Tottenham – Leeds was a strange game as Spurs were clinical and Leeds were not, and that is why the hosts ran out comfortable winners.
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After plenty of pressure from Leeds throughout, Harry Kane and Heung-min Son finished chances in the first half, then Toby Alderweireld finished the game off early in the second half.
Spurs’ Matt Doherty was sent off in stoppage time as he received a a second yellow card.
With the win Tottenham moved to 29 points and momentarily to third place, while Leeds remain on 23 points.
Three things we learned
1. Kane, Son partnership will smash records: They have equaled the PL’s single-season record (13) for linking up for goals and they have only played 16 of the 38 games this season. That is amazing. Kane found Son with a perfect ball, and Son’s run was perfect. The telepathy is exceptional and Kane and Son will go down as one of the great partnerships in Premier League history. The way they’ve combined over the last 12 months has been mind-boggling.
2. Leeds’ giveaways caused own problems: They had so many good chances and were a real threat, especially early on, but they were their own worst enemies. Marcelo Bielsa fell over in his famous crouching position when they went 3-0 down following yet another set piece goal they conceded. He wouldn’t have been surprised because he keeps asking his Leeds players to play the same way, no matter what, and although they brush aside teams lower down the table, they will come unstuck against the more intelligent PL teams at the top. Kane and Son ruthlessly exposed Leeds and Bielsa, and other top teams will until they get a huge upgrade on their playing squad. Leeds won’t get much higher than top 10 until they become more defensively sound. They are missing defensive players through injury, but they would still play this way with them in the team. More pragmatism is needed to get to the next level of pushing for Europe.
3. Mourinho’s plan works better against open teams: Spurs once again showed they are very happy to let other teams push forward and take the initiative. They look more comfortable playing against teams who are pushing forward all game long and are perfectly set up to counter and make the most of space on the break. This win, and the wins at home against Man City and Arsenal, are perfect examples of that. In recent games Spurs went 1-0 up and sat back, but that was against team who were willing to do something similar and not leave Spurs space on the counter to hurt them. Leeds, and more attack-minded teams higher up the table, will give Tottenham the space on the counter they crave and Mourinho’s plan works perfectly then. Figuring out how to break down deep defensive teams is their next big challenge.
Man of the Match: Harry Kane – Brilliant pass for Son’s goal, scored a penalty kick and was a real threat throughout. 10 goals and 11 assists for the season.
Leeds started brilliantly as Harrison whipped in a cross which Raphinha just couldn’t head towards goal, while moments later he surged into the box but Klich fired over. Harry Kane hammered over after lovely interplay between himself and Son, as Spurs slowly got going.
Hojbjerg hit a shot on goal which Illan Meslier saved easily, but then Patrick Bamford nodded over as Raphinha picked him out.
Leeds gave away a penalty kick as they started to give the ball away cheaply at the back, with Alioski fouling Bergwijn and Kane slotting home the spot kick.
Toby Alderweireld and Kane then went close after good work from Hojbjerg as Leeds started to get sloppy in possession, as Bergwijn fired over. At the other end Leeds continued to pour forward, but Harrison and Bamford couldn’t convert. Son showed them how as Kane picked him out with a wonderful pass and the South Korean scored his 100th goal for Tottenham.
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Tottenham went 3-0 up early in the second half as Tanguy Ndombele’s effort after a quick free kick was pushed wide for a corner, and from that corner Alderweireld made it 3-0 with a header that Meslier couldn’t keep hold of.
Meslier then denied Bergwijn as Spurs threatened to rack up the score, as the Leeds goalkeeper also denied Kane.
Leeds then had plenty of the ball as Spurs sat back and soaked up pressure