|LEEDS UNITED 1 (0)||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 4 (1)|
|Date : – Sunday 28th May 2023||Kick off : – 15.30|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Elland Road|
|Crowd : – 36,871|
|Referee : – Anthony Taylor (Manchester)||Linesmen : – Mr. Gary Beswick; Mr. Adam Nunn|
|Fourth official : – David Webb|
|VAR official : – Michael Salisbury||VAR Assistant : – Neil Davies|
|Weather : – Sunny, warm|
|Leeds United kicked off the first half attacking the Norman Hunter Stand end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 9 minutes
|LEEDS UNITED||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR|
|Harrison 66m 47s||Kane 01m 31s|
|Porro 46m 19s|
|Kane 68m 33s|
|Moura 90+4m 15s|
|Struijk (pulling back Lenglet) 9||–|
|Wober (foul on Kulusevski) 14|
|Cooper (foul on Son) 56|
|LEEDS UNITED||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR|
|10.||Joel ROBLES||20.||Fraser FORSTER|
|21.||Pascal STRUIJK ( 7. Brenden AARONSON 59)||12.|| Emerson ROYAL
|39.||Max WOBER ( 3. Junior FIRPO 59)||6.||Davinson SANCHEZ|
|16.||Liam COOPER||34.||Clement LENGLET|
|25.||Rasmus CRISTENSEN||33.||Ben DAVIES|
|23.||Pedro PORRO ( 27. Lucas MOURA 90+1 )|
|11.||Jack HARRISON ( 29. Wilfried GNOTO 88)||38.||Yves BISSOUMA ( 51. Matthew CRAIG 77)|
|5.||Robin KOCH||4.||Oliver SKIPP ( 77. George ABBOTT 90+1)|
|4.||Adam FORSHAW||7.||Heung-Min SON ( 9. RICHARLISON 76)|
|28.||Weston McKENNIE ( 24. Georgino RUTTER 60 )|
|21.||Dejan KULUSEVSKI ( 29. Pape Matar SARR 67 )|
|19.||RODRIGO||10.||Harry KANE (c)|
|1.||Illan MESLIER||40.||Brandon AUSTIN|
|8.||Marc ROCA||25.||Japhet TANGANGA|
|10.||Crysencio SOMMERVILLE||16.||Arnaut DANJUMA|
|42.||Sam GREENWOOD||58.||Yago SANTIAGO|
= Assist = Goal scored = Own goal scored
|Temporary Manager : – Sam Allardyce||Acting Manager : – Ryan Mason|
|Kit Supplier : – adidas||Kit Supplier : – Nike|
|Shirt Sponsor : – SBOTop||Shirt Sponsor : – AIA
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – Wish||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch
|Colours : –||Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
|A winning end to a poor season came when Spurs relegated Leeds United with a 4-1 win at Elland Road.
Leeds acting manager Sam Allardyce set out his team with a back five and a defender in midfield, so it meant that the win they needed would have to be hard earned. It was a bit strange seeing Robbie Keane on the opposition bench as one of the Leeds coaches. In contrast, Tottenham’s acting manager Ryan Mason put out a 4-4-2 formation with Kulusevski and Kane up top, but it was pretty fluid, having Bissouma and Skipp to shore things up in midfield with Son and Porro outside them. With Romero and Dier out injured, Davinson Sanchez was restored to the side to counter the aerial threat that Allardyce’s sides seem to thrive on. Davies on the left and Royal on the right flanked Sanchez and Lenglet in the middle.
Spurs were hoping for Brighton to beat Villa to scrape into the Europa Conference, while Leeds’ survival hopes banked on a victory here and defeats all round for their nearest rivals at the bottom of the table.
A 23 pass move when Son intercepted a pass by Rodrigo created the opening goal in just 91 seconds. Working play across the pitch with little pressure on the ball, Spurs had time and space to open up the five man Leeds defence. A pass up the right to the corner of the penalty area from Emerson Royal caught out Struijk, who thought it was going to run on, but the long grass held it up, allowing Pedro Porro to nip in front of him. A short pass into the middle of the 18 yard line to Son let our number 7 slide the ball to his left, where Leeds had made the mistake of leaving Harry Kane on his own and with his right foot, he swept the ball across and over the dive of Robles to send the ball into the net. It was not the start that Leeds fans had hoped for, even though their fate was in the hands of other clubs, but could Spurs make the most of the quick start they had made ? With defending like this, it was not hard to see why Leeds were where they were in the table.
