top of page
  • By Alessandro Schiavone at Elland Road

Spurs’ dream of top four finish slips further as they lose 3-1 to Leeds United

By Alessandro Schiavone at Elland Road

Leeds 3 Tottenham 1

Tottenham Hotspur hopes of gate-crashing the top four party took another crushing blow as they lost 3-1 at Elland Road against Leeds United this afternoon.

Stuart Dallas fired Leeds ahead before Son Heung-min netted his 17th goal of the season on a day when Gareth Bale, who stole the show with a hat-trick last week against Sheffield, failed to score in his fifth attempt against the West Yorkshire outfit.

Patrick Bamford then made amends for an early miss to fire Leeds into the lead before Rodrigo Moreno settled the argument with seven minutes to go to score only his fourth goal of the season following his £27mIllion move from Valencia.

Tottenham went from the ecstasy of moving up to within four points of Leicester City with a chance of sneaking into the top four by beating the Foxes on the last day of season, to frustration as their dream of Champions League qualification drifts further away. They currently lie sixth. If Everton and Liverpool win their two games in hand, Tottenham will slip to eighth in the table and will be at risk of missing out on European football altogether, just like their fellow north London rivals Arsenal.

With England manager Gareth Southgate watching from the stand, Bamford did his Euro 2020 dream a disservice when he failed to put a gilt-edged chance from close range away after being teed up by Jack Harrison with Hugo Lloris forced into a comfortable save. The 27-year old who has the highest percentage of missed clear-cut chances in the division, should have put that one away to make a convincing case for a place in Southgate’s 26-man squad for the upcoming European Championships.

The hosts ramped up the pressure, and a minute later, Dutch defender Pascal Struijk fired a volley over the crossbar from a corner before Tyler Roberts’ attempt from outside the area was blocked by Toby Alderweireld.

But Leeds’ high-risk high approach paid dividends after 13 minutes when Stuart Dallas capitalised on indecisive, erratic and static defending from Tottenham’s backline to drill home the opener on a rain-lashed Elland Road pitch.

Former Brentford midfielder Dallas smashed home the opener at the far post after Eric Dier had failed to deal with a ball in across the six-yard box before it bounced off Sergio Reguillon’s leg, forcing Lloris into an crucial point-blank save to deny an own-goal. But Dallas, who has made a name for himself for being a player for the big occasion having found the back of the net against Manchester United, Leicester City and Manchester City this season, was on hand to pounce on a defensive mix-up and give Leeds’ an early boost by smashing the ball into the back of the net.

Gareth Bale came close to restoring parity for the north Londoners but his glancing header after a corner was blocked by a Leeds player.

In the 25th minute, Tottenham found the equaliser courtesy of Son who drilled his effort past an on-rushing Illan Meslier after being set up up by Dele Alli.

The goal came against the run of play and it was the former Bayer Leverkusen winger’s fourth goal in the last three Premier League outings. In football more often than not, the best way of defending is attacking and Ryan Mason’s men finally looked to have found their feet in a complicated game, with Leeds’ full-throttle and agressive approach a cause for concern for their fragile defence and the midfielder’s inability to break up play or offer them any sort of protection.

Four minutes after levelling the score, French World Cup winner Lloris repelled Man City loanee Harrison’s effort after he had come in on his right foot.

On the half-hour mark, Harry Kane had a goal disallowed for offside. The England captain has now gone four games without scoring.

But Leeds laid siege to Tottenham’s goal as Robin Koch saw his glancing header take a deflection off Bale following a corner in the 33th minute as Tottenham had another let-off.

It must have been brought to his attention midway through the game that Southgate was watching on from the stands as Bamford finally got out of first gear and deservedly restorEd Leeds’ lead after drilling home Ezgjan Alioski’s low cross to catch Tottenham’s defence napping again.

Lacking attacking impetus and kept at arm’s length in the final third on the rare occasions they showed attacking intent, Tottenham endured a torrid afternoon with Dier, Serge Aurier and co going through the motions against a dynamic and hungry Leeds side.

After the restart, Tottenham came out on the front foot and began to ask questions of Leeds’ defence. Son first had a shot blocked by Struijk before the South Korean hit the side-netting at the back post as he couldn’t get sufficient bend on his effort.

But that left spaces for Leeds to exploit on the break and Harrison came close to extending the lead had it not been for Lloris’ impressive save.

Tottenham continued to give Leeds a run for their money and throw bodies forward. Aurier burst past Alioski before he nearly caught Meslier out with a potent effort, but the Frenchman quickly made a move to his left on the line to pull off an excellent save.

After 72 minutes Kane’s freekick clipped the top of the crossbar before Harrison fluffed his lines again at the other end, firing over.

Minutes later, Meslier rushed off his line to deny Erik Lamela with his feet. it was the defining moment of the game. Had that one gone in, Mason’s men might have gone on to complete a turnaround, but it didn’t, paving the way for substitute Rodrigo Moreno, who has endured a tough baptism in English football, to seal the three points for the Yorkshire outfit.

The Spaniard was picked out with a sideways pass by the unselfish Raphinha, who, through on goal, could have scored himself, clinically fired past Lloris.

Leeds United Line-ups 4-1-4-1

1 Illan Meslier- 2 Luke Ayling- 14 Diego Llorente- 21 Pascal Struijk- 10 Ezgjan Alioski- 5 Robin Koch- 15 Stuart Dallas- 43 Mateusz Klich- 11 Tyler Roberts- 22 Jack Harrison- 9 Patrick Bamford

Tottenham Hotspur 4-2-3-1

1 Hugo Lloris- 3 Sergio Reguillon- 15 Eric Dier- 4 Toby Alderweireld- 24 Serge Aurier- 5 Pierre-Emile Hoejbjerg- 18 Giovani Lo Celso- 7 Heung-Min Son- 20 Dele Alli- 9 Gareth Bale- 10 Harry Kane.


Join our mailing list

bottom of page