February 1, 2024

This was the best darts match since the World Championships down the road at Alexandra Palace.


Brentford striker Neal Maupay is the Premier League’s arch wind-up merchant – and yet his antics backfired spectacularly as he only succeeded in winding up Tottenham. Maupay celebrated his opener by mocking James Maddison’s famous darts celebration but it was the Tottenham midfielder who ended up having the last laugh.


Tottenham duly turned the game on its head with Destiny Udogie, Brennan Johnson and Richarlison all on target at the start of the second half. And the latter two both duly celebrated with darts celebrations of their own much to the delight of court jester Maddison who loved it all.


Tottenham’s win moves them back into the Champions League places while another defeat leaves Brentford just four points above the drop zone ahead of facing Manchester City on Monday


Maddison, making his first start after four months out through injury, poked fun at Maupay afterwards and also claimed that Tottenham are still in the title race.


Maddison said: “I said to him, he probably hasn’t scored enough goals of his own in the last few years, so he had to copy my celebration. I don’t think the gaffer wants to put a limit on it, there’s no ceiling because there’s more chance of something special happening.


“We’re three points behind second place, so let’s not put a ceiling on it, let’s take it game by game. We could go on a run, if you don’t believe something special can happen, then nothing can ever happen.”


Maupay and Toney pulled out a darts celebration

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou was happy with the win but insisted his players should not have been fired up by the antics.


Postecoglou said: “I’m not a fan of it, I don’t like the whole bravado, pushing people around. We’re out there to play football. And that’s what I want our guys to do, focus on playing football.”


Brentford boss Thomas Frank said: “Except for the 10-minute black-out, we played a very good game. I’m not worried. We just beat Forest with a good performance, we lost today with a better performance.”


Brentford surprised everyone by going ahead after 15 minutes when Ivan Toney’s shot was saved by Tottenham keeper Guglielmo Vicario but Maupay was on hand to force home the rebound and duly made his darts celebration to wind up Maddison.


Tottenham went in at half time frustrated. Postecoglou made a double change at half time, bringing on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Johnson and the Tottenham boss duly looked like a tactical genius when the game quickly turned on its head.


Tottenham came from behind to record an important win

Tottenham came from behind to record an important win ( Image: Alex Morton/Tottenham Hotspur FC/REX/Shutterstock)

They were level after 48 minutes when Timo Werner set up Udogie whose first effort was blocked but the Spurs full back scored from the rebound. Just one minute and 12 seconds later, Tottenham were in front as Johnson scored from Werner’s cross.


Richarlison got his seventh in as many Premier League games when he scored after Maddison’s shot was blocked and Spurs were in cruise control. But Udogie made it interesting with a suicidal back pass to play in Toney who scored to set up a grandstand finish but Spurs held on.

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