).

– Brentford are winless in their last 14 meetings with Tottenham in all competitions (D5 L9), since a 2-0 home win in the second tier in March 1948.

– Spurs have conceded the opening goal in each of their last six Premier League matches; their longest run of conceding first in the competition since April 2014 under Tim Sherwood (also six). Indeed, Spurs have conceded two or more goals in six consecutive Premier League games for the first time since May 2003.

– Tottenham striker Harry Kane has scored against all 32 teams he has faced in the Premier League – the best such 100 per cent record of any player in the competition’s history.

What’s next?

Brentford make the short trip across London to face West Ham on Friday, while Spurs host Aston Villa on Sunday.

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