Leeds stirred and in the seventh minute, Koch had an uncontested diving header around the penalty spot from Rodrigo’s ball in, but he only managed to put the ball three yards wide, when he really should have got it on target at least. Weston McKennie, who Spurs were interested in signing on loan in January, caused some problems with his long-throws, but Spurs dealt with those and the balls Leeds crossed into the box. Apart from a couple of Leeds players being booked for fouls when Tottenham players got away from them, not a lot happened as the home team lacked a finisher. Spurs did hit Leeds on the counter, when Kulusevski broke free, but his pass to Son on his left was a little short and it was taken off him. However, Porro charged down Struijk’s clearance and fortunately for Leeds, the ball spun through to the keeper just before Pedro could reach it. Leeds did have a strike on goal after 21 minutes, which Sanchez did well to deflect wide off his knee after a good hit from Forshaw, but the corner cleared everyone and when it was recycled, an aimless ball went off for a goal-kick.
It was 26 minutes ito the game when Spurs had their second shot on goa and it was Kane again, found by Kulusevski, but his left foot shot was partially blocked by Cooper and it spun into the keeper’s hands. Meanwhile, Struijk was having a bot of a nightmare, as a ball came in and over Royal to hit the Leeds defender on the head and balloon over the top. If he had been aware, he might have been able to make Forster work in the Spurs goal. A free-kick for a foul by Harrion on Royal was played in by Son from the right with Davison Sanchez almost getting a foot to it before it went through to Robles. Ten minutes before the break, a Leeds corner was headed up in the air at the near post by Wober and Forster had to push it over as it dropped close to the crossbar. From the following corner, Harrison’s attempt at a short corner fell very short and Spurs broke away, eventually Kane couldn’t quite control Bissouma’s mis-hit shot inside the box.
Koch had another free header, getting on the end of Forshaw’s cross, but put it a foot wide of Forster’s left-hand post and then there was a nervous moment for Spurs, when a free-kick dropped in the box, but two Leeds players got in each other’s way and the danger disappeared as we cleared the ball. It was another long-throw that gave Leeds another chance as the game ticked into first half stoppage time, with Ayling’s flick-on giving Rodrigo a header which he put three yards wide. A late corner went to Cristensen at the far post, but his hooked shot went over the top.
When it came to the second half, Spurs started the way they did the first. Ben Davies’ ball from left back found Harry Kane on the halfway line and with a deft touch, he lifted the ball over Cooper, swerved around the referee and slid a pass past the hapless Striujk, who got a touch, but could not stop it reaching Pedro Porro. The Spaniard had to readjust his positioning to collect the ball, but it actually helped him have a better angle to smash a low shot across the keeper and inside the side-netting on the far side of the goal. It was another well-worked goal and was well-taken by Porro, who is settling into the side.
Last week it was the Spurs fans who thought their side was shit, but this week it was the Leeds fans directing the chant at their own team, as other results were condemning them to relegation. Wober’s left wing cross picked out Ayling creeping in around the back and his first effort was blocked by Davies and his second by Lenglet, as he failed to make the most of the opening. Skipp was doing a lot of work up and down the pitch, breaking things up and starting moves, while Sanchez was doing well, blocking a weak Mober shot and Forster had to block a Rodrigo shot with his chest as Harrison crossed beyond his right hand post. After making three substitutions, Rutter won the ball on the edge of the Spurs box and played it right for Harrison to take a touch and fire low across Forster into the far bottom corner before Davies could get to him. It left 25 minutes for Leeds to try and save themselves, although at this stage Everton and Leicester were both winning too.
All hope was crushed for the home fans within a couple of minutes, when Pape Matar Sarr, on for Kulusevski, headed Porro away on the right side and we Kane and Son running at the two Leeds defenders who were left in their own half. Pedro played a pass left to Kane, who controlled with his left foot and then lifted the ball over the diving Robles to find the net inside the far post. Another clinical piece of finishing and a nice move with some precise passing, but it was too easy for Tottenham, with Leeds being very open when they had just got a foothold back into the match.
