Tottenham Forced to Settle for Draw as James Maddison Shines with Two Assists

    James Maddison provided two passes to fill the creative void left by the departure of Harry Kane, but Tottenham could only start the Ange Postecoglou era with a 2-2 Premier League draw with Brentford.

    Kane’s departure to Bayern Munich, combined with the four full-time debutants involved in the first season, helped start a new dawn at Spurs, and together with hosts Brentford, they produced an entertainment event in west London.

    New vice-captain Christian Romero gave Tottenham the lead in the 11th minute, but quick efforts by Brian Mbeumo and Joane Wissa turned that Premier League debut upside down.

    Emerson Royal was able to equalize at half-time with another pass from Maddison, who was wearing the number 10 shirt, and despite both teams creating extra chances in the second half, the trophies were shared.

    It’s been a tumultuous period for everyone involved at Tottenham, with Kane starting his trip to Germany on Friday and making his debut for Bayern on Saturday night. By that time, his former club was gone.

    Son Heung-min was confirmed as the new Spurs captain, while Hugo Lloris still had to leave until 1 September, with Postecoglu making several Premier League debuts during his own bow.

    There was a slight delay in the start of the match at Brentford due to sanitation problems at the stadium, but it only took 11 minutes for Tottenham to score the first goal of this new era.

    Maddison scored a free-kick to send fellow vice-captain Romero home, but it proves the World Cup winner’s latest involvement.

    Romero butted heads with Mbeumo five minutes later and despite insisting he could continue, Davinson Sanchez was introduced.

    Brentford began to escalate into affairs and new Tottenham number one Guglielmo Vicario escaped Mbeumo well before Son took over as captain with a low score.

    The Spurs striker caught Matthias Jensen in the penalty area, and although it looked harmless at first glance, VAR told referee Robert Jones to look over the incident with the fieldside monitor, who pointed to the penalty mark.

    With Brentford without Ivan Tony banned due to repeated betting violations, Mbeumo took charge of the penalty and scored the ball 26 minutes later, as did his team mate.

    Nine minutes later, Thomas Frank’s team were in the lead when Rico Henry came too easily behind Emerson on the right and cut the shot when Wissa’s shot was deflected behind Vicario by fellow debutant Mickey Van De Ven.

    Oliver Skipp’s warning at half-time meant that five yellow cards were handed out to guests, including coach Ryan Mason, and these slight delays contributed to adding 11 minutes at the end of the first half.

    Tottenham have had enough time to level up after Emerson shot from 22 yards off a Maddison pass to continue their resurgence after being booed on the field against Aston Villa in early 2023.

    Brentford substitute Mikkel Damsgaard should have made it 3-2 in the 58th minute, but he fired a direct shot at Vicario from 12 yards after the Italian deflected a cross from Vitali Janelt.

    Spurs improved after that, with Son testing Mark Flecken, who had shown a good performance since replacing Arsenal-linked David Rye.

    Flekken equaled Richarlison’s effort in the 64th minute when Maddison eluded the Brazil striker before both managers made numerous substitutions.

    Van De Ven breathed a sigh of relief after the VAR system decided not to intervene when he caught Biz’s replacement Kevin Schade in the penalty area with 12 minutes left.

    And it was the last noteworthy moment of an entertaining opening that showed both sides that there is life without the mascots of Kane and Tony.

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