Tottenham midfielder James Maddison and Brentford striker Neal Maupay were embroiled in a war of words following a feisty London derby on Wednesday.
Maupay had been Spurs’ chief tormentor, bundling in the opener and winding up his hosts by performing Maddison’s darts-themed goal celebration as Brentford held a half-time lead at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
But, with the help of two half-time substitutes, Tottenham came flying out of the blocks in the second half, with goals from Destiny Udogie, Brennan Johnson and Richarlison turning the game around. The turnaround even gave Maddison the chance to respond to Maupay with his own darts celebration.
Speaking to TNT Sports, Maddison said: “He probably hasn’t scored enough goals in the last couple of years for his own celebration, so he probably had to copy mine!”
Posting on Instagram shortly after the match, Maupay said: “Gutted we couldn’t get the win. More goals and less relegations in my career than James Maddison. We go again Monday Bees.”
Ange: Maybe the players should get in a UFC cage!
Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou joked his players should take on Brentford’s in a UFC cage rather than push and shove on a football pitch – but was pleased with the character of his team when they put that bickering to one side and blew their opponents away at the start of the second half.
“We started the game well and with good intensity and good tempo,” he said. “They scored and then we lost our way. We just lost the focus. I was a bit frustrated with our inability to stay disciplined. And it was just too many stops, starts and it kind of plays into their hands. We spent more time talking to the referee than playing the game.
“Second half, for 25, 30 minutes we were outstanding. We scored three great goals, should have had a couple more. We gave a goal away which gives a little impetus to their game. From our perspective, great character shown by the lads to get a win.”
On the scuffles and darts celebrations, he said: “I’m not a fan of it. I don’t like the whole bravado and pushing people around. If they’re that brave about things, my players and their players, get into a UFC cage and I’ll see how brave they are. We’re out there to play football and that’s what I want our guys to focus on. We got sucked in in the first half, second half was much better.”
Brentford boss Thomas Frank dismissed any suggestion Tottenham would complain about the antics of his players.
“If they’re talking about darts celebration winding them up, then they have an issue,” he said.
Instead, he was left to rue what he called a “10-minute blackout” from his side at the start of the second half which cost them the match.
“Except for a 10 minute blackout we did very well,” he said. “That is frustrating. We always aim to play the perfect game and I think we were very close. First half was almost perfect. Very aggressive in high pressure, and low block. Very good transitions, scored a very good goal, had three or four other opportunities. We were on top. They had the ball more.
“Second half, the first goal is one player around four of our players and the ricochet drops for him. Second goal, we can’t concede on our kick-off. And third was a ricochet dropping. Very pleased with character and way they kept fighting. We scored and in the end close to equalise. We see them change to a back five, I don’t think I’ve seen them do that in the whole season, so they must respect us.”
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