Leeds were looking to try and make another breakthrough, but Son almost added to the score when a cute pass by Porro put him in the box, but his shot was closed down. There was a pitch invader while Richarlison replaced Sonny and Matthew Craig came on for his debut with Yves Bissouma, who had played very well, making way. There was an opportunity for Rutter, who juggled a ball that fell in the Spurs box, but his volley was rising all the time and flew into the Leeds fans behind the goal, then Spurs were away at the other end with Harry passing the ball between three Leeds defenders for Richarlison to get into the left side of the box, but his shot from an acute angle went through Robles, but he got enough on it to prevent it going anywhere near the goal. The Brazilian striker had another effort from the right when he latched onto a high ball from Sanchez, forcing Robles to dive to his right to push the ball out.
Having given up their self-deprecating songs like “Leeds, Leeds are falling apart again” and “He’s got more fight than you” after the fan had been ejected from the pitch, it was “Glory Glory Hallelujah” that could be heard towards the end of the match from the Tottenham contingent. With the game going into added time at the end of the game, Porro made way for Lucas Moura to have his last few minutes in a Spurs shirt, while George Abbott had his first few minutes in a Spurs shirt replacing Oliver Skipp. Abbott’s first touch was a saving tackle as Firpo looked to be in on Forster and it took the ball wide where Aaronson picked it up and Forster did well to close him down and eventually kick the ball away as the American didn’t know what to do with it. The ref wanted to consult VAR about Abbott’s tackle, but he clearly won the ball.
Four minutes into added time, Lucas Moura rolled back the years. Pape won the ball in midfield and Lucas received a pass from him a yard in the Leeds half on the right wing, he set off on a run that took him past a weak tackle by Cooper as he cut infield and then he ran at the defence, going between Ayling and Koch, before leaving Cristensen wondering which way he was going and he sat the goalkeeper down, putting the ball over Robles, who had dived the wrong way. It was a fantastic goal and was celebrated by the players lifting the Brazilian high into the air. It was a fitting goal to round off his Spurs career and a fitting way to send Leeds off to the Championship. His breath-taking speed and dribbling ability has been much missed this season and will be in the future.
Leeds kicked off, but the match was brought to an end, as the Leeds stewards swarmed around expecting a pitch invasion. If only the Leeds players had moved as quickly. As it was, the last day for the home fans was as damp a squib as much of their season had been, while Spurs finished on a high, but remember, this was against a side who were all but relegated and failed to put up too much of a fight on the day. Allardyce’s much hyped Great Escape failed to materialise, winning only one point from four games and everything you might have expected from a team under his management failed to happen. No in your face closing down, no aggressive tackling and no defensive organisation. Perhaps he is going the same way as Conte and Mourinho, as the dogs who have had their day.
His snide comments after the game about the defeat not owing anything to Tottenham’s talent and skill were totally undone by him going on to say that you can’t present Spurs with the opportunities they had as they will be punished. The fact that all of the Spurs goals were very well crafted and taken belies the fact that Leeds players were unable to stop them. But then 78 times they have failed to stop goals this season and Tottenham were responsible for just over 10% of those.
The biggest disappointment coming out of the season was the first time that we have failed to qualify for Europe for 14 years. It was a slightly happier away day for the Spurs fans than many that they have experienced this season and a fantastic way for Lucas Moura to say goodbye … Let’s hope that Harry Kane’s two goals won’t be his last in a Spurs shirt.
|Aston Villa||2||Brighton & Hove Albion||1|
|Crystal Palace||1||Nottingham Forest||1|
|Leicester City||2||West Ham United London||1|
|South Coast Big Club||4||Liverpool||4|
|Woolwich Wanderers||5||Wolverhampton Wanderers||0|
Premier League Table 2022-23
|6||Brighton & Hove Albion||38||18||8||12||72||53||62||+19|
|14||West Ham United London||38||11||7||20||42||55||40||-13|
|20||South Coast Big Club||38||6||7||25||36||73||25||-37|