Tottenham captain Harry Kane put his World Cup heartbreak behind him to help his side come from 2-0 to draw with Brentford.
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, who boast a squad featuring a number of Qatar 2022 players, were miserable in the opening hour in west London, deservedly falling two goals behind thanks to efforts from Vitaly Janelto and Ivan Toney.
Kane, playing for the first time since his vital penalty miss in England’s quarter-final defeat by France, pulled one back for Antonio Conte with 25 minutes remaining.
And the visitors soon claimed a share of the spoils as Hojbjerg coolly scored his fourth league goal of the season.
Brentford were rewarded for a fine start in the 15th minute when Janelt poked home his second goal of the season from close range after Fraser Forster had kept out Mathias Jensen’s deflected shot.
Spurs hardly improved after that, with only Forster’s outstretched leg preventing Mathias Jorgensen from putting the visitors 2-0 up 10 minutes before the break, while Toney saw himself ruled out for offside on the stroke of half-time.
Spurs’ improvement did not show after the break, with Brentford doubling their advantage in the 54th minute when Toney headed home Christian Norgaard’s corner.
Conte’s men halved the deficit against the run of play in the 65th minute when Kane superbly headed home Clement Lenglet’s cross from eight yards.
The visitors soon sealed a point when Hojbjerg sent David Raya’s curled finish from the center of the penalty area after good work from Dejan Kulusevski.
Spurs’ late push failed to produce a winner, although Kane came close when his header hit the crossbar.
Brentford player ratings
GK: David Raya – 6/10 – Claimed every cross and commanded his area well. Distribution was usually spot on.
CB: Mathias Jorgensen – 8/10 – Showed his composure and experience in another big game for Brentford.
CB: Ethan Pinnock – 6/10 – Pocketed Kane in the first half but found it harder dealing with him when he dropped deep more in the second.
CB: Ben Mee – 4/10 – So often a calming influence this season, Mee was all over the place today and was fortunate not to have conceded a penalty.
RM: Mads Roerslev – 6/10 – Provided little going forward but was very assured defensively.
CM: Mathias Jensen – 7/10 – Helped Brentford build whether in control or on the counter. Technical levels noticeably dipped when he was subbed.
CM: Christian Norgaard – 8/10 – A one-man show in midfield at times. Every time the Bees won back the ball, Norgaard was usually at the heart of their efforts.
CM: Vitaly Janelt – 7/10 – Roamed forward well and was able to find the net in another big game.
LM: Rico Henry – 6/10 – His pace was a handy asset in his duels with the slower Doherty and Kulusevski.
CF: Bryan Mbeumo – 6/10 – Set piece delivery was excellent, but squandered several good chances to score, not least when he dived to try and win a penalty instead of shooting.
CF: Ivan Toney – 8/10 – Manhandled by Spurs defenders in their failed attempts to keep him down. Brentford’s talisman once again.
Saman Ghoddos (67′ for Jensen) – 5/10
Josh Dasilva (81′ for Norgaard) – 5/10
Yoane Wissa (81′ for Mbeumo) – 5/10
Thomas Frank – 7/10 – Set his team up well and they fought hard, but could not stave off Spurs’ dogged fightback.
Tottenham player ratings (3-4-3)
GK: Fraser Forster – 4/10 – The tallest man on the pitch often played like the shortest, failing to claim high balls. Gifted Brentford their opener.
CB: Japhet Tanganga – 4/10 – Out of his depth. Continually lost duels and played without cunningness and intelligence.
CB: Eric Dier – 3/10 – The glass ceiling of how far Spurs can go with Dier as their senior defender was on display again. Uncomfortable on the ball and a liability off it.
CB: Clement Lenglet – 6/10 – The best defender of a pretty bad bunch. Spurs needed his technical abilities in order to play from the back.
RM: Matt Doherty – 5/10 – Didn’t bring the off-ball runs he’s in the team for until the final stages. Lack of pace made it harder to build down his side.
CM: Yves Bissouma – 3/10 – Lucky not to have gifted Toney a goal in the first half. Wasteful and woeful in possession.
CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 8/10 – Tried his hardest and fought for every inch, eventually earning himself a goal.
LM: Ivan Perisic – 6/10 – Troubled Brentford with his crossing, but plays as if he’s still got searing pace when he clearly doesn’t.
RF: Dejan Kulusevski – 8/10 – The creator of Spurs’ best moments, even if there were few and far between until late in the second half.
LF: Son Heung-min – 5/10 – Showed a desire to beat his man and take people on, but not within the vicinity of the box.
CF: Harry Kane – 8/10 – Started slowly but grew into the game, dropping deep to free Kulusevski and Son before pulling one back himself.
Davinson Sanchez (67′ for Tanganga) – 6/10
Ben Davies (90′ for Lenglet) – N/A
Antonio Conte – 6/10 – Spurs made life difficult themselves again but their series of rehearsed moves and ultimate top-end quality helped them back into the contest.