Tottenham began life without Harry Kane with an entertaining 2-2 draw at Brentford in the Premier League on Sunday.
All four goals came in an action-filled first half that gave a first indication of what Tottenham will look like without its talismanic striker under new manager Ange Postecoglou.
A day after Kane sealed his move to Bayern Munich, Spurs dominated possession and scored from its only two efforts on target in the first half, and yet still had to come from 2-1 down after being undone defensively on a couple of occasions.
While both teams settled into a more cautious rhythm after the break, the opening 45 minutes of Postecoglou’s reign were enough to show that his underlying tactics will be a far cry from his predecessor Antonio Conte’s defensive rigidity and focus on counterattacks.
And while Spurs couldn’t find a winner, a draw at Brentford could be seen as a positive first step given that Thomas Frank’s team beat Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool at home last season.
The visitors took the lead when James Maddison delivered a pinpoint free kick that was headed in by Cristian Romero in the 11th minute. The defender then had to be taken off, though, after showing signs of a possible concussion following an earlier clash of heads.
Brentford equalized after the hosts were awarded a penalty when Son Heung-min made light contact with Mathias Jensen in the area, and Bryan Mbeumo converted from the spot. Tottenham were exposed defensively again on a counter in the 36th, when Rico Henry delivered a cross to Yoane Wissa, whose shot took a deflection to sneak past Tottenham’s new goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario.
Emerson Royal then leveled for Tottenham in first-half injury time with a one-time shot from outside the area after another assist from Maddison.
Tottenham forward Richarlison, who has the job of filling the shoes of Kane, was largely kept quiet but had a shot saved by Mark Flekken in the second half.