GOAL-SHY Spurs finally found some London pride to show Antonio Conte that maybe this won’t be his biggest challenge after all.
The shell-shocked Italian had been left wondering what he had let himself in for when his team were humiliated by the lowest-ranked team in Europe’s lowest-ranked competition last week.
But their first two-goal Premier League win of the season suggested that perhaps things are not quite as bad as they might have seemed.
Yet it still required a helping hand from Brentford defender Sergi Canos to help Spurs end a run of five successive derby defeats.
And it was only when Heung Min-Son struck midway through the second-half that Conte was really able to relax.
So with the benefit of hindsight, maybe it was a good thing for the new boss that Sunday’s trip to Burnley was snowed off.
Because it allowed him another few days on the training ground to get last week’s Europa Conference League humiliation out of the system.
That shock defeat by NS Mura had been a real eye-opener for the new coach who probably hadn’t truly appreciated the size of the job he was taking on before then.
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Only three members of that Slovenian horror show survived the cull for Brentford’s visit as Conte made it clear that he would not tolerate a similar performance from his underperforming players.
And there was certainly a real intensity and sense of purpose as Tottenham set out to stamp their authority on this game right from the off.
Lucas Moura drew a smart sixth minute save from Alvaro Fernandez after being played in by Harry Kane.
And when Kane shaped up to break into the box, it took some alert defending from Charlie Goode to avert the threat.
The visitors were struggling to cope as Conte manically urged his team forward from his technical area.
No Premier League team has conceded more early goals this season than Brentford, so it was no surprise when they cracked again after just 13 minutes.
Son swapped passes with Sergio Reguilon at a well-rehearsed short corner routine then raced past Rico Henry to cross into the danger zone.
Pontus Jansson was first to get his nut to the ball but his attempted clearance struck Canos on the forehead and flew past Fernandez.
Ben Davies reeled away trying to claim the credit as he was swamped by jubilant team-mates but it was clearly an own goal by the Brentford wing-back.
Bryan Mbuemo briefly threatened to hit back with a dipping volley from the edge of the area which had Hugo Lloris momentarily worried.
But the Premier League’s newcomers were struggling to get consistent possession and always looked vulnerable to Tottenham’s counter-attacks.
They were fortunate not to fall further behind in the 36th minute when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s header sent Son scampering between a pack of defenders for a shot which Fenandez did well to tip round at full stretch.
The young Spanish keeper really had his work cut out to keep Spurs at bay and seconds later copped a Hojbjerg piledriver full in the face from close range.
So maybe his brains were still scrambled when he made a complete hash of another Son corner and was fortunate that Davinson Sanchez was unable to turn the loose ball home in the ensuing melee.
Conte might have been happy with the way his team had controlled the first-half but couldn’t have been satisfied with their failure to put the game to bed.
He knows that Tottenham will need to be a lot more ruthless in the coming months if they are going to achieve all of his North London ambitions.
Kane spurned another chance when he shot too close to Fernandez after being played in by Oliver Skipp and then fired across the face with Hojbjerg just unable to convert from a tight angle.
But to Tottenham’s credit they never stopped pressing forward as they looked to turn the screw in Brentford’s creaking defence.
And their reward finally arrived in the 65th minute when Kane sent Reguilon racing down the left flank to serve up a simple tap-in for the grateful Son.
Somehow, God only knows how, Spurs are suddenly up to sixth place in the table and not quite the running joke they appeared to be just a week ago.
And with struggling Norwich next up at the Lane on Sunday, it’s not too fanciful to suggest that Conte could be knocking on the door of the top four by Christmas.
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