Brentford striker Ivan Toni overturned an eight-month ban as Brian Mbeumo scored twice in an impressive 3-1 season-ending Premier League win away to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
Harry Kane’s 28th goal of the league campaign, a stunning free kick, put the hosts ahead and they dominated before half-time in their final home game of the season.
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But seventh-placed Tottenham’s hopes of qualifying for Europe suffered a further blow after the break when Mbeumo dispatched two clinical left-footed finishes in the space of 12 minutes to turn the game on its head.
It prompted home chants against chairman Daniel Levy, who admitted on his program that it had been a “very difficult season” for the club, and the volume went up when Yone Wisa wrapped it up for Brentford in the 88th minute.
It was Tottenham’s 14th defeat of the season and they face a crucial summer ahead to halt a worrying decline.
“With a week to go in the summer, we’ve got a massive game against Leeds but there are massive decisions to be made,” Tottenham’s stand-in manager Ryan Mason said.
For Thomas Frank’s ninth-placed Brentford, a top-half finish is assured and they have an outside chance of even surpassing Tottenham and qualifying for Europe.
Tottenham have 57 points from 37 games, one point behind sixth-placed Brighton & Hove Albion who have a game in hand. Brentford, who host leaders Manchester City next week, have 56.
Toney, whose 20 goals make him the second-highest English scorer in the Premier League behind Kane this season, was banned this week for more than 200 breaches of the FA’s betting rules.
He cannot play again until January 2024, a hole Brentford will be looking to fill this summer, but on Saturday they made light of his absence.
“Mbuyomo hasn’t been rewarded with enough goals. Last year I think he hit the post seven times — crazy! — so I’m happy that two great finishes hit the back of the net,” said Frank.
Kane’s Tottenham future remains in doubt and he walked off at the final whistle to a standing ovation from the fans before reappearing to lap the pitch with his wife and children, as Tottenham’s Champions League hero Lucas Moura fought back tears. He said a final farewell to the fans.
If England captain Kane decides to move on after scoring 211 Premier League goals for Tottenham, at least he signed off at home in style.
Kane sent an unstoppable curling right-foot free kick past David Raya in the eighth minute and Tottenham should have taken the lead to deny Emerson Royale a brilliant clearing header from the outstanding Rico Henry.
Brentford were much the brighter after the break and equalized when Wisa played in Mbeumo who cut inside Ben Davies and whipped a low shot past Fraser Forster.
The goal was Tottenham’s 60th in the league this season, marking the second time in a 38-game Premier League season that a team has scored and awarded at least 60 goals, matching the feat achieved in 2007–08.
Mbeumo struck again with a similar finish from Aaron Hickey’s pass, and Tottenham’s woes were complete when Oliver Skip was caught in possession and Mbeumo scored for Wisa.