Georges-Kevin Nkoudou’s last-gasp strike consigned Brentford to defeat against a strong Tottenham Hotspur side at Hotspur way this evening.
Victor Wanyama’s deflected effort put his team in front during the dying embers of the first half, but Neal Maupay levelled after the interval against a side littered with international experience. However, Nkoudou fired past Dan Bentley with almost the last kick of the game to earn his side the victory.
It was the hosts who started the brighter in Hertfordshire; Brentford content to remain in shape and exploit Maupay’s pace on the counter. Despite Spurs’ early dominance it was The Bees who registered the first shot on target with eight minutes on the clock. Alan Judge’s bursting run was halted on the edge of the area and it was Maupay who picked up the loose ball and forced Michel Vorm into a low save.
Judge had a go himself four minutes later; his well-struck effort deflecting narrowly wide of Vorm’s near post. Lewis Macleod and Said Benrahma each curled wide in quick succession as Brentford moved through the gears.
Dan Bentley had to be alert to deny Fernando Llorente on 20 minutes after the Spain international beat the offside trap and found himself bearing down on goal. Serge Aurier flashed a low ball across the face of goal on the half-hour mark but Mads Bech Sorensen was well positioned to make a sliding clearance. Macleod went close again moments later having been picked out by an inch-perfect Josh McEachran pass.
Despite the away side’s promise it was Spurs who took the lead six minutes before the interval; Wanyama lofting over Bentley and into the top corner via the shoulder of Llorente. It was the Spaniard who claimed it.
Nikolaj Kirk was presented with a golden opportunity to restore parity nine minutes after the restart but cleared the crossbar under pressure from a Spurs defender. Having seen Judge go agonisingly close moments before, Brentford were level on 59 minutes. Maupay stormed past the last line of defence and showed great composure to roll past the keeper and into the bottom corner to make it one goal apiece.
Substitute Son Heung Min - who played a starring role during South Korea’s World Cup campaign - blazed over the crossbar during a rare second-half opening. With the match looking destined for a draw there was a last-minute change to the script. Nkoudou manoeuvred his way past Lukas Talbro on the left-hand side and arrowed a powerful effort past Bentley. A cruel result but valuable exercise for Thomas Frank and Richard O’Kelly’s Bees.
Brentford: Bentley; Kirk (Talbro 72), Konsa, Sorensen, Yennaris; Mokotjo, McEachran, Macleod; Benrahma, Maupay, Judge (Finnsson 82)