LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) – Brentford shrugged off an eight-month ban imposed on striker Ivan Toney as Bryan Mbeumo scored twice in a 3-1 win at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday in their penultimate Premier League game of an impressive season.
Harry Kane’s 28th league goal of the campaign, a stunning free kick, put the hosts ahead and they dominated before halftime in their last home game of the season.
But seventh-placed Tottenham’s hopes of qualifying for Europe suffered yet another blow after the break as Cameroonian forward Mbeumo dispatched two clinical left-foot finishes to turn the game on its head in the space of 12 minutes.
It prompted home chants against chairman Daniel Levy, who admitted in his programme notes it had been an “immensely difficult season” for the club and the volume increased when Yoane Wissa wrapped it up for Brentford in the 88th minute.
It was Tottenham’s 14th defeat of the season and they face a crucial summer ahead to halt a worrying decline.
“The summer is a week away, we’ve got a massive game against Leeds but there will be massive decisions to make,” Tottenham stand-in manager Ryan Mason said.
For Thomas Frank’s ninth-place Brentford, a top-half finish is assured and they even have an outside chance of sneaking above Tottenham and qualifying for Europe.
Tottenham have 57 points from 37 games, a point behind sixth-placed Brighton & Hove Albion who have a game in hand. Brentford, who host leaders Manchester City next week, have 56.
Toney, whose 20 goals make him the second highest English scorer in the Premier League this season behind Kane, was banned this week for more than 200 breaches of the FA’s betting rules.
He will not be able to play again until January 2024, a hole Brentford will seek to fill this summer, but on Saturday they made light of his absence.
“Mbeumo hasn’t been rewarded with enough goals. Last year I think he hit the post seven times — crazy! — so I’m glad that two great finishes hit the back of the net,” Frank said.
Kane’s Tottenham future is in doubt and he trudged off at the final whistle to applause from the fans before re-appearing to make a lap of the pitch with his wife and children, as did Tottenham’s Champions League hero Lucas Moura who fought back the tears as he waved a final goodbye to the fans.
If England captain Kane decides to take his scoring boots to pastures new next season after scoring 211 Premier League goals for Tottenham, at least he signed off at home in style.
Kane sent an unstoppable curling right-foot free kick past David Raya in the eighth minute and Tottenham should have built on their lead with Emerson Royal denied by a superb clearing header by the outstanding Rico Henry.
Brentford were much brighter after the break and equalised when Wissa played in Mbeumo who cut inside Ben Davies and whipped a low shot past Fraser Forster.
The goal was the 60th Tottenham have conceded in the league this season, making it only the second time in a 38-game Premier League season that a team has scored and conceded at least 60, matching the feat they achieved in 2007-08.
Mbeumo struck again with a similar finish soon after, this time from Aaron Hickey’s pass, and when Oliver Skipp got caught in possession and Mbeumo picked out Wissa to score Tottenham’s misery was complete.