|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 (0)||LEEDS UNITED 1 (1)|
|Date : – 21st November 2021||Kick off : – 16.30|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
|Crowd : – 58,989|
|Referee : – Andre Marriner (West Midlands)||Linesmen : – Mr. Simon Long; Mr. Scott Ledger|
|Fourth official : – Kevin Friend|
|VAR official : – Darren England||VAR Assistant : – Ian Hussin|
|Weather : – Chilly, dry|
|Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Paxton Road end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 7 minutes
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||LEEDS UNITED|
|Hojbjerg 57m 26s||James 43m 41s|
|Reguilon 68m 17s|
|Royal (foul on James) 91||Geldhardt (foul on Dier) 30|
|Forshaw (foul on Kane) 65|
|Cooper (foul on Cooper) 67|
|Phillips (foul on Son) 90+4|
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||LEEDS UNITED|
|1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)||1.||Illan MESLIER|
|25.|| Japhet TANGANGA ( 6. Davinson SANCHEZ 68)
|15.||Eric DIER||6.||Liam COOPER (c)|
|33.||Ben DAVIES||23.||Kalvin PHILLIPS|
|5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG||4.||Adam FORSHAW ( 11. Tyler ROBERTS 72)|
|3.||Sergio REGUILON ( 19. Ryan SESSEGNON 79)||15.||Stuart DALLAS|
|27.||Lucas MOURA ( 20. DELE Alli 88)||43.||Mateusz KLICH ( 3. Junior FIRPO 59)|
|7.||Heung-Min SON||22.||Jack HARRISON|
|10.||Harry KANE||30.||Joe GELDHARDT ( 19. Stuart McKINSTRY 87)|
|22.||Pierluigi GOLLINI||13.||Kristoffer KLAESSON|
|2.||Matt DOHERTY||35.||Charlie CRESSWELL|
|14.||Joe RODON||37.||Cody DRAMEH|
|28.||Tanguy NDOMBELE||45.||Liam McCARRON|
|11.||BRYAN Gil||47.||Jack JENKINS|
|23.||Steven BERGWIJN||42.||Sam GREENWOOD|
|Manager : – Antonio Conte||Manager : – Marcelo Bielsa|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – adidas|
|Shirt Sponsor : – AIA||Shirt Sponsor : – SBOTOP
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – BOXT
| Colours : –
|Colours : –
(Worn with white shorts with three dark blue stripes down side and white socks with three dark blue lines on turnover)
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
|Going in at half-time a goal down and being booed off by a number of the Spurs crowd, Tottenham’s second half performance turned the game around to earn Antonio Conte a first Premier League win by 2-1 over Leeds United.
It was a bit of a shambolic first half for Tottenham, yet another without a shot on target, being unable to break down the defensive set-up Marcelo Bielsa had implemented and finding hard to escape the full pitch press they were putting on our players. There was no out ball that didn’t see a Leeds player right into the back of Kane, Son or Moura, with Struijk the main offender, although referee Marriner didn’t see it that way. If fact, he saw little Tottenham’s way throughout the match and let an awful lot go, without any sort of consistency.
Leeds started the busier of the two sides and were quick to deny the white shirts and space or time on the ball. Their aggressive approach saw Lucas felled by a stray arm from Struijk, which may have been accidental, but the referee failed to stop the game for a head injury. In the seventh minute, Dier headed out a cross and it fell to Stuart Dallas, 22 yards out and he fired it straight back at goal, missing Lloris’ right-hand post by a foot. As Leeds found space in wide positions, the Spurs defence were doing well to deal with the resulting balls into the box. When the visitors did work a short corner routine, it ended with Joe Geldhardt shooting way over the bar from inside the area.
It took 17 minutes for Tottenham to get going forward, with Kane spreading the ball from right to left to give Sergio Reguilon the opportunity to cross that got to Emerson Royal on the far post, but he won a corner. When it came in, it dropped for Reguilon but his shot was blocked by Kalvin Phillips, pulled back from his midfield position to do a man-for-man marking job on Kane. When Leeds broke away, Jack Harrison went down in our box, but it was never a penalty, but there was no move by the ref to book the Leeds man for simulation. Our best chance came halfway through the first half when Son broke away from Llorente and pulled the ball across the box to the penalty area, where Harry Kane was. The ball was slightly behind him and his first touch couldn’t bring the ball under control and it was dealt with by the Leeds back line. We did have a move that kept the ball around the Leeds box, but we could not make anything of it.
