Spurs drop to fifth after scoreless draw against Brentford
Tottenham Hotspur suffered a setback on Saturday as they were held to a scoreless draw against Brentford, dropping back to fifth position after a lackluster performance, hurting their chances of qualifying for the Champions League.
Tottenham are starting week two of their winless streak after a 1-0 defeat against Brighton on April 16, also having not even been able to register a single shot on target for the last two matches.
With the offensive prowess of Son Heung-min and Harry Kane completely shut down by a strong defense and good goalkeeping, the North London club failed to land a single shot on target during the game on Saturday.
Eleventh-placed Brentford held their own against fifth-place Spurs throughout the game, with possession almost equally divided with Brentford marking 44 percent. Brentford had 15 shots and two shots on target while Tottenham had nine shots and no shots on target.
Saturday’s match at Brentford Community Stadium was quiet in terms of goals but was a feel-good story for football and the Premier League as former Tottenham player Christian Eriksen, now playing for Brentford, was reunited with his former teammates on the pitch after his cardiac arrest last year during Euro 2020.
Last June, Eriksen collapsed on the pitch and went into cardiac arrest just minutes before halftime while representing Denmark against Finland at the UEFA Euros 2020. At full-time on Saturday, there were hugs from former teammates including Son.
For Tottenham, the game's disappointing result comes at a crucial time as the club chases a spot in the Champions League during the final few weeks of the 2021-22 season.
Spurs currently sit in fifth place in the Premier League, four points above Manchester United. Tottenham desperately need to extend their lead if they want to hold on to one of those all-important top-four spots by the end of the season.
Aside from winning the whole thing, a top-four finish is essentially the goal for every Premier League club each season. Finishing in the top four guarantees teams a ticket to the UEFA Champions League, the biggest footballing competition in Europe, while the fifth place team heads to the less-impressive Europa League and the sixth-place team settles for the Europa Conference League.
While Spurs have a mixed history in the continental tournament, the club went though a four-year run from 2016 to 2020 when they played in every tournament. In the 2018-19 season, Tottenham reached the final of the Champions League for the first time in the club's history, losing 2-0 to Liverpool to settle for the runner-up spot. Korean forward Son Heung-min scored four goals in that Premier League campaign.
After two years outside the top four, Spurs are desperate to earn a spot in the Champions League again this season. With Chelsea five points ahead in third place, Arsenal at their side and Manchester United just three points behind, every single game counts for the London club in the last few weeks of the Premier League season.
BY YUN SO-HYANG, JIM BULLEY [email@example.com]