EPL: Kane, Hojbjerg save Tottenham’s blushes

Skipper Harry Kane, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg were on target as Tottenham level with Brentford

NEW DELHI | Updated: 26 December, 2022 10:10 pm IST
Harry Kane broke another record as he took his EPL goalscoring tally on Boxing Day into double digits

The English Premier League restart, on Boxing Day, almost threw a surprise before Tottenham salvaged a 2-2 draw with a spirited Brentford.

Tottenham skipper Harry Kane and midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg scored in the space of six minutes in the second half as Spurs fought hard from being 0-2 down to level the tie that marked the Premier League’s restart following the World Cup.

With a host of players who featured in the World Cup in Qatar, in their lineup, Spurs looked jaded – at least in the first half – at the Brentford Community Stadium.

Spurs deserved to be punished, and Brentford ensured that as they raced to a two-goal lead through midfielder Vitaly Janelt and star striker Ivan Toney.

Kane, who is currently second in the goal scoring chart, pulled one back for his team in the 65th minute before Hojbjerg kept things cool with his fourth goal of the season to save Tottenham’s blushes.

Brentford made a bright start to the restart as they moved ahead with Janelt’s 15th-minute strike. Being present at the right moment, and at the right place, the German prodded the ball in after Fraser Forster had kept Mathias Jensen’s deflected strike.

It could have been 2-0 for Brentford before halftime. But Forster, who manned the Spurs goal in the absence of skipper Hugo Lloris, came to the rescue when his outstretched leg prevented Mathias Jorgensen 10 minutes before the break.

Luck kept Toney out at the stroke of halftime when his effort was ruled out for offside.

Brentford, however, did not let their guard down and were finally rewarded when Toney netted Christian Norgaard’s knockdown from a corner in the 54th minute.

The goal shook the slumbering Spurs as Kane used his head to reduce the deficit in the 65th minute from Clement Lenglet’s cross.

Spurred by the goal, it was not Tottenham who pressed the pedal. Their efforts paid off as Hojbjerg sent a composed finish past goalkeeper David Raya from the middle of the penalty area.

Spurs upped the tempo as Kane came close, only to see his header hit the crossbar. But in the end, they had to settle for a draw, leaving Antonio Conte with a lot to ponder.

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