After Struijk had kicked our players up in the air a few times, Marriner eventually got his yellow card out, but it was for Geldhardt, who cynically tripped Dier from behind but he was the unlucky recipient for the fouls that had gone before. Just after the half hour a threatening cross from the left into the Spurs box was well intercepted by Ben Davies, while Cooper just got a head on the ball in the Leeds box to prevent Reguilon’s cross finding Harry Kane’s unmarked head at the far post. With five minutes to half-time, nobody closed down Forshaw, who drilled a shot at goal from 25 yards out and it missed as narrowly as Dallas’ effort earlier.
In the minute before half-time, Harrison out-muscled Royal on the Leeds left and put in a great across the six yard box that gave James the simple task of putting the ball into the net from a few yards out. It was no only a bad time to conceded, but there should have been someone in the box to cut out the ball across. You couldn’t really say that Leeds weren’t worth their goal, so, without so much as a save drawn from Meslier, the boos rang out as the teams left the field at the end of the first half.
It was like a different Spurs team that came out for the second 45 minutes. Within a minute, a misjudgement by Llorente, who jumped under a bouncing ball, allowed Lucas to get the ball down and he slipped the ball through to Kane in the right hand channel of the box. He took a touch and then drilled the ball under Meslier, who got a touch on it and deflected the ball onto the post before it was put behind for a corner by a defender. Inside 45 seconds of the restart, we had been more dangerous than the preceding 45 minutes. However, Leeds responded within a minute and James got away on the Leeds right, came inside and from right of the goal poked a shot that might have crept inside Lloris’ right-hand post, but the keeper dived to his right to push the ball away for a corner. This brought four successive corners, but while it wasn’t possible for the Spurs defence to clear them effectively, they were working hard to protect the goal.
With 50 minutes gone, Spurs came close to scoring again, but still without a shot on target. Lucas lifted a clever ball over the Leeds defence to find Son inside the box to the right of the goal but with his back to goal. He chested the ball down and swivelled to hit a volley that looked as though it was going across goal (Kane and Reguilon were lurking at the far post), but it hit Llorente and cannoned out off the crossbar with the keeper left helpless by the deflection. Son was now looking lively and when Kane sent him into the box, he went down under Phillips’ challenge, but Marriner wasn’t interested and nor were VAR. It led to a bit of pushing and shoving as Son was accused of diving, but the game continued and it was Leeds’ turn to attack, with Geldhardt testing Lloris form the left, with the Spurs captain equal to it with a good save and then the same player got onto a blocked James shot and drove a hard shot from just inside the box, but Hugo was right behind the low drive.
It was in the 58th minute that Spurs finally got a shot on target. Reguilon put in a cross to the near post that Kane went for with his head and so did a defender, with the ball dropping in front of them. Moura was onto it quickly, but the keeper forced him to turn away from goal and he turned to pick out a pass to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, just inside the box and he hit a shot into the ground that bounced away from the keeper and into the bottom left-hand side of his goal. It was a relief that Spurs had finally scored and it came at a time when Leeds were starting to tire and lose their shape in the defensive set-up.
The game started to swing Tottenham’s way and the attacks were stretching Leeds wide and balls into the box were now troubling Leeds. Ben Davies popped up on the end of one of them, running in form the left, but Llorente did just enough to unbalance him without giving away a penalty to make sure his shot would only be blocked by Meslier. The visitors were getting ragged and desperate, with Forshaw booked for rugby tackling Kane and then, when Moura broke through, Cooper took him out on the edge of the D. He saw yellow too and when the free-kick was lined up, Eric Dier took it. H e looked to dip it over the wall, but Struijk deflected it, the ball hit Meslier’s right-hand post, bouncing across goal to where Reguilon had followed in and he side-footed home from the middle of the six-yard box with Meslier still trying to recover from being sent the wrong way. It was a turn-around that didn’t look likely after the first half, but Tottenham had capitalised on the opportunities they produced, while Leeds wasted a lot of good openings.
