From Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – If there are two Premier League groups who love a little bit of late nonsense, it is Tottenham and Leeds.
Fortuitously for all of the Barclays fiends on the market, they confronted off at 3pm on Saturday (in order that’s an ‘sadly’ for these inside the British Isles as a substitute scrambling for a stream, then).
As sure as night time follows day, Spurs conceded the primary objective of the competition following some sluggish and ponderous defending. Hey, typically match stories simply write themselves, and there have been seven targets on this one so we have to maneuver by way of the gears shortly right here.
Tottenham levelled by way of Harry Kane earlier than Rodrigo walked in behind the hosts’ backline and put Leeds again in entrance on the stroke of half-time. It would not be a Spurs match with out such a handicap on the interval, wouldn’t it?
Antonio Conte’s half-time staff discuss labored a deal with and Ben Davies smashed in a second equaliser because the hosts regarded to go for the kill, however had been frequently pinned again by Leeds’ stellar urgent and Jesse Marsch’s males went forward for a 3rd time by way of Rodrigo, as soon as extra racing in behind a sleeping defence.
After which Tottenham confirmed up. Matt Doherty and Davinson Sanchez galloped up the pitch to flank Dejan Kulusevski, forming a formidable attacking trident and serving to Rodrigo Bentancur seize a quick-fire brace to seal the three factors.
It isn’t the primary time that Spurs’ double-signing from Juventus has paid dividends. Following their arrivals final January, Kulusevski and Bentancur improved the staff not simply with their total skill, however their technical nuances too.
Tottenham have quite a lot of grafters and exhausting runners, however they’ve too typically lacked finesse and guile within the absence of the duo.
That reality has been laid fairly naked by Kulusevski’s hamstring harm in latest weeks. With out him, Spurs grew to become borderline unwatchable, solely turning into worthy of viewing late in video games with their backs to the partitions.
His high quality shone by way of towards Leeds on his first begin since September. The Swede’s skill to attract defenders in after which merely transfer spherical them a method or one other is mesmeric, and it meant an extended afternoon for Pascal Struijk and Liam Cooper.
The place Kulusevski and Bentancur had been vital in grabbing targets, it may’t go unnoticed how poor Spurs had been on the different finish.
As talked about, their signings raised the technical ground of the squad, however there may be nonetheless work to be carried out. Tottenham’s incapability to neither play from the again or…defend on the again…is the glass ceiling on what’s an in any other case potent staff.
It wasn’t too way back that Spurs had been hailed for his or her ruthlessness, leapfrogging Manchester Metropolis and Liverpool and the best scoring staff in 2022 again in August. The return of Kulusevski ought to get them again to these ruthless heights, however now not can their defence stay unchanged.
Followers have unanimously given up on Emerson Royal, who was jeered for killing assaults and cheered when substituted. Eric Dier wasn’t adequate to play at centre-back with peak Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, he is nonetheless not adequate to steer a severe defence. Clement Lenglet and Davies are OK, however you are not likely going wherever in the event that they’re constant starters.
Conte has frequently known as for persistence and insisted Spurs might not have a squad able to profitable main titles for an additional three switch home windows. Their first job must be revamping the defence to actually seem like one in his picture.