Tottenham top-four hopes badly hurt as rampant Leeds hit points milestone

Date published: Saturday 8th May 2021 2:21 - James Marshment

Leeds United celeb v Tottenham

Tottenham’s fading hopes of securing a top-four finish were effectively ended as Leeds recorded a deserved 3-1 victory in a cracker of a game at Elland Road.

Spurs went into the match at a drizzly Elland Road knowing they had to win all four of their remaining games to have a chance of finishing in the Champions League spots. But in Leeds they met a side at their brilliant attacking best, with two goals coming in the first half. But in Illan Meslier, the Leeds keeper had to be at his best in an end-to-end game. Harry Kane also saw two goals chalked off by the offside flag, one of which looked extremely tight.

However, Leeds were great value for the win and claimed another big scalp of a brilliant first season back in the Premier League.

United had the first effort of note with Hugo Lloris making a fine low save to keep out Patrick Bamford’s effort. The chance was created after a lovely throughball from Jack Harrison.

From the resulting corner, the ball broke nicely for Pascal Struijk but the defender was unable to keep his volley on target.

However, Leeds took the lead after 13 minutes when Stuart Dallas blasted home his eighth of the season. He rifled in from close range after Lloris had made a miraculous save to stop Sergio Reguilon scoring an own goal. That came after Harrison’s cross into the box caused confusion in the box.

Spurs were back on level terms after 25 minutes when Heung-min Son latched onto Dele Alli’s clever throughball and slotted past Meslier.

Lloris then made a fingertip save to push over the lively Harrison’s shot.

Tottenham had the ball in the net during their next attack. Another fine Alli pass found Kane and he coolly lifted the ball over Meslier. However, a harsh VAR check saw the goal ruled out, despite the England skipper looking level with the last man.

Lloris then made a smart save to deny Tyler Roberts his first goal of the season.

But Leeds were back ahead four minutes before the interval. Roberts fed the ball out wide, Harrison picked out the overlapping Gjanni Alioski and his cross found Bamford to tap home his 15th of the season from close range.


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Kane denied by offside flag again

Kane rounded Meslier and then had the ball in the net again as the second half got underway. This time, however, it was a comfortable decision for the officials to make.

Kane tried his luck again, but dragged his shot wide from outside the area.

Struijk’s misplaced pass then saw Spurs quickly turnover possession and feed in Son. However, his drilled effort hit the side-netting with Meslier at full stretch.

The Leeds defender did make amends five minutes later when he blocked Son’s shot as Spurs continued to press.

Lloris then had his palms stung by Mateusz Klich as Leeds mounted their first meaningful attack of the second period.

Meslier then pulled off an excellent save to push a fierce drive from Serge Aurier over the bar.

Kane then saw a 25-yard free-kick clip the top of the crossbar, while beautiful one-touch football saw Harrison fire a shot over the bar.

Meslier then spread himself to block a shot from substitute Erik Lamela, while Klich bent an effort just wide.

As Spurs continued to press, Leeds hit them with a killer third on the counter-attack. With sub Raphinha breaking the offside trap, he crossed for Rodrigo to pick his spot and slam the ball past Lloris.

Lloris then made a brilliant late save to deny Dallas a second as Leeds finished the stronger.

The win takes Leeds up to ninth and 50 points for the season. Take a bow, Senor Bielsa.

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