Tottenham earned back-to-back Premier League wins under Antonio Conte for the first time as a 2-0 victory over Brentford moved them up to within two points of the top four.
With Sunday's postponement at Burnley denying Spurs the chance to respond to last Thursday's embarrassing Europa Conference League defeat at NS Mura, their first-ever top-flight meeting with Brentford presented Conte's men with the opportunity to bounce back - and it was one they seized.
Ben Davies forced an early own goal from Sergi Canos, and Heung-Min Son wrapped up the victory with a sweeping counter-attacking second midway through the second half as Spurs, who remain far from the finished article, showed signs that Conte's methods were finally beginning to bear fruit.
For Brentford, having arrested their five-game winless run against Everton last time out, it was another defeat to digest for Thomas Frank's side, who shaded possession but lacked the attacking quality as their late barrage on the Spurs goal proved to be in vain.
The victory sees Tottenham extend their unbeaten run against Brentford to 12 matches in all competitions and lifts them up to sixth in the Premier League, while the visitors drop a place to 12th after suffering their fifth defeat in seven.
Tottenham: Lloris (7), Sanchez (6), Dier (6), Davies (6), Royal (7), Hojbjerg (6), Skipp (7), Reguilon (7), Moura (6), Son (7), Kane (5).
Subs: Winks (5), Bergwijn (n/a), Tanganga (n/a).
Brentford: Fernandez (7), Goode (5), Jansson (5), Pinnock (5), Canos (5), Janelt (6), Onyeka (5), Norgaard (6), Henry (6), Mbeumo (6), Toney (5).
Subs: Jensen (6), Wissa (5), Baptiste (5).
Man of the Match: Heung-Min Son
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Son helps Spurs up to sixth
Spurs were keen to start on the front foot and could have opened the scoring in the opening 10 minutes as Harry Kane played in Lucas Moura, but Alvaro Fernandez was equal to a fizzing shot at the near post.
It did not take long for them to break the deadlock, although there was some fortune involved. Son sent in a wicked cross after a short corner which Pontus Jansson headed against team-mate Canos while under pressure from Davies, and the ball flew into the net.
Tottenham continued to look the more threatening team and only a fine stop from Fernandez, who got a strong hand to Son's 20-yard shot, stopped them extending the lead. The Bees goalkeeper was also busy from the resulting corner as he stopped Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's shot with his face.
Spurs had a chance to double their lead early in the second half but Kane's struggles in front of goal continued as he shot straight at Fernandez having been played through by Oliver Skipp.
- Davinson Sanchez and Oliver Skipp returned as Spurs made two changes to the side which came from behind to beat Leeds a fortnight ago.
- Brentford named an unchanged team after ending their five-game winless run against Everton on Sunday.
The important second goal eventually came in the 65th minute, courtesy of a lightning-quick Spurs counter. Kane sent Sergio Reguilon free down the left and his ball across goal was perfect for Son to tap in for his first goal since mid-October.
It was his 75th Premier League goal for Spurs and it killed the game. Brentford searched for a way back into it and Ivan Toney forced Hugo Lloris into a save with his feet but Conte's side saw it out with ease.
Conte home comforts - Match stats
- Tottenham have won all three of their home matches under Antonio Conte in all competitions, with the Italian the fourth consecutive Spurs manager to start his tenure with wins in each of his first three home games in charge (also Jose Mourinho, Ryan Mason and Nuno Espírito Santo).
- Having lost to Chelsea in October and Tottenham tonight, Brentford have suffered defeats in back-to-back league London derbies for the first time since March 2016, when they lost to Charlton and QPR.
- Tottenham have won 28 of their last 32 Premier League home games against promoted sides (D2 L2), including each of their last three without conceding.
- Sergi Canos' own goal was the first Brentford have scored in the Premier League, meaning 49 of the 50 sides to play in the competition have now put through their own net at least once, with Cardiff City the only side not to (76 games, 0 own goals).
What the managers said…
Tottenham boss Antonio Conte: "Today was a good win. To get three points is not easy against Brentford, I have seen a good team, well organised, very dangerous in set-pieces. But today we showed a great desire to get three points, to win. And we fight to win the tackles and we were very, very concentrated.
"For sure we can improve. We have a lot of space for improvement in possession. Without the ball we did very well. We put pressure from the start to the end. I want to see this without the ball. We have to continue to work and improve in many aspects."
Brentford manager Thomas Frank: "In many ways I was quite satisfied with the performance, we were brave and tried to create and build on the ball. We lacked the final top quality to create a lot of big chances.
"We were very brave off the ball. We lost to a better team on the day. Despite being brave, if we want to win a game like this then we can never, ever concede a set-piece goal. The first goal we need to do better, that is the big moment.
"The second goal definitely, top quality from Tottenham, but we switch off and don't track the runner and bang 2-0. We will learn from this match, recover quick and then we will be ready for Leeds on Sunday."
Man of the Match - Heung-min Son
Heung-Min Son scored his 75th Premier League goal for Tottenham, and fifth this season; no other Spurs player has scored more than two league goals in 2021-22.
Tottenham host Norwich and Brentford travel to Leeds in the Premier League on Sunday at 2pm.