LONDON – Brentford shrugged off an eight-month betting ban imposed on striker Ivan Toney as Bryan Mbeumo scored twice in a 3-1 win at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, in their penultimate Premier League game of an impressive season.
Harry Kane’s 28th league goal of the campaign, a stunning free kick, put the hosts ahead and they dominated before half-time in their last home game of the campaign.
But Spurs’ hopes of qualifying for Europe suffered yet another blow after the break as Cameroonian forward Mbeumo dispatched two clinical left-foot finishes to turn the game on its head in the space of 12 minutes.
It prompted chants from the home fans against chairman Daniel Levy, who admitted in his programme notes it had been an “immensely difficult season” for the club.
The volume increased when Yoane Wissa wrapped it up for Brentford in the 88th minute from Mbeumo’s pass.
“You have to compete for 95 minutes. In the first half we played a very good match. But 1-0 is a dangerous scoreline, and if you’re not at it for the whole game you get punished,” lamented Tottenham caretaker boss Ryan Mason.
“The goals we conceded were poor. They were the better team in the second half. They deserved to win.
“We’ve been on a poor run for a number of months now. The only way to turn that around is winning games and staying together. When you come in at this stage of the season there are always difficulties.
“In the first half, we saw a Tottenham side that we haven’t seen this season, but we weren’t able to sustain it for many different reasons.”
For ninth-place Brentford, a top-half finish is assured and they even have an outside chance of sneaking above Tottenham – in seventh before the day’s later matches – and qualifying for Europe.
Spurs have 57 points from 37 games, a point behind Brighton & Hove Albion who have a game in hand.
Brentford, who host leaders Manchester City next week, have 56.
When asked about Tottenham’s European hopes, Mason added: “I’m not sure. It’s out of our hands now, completely out of our hands now. We’ll have to see what the other teams do.”
Mbeumo, meanwhile, urged his teammates to give one final push, even though they will be up against City.
“It’s sensational. I can’t say more than this. The fans cheered us a lot. It’s fantastic,” he said on BT Sport.
“The first half was a bit sloppy from us. In the second half everybody raised their level. It’s a fantastic win.
“We want to aim high. We want to be high in the table. We still have one chance (to qualify for Europe). We’ll do everything we can.” REUTERS