Leeds set about trying to find an equaliser and from a corner, substitute Junior Firpo shot at goal, but it was blocked and it fell for Geldhardt to shoot, but it hit Harry Kane, with desperate shouts for a penalty for handball from the away players. This time VAR did have a look and a long look, but eventually decided that Kane’s arm had not been in an unnatural position when the ball came off his body and onto it. A Leeds corner was won in the air, but Hugo grasped it above his head to save.
With ten minutes left, Reguilon was replaced with Ryan Sessegnon and it was great to see him out there. He has had a torrid time with injuries since joining and showed with one run that he could give Spurs another choice in the attacking left position, as he put in a dangerous waist-high cross. but it had a bit too much pace on it for the Spurs players making their way into the box. Sonny had a shot from just outside the box that flew a foot or so wide and there were late bookings for Royal (slightly harsh) and Phillips (long over-due) before the final whistle sounded on match and three valuable points for Spurs that leaves Leeds pinned just above the relegation places.
You can see why Leeds are where they are. The way that Bielsa makes his team play has been shown that they do tire, as they press incessantly to begin with and mark man-for-man, but they need to take the chances they make at this level. The season before they were promoted, they dropped down the table alarmingly, as the effort required took it’s toll and the Covid break helped them recover mid-season in the Premier, but even Conte’s regime is hard, with Reguilon describing training during international week as the worst of his life and that he was so tired when he came off in this match. Whether that is because the training was not physical enough under Mourinho and Nuno I don’t know, but the fitter that they are, the more they will be able to affect games towards the end of the 90 minutes, as Pochettino proved. Leeds have been hit by injuries and perhaps we were lucky that Raphinha wasn’t playing, as he is a real threat, but it may be testing the depth of their squad, with lots of Under-23s on the bench and as the season goes on, those injuries and Bielsa’s methods might cause them to struggle, especially against the teams near the top of the table.
Hojbjerg was his usual terrier-like self, while Lucas looked like the one most likely to create something … until he got brought down, as he did for the free-kick that led to the winning goal. Son and Kane tried hard, but it wasn’t working for them today. Emerson did well going forward, but got beaten for the Leeds goal and picked up a booking for less than some Leeds players did. The real hero today was Hugo Lloris, who made four or five very good saves to keep Spurs hanging on in the game. His contribution often gets over-looked when goals are going in at the other end, but he certainly lead by example.
Ben Davies had a really good game, playing in on the left of a three man defence – a position he is accustomed to in the Wales side. Regi looked good going forward and tracked back to get behind the ball when Leeds were on the attack, with Dier marshalling the back three that had included Japhet Tanganga, who had a solid match. It is strange how people view the game. Everyone has there own idea on what has happened, but the calls for Winks to leave the club, when he did nothing more or less than Kane or Son, both of whose first touch was loose today, just goes to show that he will follow in the long line of work-man like midfielder who will be the butt of the crowd’s dislike. He’s not Glenn Hoddle, he’s not Luka Modric, but not too long ago he was “one of our own”.
When the substitutions were made, it was good to see Ryan Sessegnon get some playing time. He looked a little bit hesitant, but once he got the ball at his feet, he looked like he would be a good option on the left, while Davinson Sanchez was all over the Leeds attacks, winning the ball in the air and on the ground. Dele didn’t really have much time to make an impact, but it appears that Conte is willing to give him a chance.
A win, but there is still a lot for Conte to sort out, but maybe the second half showed a little of what might be achievable.
The Heathrow Spur
|Sergio Reguilon made his 50th Spurs appearance.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg made his 50th Premier League appearance for Spurs.
100th time we have played Leeds United.
|Aston Villa||2||Brighton & Hove Albion||0|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||1||West Ham United London||0|
|Norwich City||2||South Coast Big Club||1|
Premier League Table 2021-22
|4||West Ham United London||12||7||2||3||23||14||23||+9|
|9||Brighton & Hove Albion||12||4||5||3||12||14||17||-2|
|13||South Coast Big Club||12||3||5||4||11||14||14||-3|