Brentford 2 Tottenham 2: Harry Kane scores on comeback from World Cup heartbreak with England as Prem returns with bang | The Sun

THIS was a short story of two strikers going some way to exorcising their respective World Cup demons.

Harry Kane may never really get over ballooning that penalty against France in England’s quarter-final defeat.


But instantly getting back on the horse here with an instinctive header to spark Spurs’ comeback will have helped ease the pain.

Ivan Toney’s problems could well amount to much more than being cruelly left out of Gareth Southgate’s Qatar party, given his FA charge for 262 alleged breaches of betting regulations.

If found guilty he could face a long ban.

Yet bigger teams may well still fancy a punt on the 26-year-old once the saga is put behind him because he is such a good player, as he proved again here.

After netting a double in the Bees’ famous win at Manchester City before the mid-season break, he was on the scoresheet again here, adding to Vitaly Janelt’s opener.

Thomas Frank looked to be cruising to another big-boy scalp two days after signing a fresh five-year deal as Brentford boss.

But Kane’s record TENTH Premier League goal on Boxing Day got Antonio Conte’s men back in it.

Then Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg set up a thrilling finish with a well-taken leveller as Tottenham once again fought back from falling behind.

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It may be six weeks on from their last competitive game – a 4-3 feast-for-the-fans victory over Leeds – but little seems to have changed when it comes to Spurs’ slow starts.

This was the NINTH match in a row they conceded the first goal and the fifth on the trot they were trailing at the break.

Yet Conte’s men did not start too badly and Kane looked like a man on a mission to impress.

When Son Heung-min was chopped down by Ben Mee on the edge of the area, Kane instantly grabbed the ball for the free-kick.

That was despite failing to convert his previous 48 free-kick attempts in a surprisingly poor run for the great striker.

That was extended to 49 here, although to be fair it was much better than his last set-piece – that skied spot-kick against the Les Bleus – and may well have been going in were it not for it nicking the edge of the wall.

Then Brentford made the breakthrough, almost out of nothing.

Toney sparked it with a clever flicked header down the left to Bryan Mbeumo, whose floated cross was met by Mathias Jensen.

The Dane’s shot was not particularly powerful.

But Fraser Forster – starting ahead of defeated finalist Hugo Lloris, who only returned to Spurs training on Christmas Day – was weak with his attempted save, which rebounded to Janelt who could not miss.

Toney had the ball in the net just before the break, cleanly rounding Forster and converting, but it was ruled out for offside.

He only had to wait nine minutes after the interval to notch though for a goal Eric Dier will not want to watch back.

The England defender grimaced as he sliced a routine clearance out for a corner.

Christian Norgaard flicked on the resulting set-piece at the near post and there was Toney to fire in the loose ball from six yards.

Given what both Kane and Toney have been through of late, they had to expect a bit of taunting from the crowd.

So it came when a section of the home support cruelly told Kane he had “let his country down”.

That sparked boos from the travelling fans, who then asked Toney “What are the odds?” and informed the ex-Newcastle man he was “getting sacked in the morning”.

Conte was staring down the barrel at a fourth defeat in six league games.

But then again, his side can never be written off as they have so often dug themselves out of holes this season.

So it proved again, with Kane grabbing one back on 65 minutes.

Clement Lenglet fired in a brilliant cross but the header was even better.

England’s joint-record scorer fought off Mee and guided the ball back towards the far corner, giving David Raya no chance whatsoever.

It clinched him yet another record by reaching double figures for Boxing Day Premier League goal strikes and moved him to within four of Jimmy Greaves unbeaten haul of 266 Spurs goals.

Six minutes later the scores were level thanks to Hojbjerg’s fifth of the season.

Kane, Hojbjerg and Dejan Kulusevski played a neat move on the edge of Brentford’s box before the latter teed up Hojbjerg to lash into the corner.

Toney was hoping he would have a penalty to win it late on when Mbeumo went down in the box.

But referee David Coote spotted the Frenchman’s shocking dive and rightly awarded a free-kick as well as a yellow card.

Comeback man Kane almost won it at the death when heading against the crossbar from another Lenglet delivery.

In the end the shares were spoiled – with Kane and Toney picking up as if nothing had happened over the last 44 days.

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