Football-stuttering Tottenham held in stalemate by Brentford – Metro US

LONDON (Reuters) – Stuttering Tottenham Hotspur’s top four ambitions suffered another blow as they finished second-best in a 0-0 draw with Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday.

Having seen Arsenal edge them out of fourth place earlier in the day, Tottenham would have reclaimed it with a win but they were lackluster and lucky to earn a point.

Brentford had the best chances with former Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen when Ivan Toney hit the crossbar in the first half.

The hosts also had the better chances in the second half as Pontus Jansson and Eriksen came close and Toney was again denied by woodwork in injury time.

For the second game in a row, Tottenham, who lost 1-0 at home to Brighton & Hove Albion last week, were denied a shot on goal despite Harry Kane’s acrobatic volley coming close to scoring the winner.

With five games remaining, Spurs are fifth on 58 points with Arsenal on 60. Brentford are 11th and look almost certain of a second straight top season.

“We know what is at stake. I think a lot has changed in the last three games and a lot can change in the next three,” Tottenham defender Eric Dier said of the battle for the top four.

“We have to focus on ourselves and try to win all our games. Today is a hiccup, but we don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves. We have to go again next weekend. It’s still in our hands because we have to play against Arsenal.”

Given what was at stake, Tottenham’s approach to the game was difficult to understand and it was Brentford who showed a much greater urgency throughout.

Their set pieces created all sorts of problems for Antonio Conte’s side and Toney was unlucky when his header ricocheted off the bar after a corner.

Kane was offered precious little service and the visitors clearly could have used the kind of quality offered by their former player Eriksen.

Eriksen, who left Tottenham for Inter Milan but suffered cardiac arrest at Euro 2020 last year and now plays with a special heart device, was the best player on the pitch and drew warm applause from the fans in attendance.

Twice he almost scored after the break, once he was thwarted by Hugo Lloris and then saw a shot go just wide.

Tottenham tried to press late but were unconvincing and Brentford would have deserved the win had Toney’s header from Eriksen’s free-kick not bounced off the post.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, Editing by Pritha Sarkar and Clare Fallon)

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