Spurs beat Brentford at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday night, after a 2-0 win and another goal for Heung-min Son.
The victory takes the Lilywhites to sixth in the league and just two points off the top four and with a game in hand, after the fixture against Burnley was postponed due to bad weather.
Not only did Antonio Conte’s side get three points in the midweek match but they also put on a much improved performance than in previous weeks.
It was also Tottenham’s first London derby win of the season after they had suffered four this season, against Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and West Ham.
Whilst Harry Kane still struggled to find the back of the net, Son bagged his fifth goal of the season, making him Tottenham’s top goalscorer so far in the 2020/21 campaign.
With only a few days before fans return to N17 for the Lilywhites’ game against Norwich, football.london take a look at things spotted during the victory over Thomas Frank’s side.
Ben Davies’ own goal honesty
The first goal for Spurs game in the 12th minute of the game and the players gathered around Ben Davies to congratulate him, as well as the stadium announcement awarding the goal to the defender.
However, soon after and after fans had watched the replay, they realised it was not the Welshman’s goal and ended up in the back of the Brentford net after a comical mistake.
Son crossed the ball into the box and Pontus Jansson got his head on it, but it then came off Sergi Canos’ head and went passed Alvaro Fernandez and into the back of the net.
In his interview with Tottenham after the game, Davies admitted that he knew it wasn’t his goal.
“I was trying to be a nuisance. I was nowhere near it to be honest,” he said. “I was surprised that was where it ended up but everybody here seemed to think it was mine, so it was alright.”
Oliver Skipp masterclass
The standout performance of the night was arguably Skipp, who was praised by fans and Conte alike after the match.
“Today [Thursday] he played well,” Conte admitted. “We’re talking about an important prospect and I’m very happy for him, but now he has to continue in this way.”
After a successful loan at Norwich last season, the 21-year-old has returned to north London and broken straight into the regular starting XI.
Playing alongside Pierre Emile Hojbjerg, the duo have created a shield in front of the Spurs defence. Despite criticism in recent times for their lack of attacking flare, on Thursday both had moments where they would work to get forward and help their teammates in the attacking half of the pitch.
With Skipp still learning his trade, he has a number of years of development ahead of him and if he continues in the form he is currently in, he could become even more of a crucial player for the Lilywhites.
After Japhet Tanganga had started the previous two fixtures under the Italian manager, it was Davinson Sanchez who got the nod at right centre-back on Thursday.
In the embarrassing 2-1 against NS Mura, both defenders played 90 minutes in the back three but the Colombian produced arguably one of the worst performances of the night, with his poor defending contributing to both goals for the opposition.
However, Conte favoured Sanchez over the Englishman against the Bees but may begin to question his choice after another far from impressive display from the 25-year-old against Brentford, despite starting the attack for the second goal.
Tanganga did get some game time at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but this time replaced Emerson Royal, playing in a right wing-back position.
Yet again Joe Rodon didn’t get any match minutes and wasn’t even in Conte’s squad for the London derby. The Welsh defender has been unlucky not to get more of a chance at Spurs, as when given the opportunity to impress, he hasn’t done much wrong.
If Sanchez fails to step up in his performances whilst Cristian Romero is out injured, it could lead Conte to either continue giving Tanganga a chance or allow Rodon the opportunity to prove why he should be considered in the starting XI.
Improvements at both ends
There are a number of areas that still need working on at Spurs, but with the arrival of Conte just a few weeks ago, there have already been improvements evident on and off the pitch.
One main concern at Tottenham was a lack of goals and they are still in the bottom three for Premier League goals scored this season.
The Lilywhites have even gone full games without a shot on target but that is one improvement that has been seen, as Conte’s side had 11 shots and six on target on Thursday night – which resulted in two goals.
Son’s goal came from a counter-attack after Royal won the ball back from and it was then played the whole way down the pitch for the South Korea international to score.
Defensively, Spurs did also have work to do, with six Brentford shots and five corners but Davies and Eric Dier were resolute in defence.
This shows at both ends of the field that Conte seems to already be having an impact and improvements are already being seen, leading to positive results.
Desire from players
A lack of energy and fight has arguably been shown in a number of games so far this season, particularly in London derbies, but Thursday’s fixture indicated that Conte’s arrival has turned this around.
Desire is one work the Italian boss used to describe the improved display of his Tottenham side after the victory over Thomas Frank’s side.
“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, great desire to win,” Conte said in his post-match press conference.
The 52-year-old is a serial winner, previously winning league titles at Chelsea, Juventus and Inter Milan and Tottenham will be hoping he can find similar success in N17 and end Spurs’ 13 year trophy drought.
Although the display on the pitch has to include the quality to score goals on a regular basis, having the fight and determination to get results can only contribute to solving that issue.
Overall it was a much better performance at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium than has been seen in a number of games so far this season and Conte will be keen for this improvement to continue.
Spurs’ next fixture is another home match, against Norwich, and with Dean Smith’s side currently 19th in the league, the Italian will be hoping his side can get another three points to help with their continued battle for a top-four spot.