Tottenham Hotspur vs Leeds United

Tottenham start the new year with a 3-0 win against Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds side, as they jump to third in the Premier League table behind Manchester United and Liverpool.

The home side began the game eighth in the Premier League table, after the postponement of their game against Fulham on Wednesday evening.

With Leeds sitting in a solid 11th place and coming off a 5-0 thumping of West Brom four days prior.

Mourinho switched formation once again for Spurs after the 1-1 draw against Wolves, retreating to a 4-2-3-1.

These changes saw Sergio Reguilon and Davinson Sanchez replaced for Steven Berwijn and Toby Alderweireld.

Leeds on the other hand kept the same 11 that played on Tuesday at the Hawthorns – with Luke Ayling captaining the side.

The game kicked-off with Leeds pressing from the start.

Their hard work and determination saw an early chance fall to Ezgjan Alioski – who was playing at left-back.

His left-footed strike however, hit the side netting, deceiving the eyes of the viewers as it seemed to bulge the back of the net.

An early scare for Tottenham, who had barely touched the ball in the first few minutes.

Leeds continued their early pressure, and Spurs – as they have done all season – sat back and soaked it in.

Manchester City loanee, Jack Harrison, found space on the left again and whipped in a wonderful cross, but the attackers were unable to meet the ball.

Mourinho’s men were finally able to get a foothold on the game after 10 minutes and began to create their own opportunities.

The formidable Kane and Son partnership linked up in the 16th minute, resulting in a left footed shot being drilled over the bar by the Englishman.

And Tanguy Ndombele also found Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the box after a wiggling run, but the Danish international could only find the hands of Illan Meslier in the United goal.

However in the 29th minute, Meslier was not so lucky.

After a poor clearance that found Harry Winks, Tottenham’s number eight played in Bergwijn.

The Macedonian Alioski was on the wrong side of the Dutchman and clipped his leg, conceding a penalty.

Up stepped Harry Kane – who had just become a father for the third time.

His calm head and confidence saw Meslier dive to the right, with Kane placing the ball down the middle.

A goal for his new-born son Louis, put his team 1-0 up.

Despite conceding, the Yorkshire side continued their high intenseness, something that Bielsa has implemented so well into the newly promoted team.

Spurs could only create a half chance from Steven Bergwijn, who spun his defender and fired over.

Whilst Leeds dominated possession but were unable to break the Spurs backline.

Their best opportunity being a Jack Harrison shot from the edge of the box, which fired just off target and over the crossbar.

In the 43rd minute, Eric Dier mishit a clearance and Patrick Bamford found himself one-on-one with Alderweireld.

Unfortunately for the 27-year-old, his curled shot was easily caught by the goalkeeper, who was quick to start an attack.

His kick forward found its way to Harry Kane, who only had to look up once to find his attack partner.

A beautifully low curved cross found the feet of Heung-Min Son, who cleverly tapped the ball towards the near post and under the young goalkeeper, Meslier.

Another link-up between Kane and Son, puts them level with Chris Sutton and Alan Shearer for the record of most combinations for goals in a season – with 13 – and there is still over half a season to play.

The South Korean captain also scored his 100th goal for Tottenham, making him the first non-British or Irish player to ever do so for the North London club.

At half time, the home side led 2-0.

Although there were chances for Leeds United, Spurs showed their class in both defence and attack.

The away side began the second half rapidly, and pushed forward, piling pressure onto their opponent’s defence.

But unlike the beginning of the first half, the team in white answered back quickly.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg won a free kick just inside the away side’s half.

His quick thinking helped him find Tanguy Ndombele, who was in acres of space on the edge of the box, and the Frenchman forced a save from his fellow countryman, resulting in a corner for Tottenham.

The set-piece taken by Heung-Min Son found the head of Toby Alderweireld – whose last goal came in a 2-1 victory against Arsenal.

Once again, Meslier was beaten and despite his efforts could not prevent the ball from going over the line.

A first of the season for the Belgian defender, who made it 3-0 to Tottenham in the 50th minute.

Jose Mourinho’s team continued to attack the Leeds United goal, with the best opportunity coming from a Steven Bergwijn strike.

However, Illan Meslier made a terrific save with his right hand, preventing even more devastation for his team.

The rest of the second half saw Bielsa’s men holding the ball in Spurs’ half, but unable to capitalise on any opportunities.

Raphinha forced a save from Hugo Lloris, but it was comfortable for the 34-year-old.

With three minutes of added time, the win was all but confirmed for Tottenham Hotspur.

However, Matt Doherty’s silly challenge on Pablo Hernandez, saw referee David Coote give the Republic of Ireland fullback a second yellow.

A bittersweet end to an otherwise fantastic display for Tottenham, and Mourinho seemed unimpressed with his summer signing – following the red card.

Overall, Spurs performed brilliantly against a tough Leeds side, who were very intense and created a lot of goal scoring opportunities.

Another clean sheet this season, sees the home side jump to third in the Premier League table with another home tie coming up on Tuesday.

Tottenham will host Championship club Brentford in the Semi-finals of the Carabao Cup.

A win will see them in their first final since the Champions League final against Liverpool in 2019.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: