Tottenham Hotspur 2 Leeds United 1 - Reaction and recap

Leeds United return to Premier League action today against Tottenham Hotspur at the club's new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium - and you can follow all the action as it happens here.

Sunday, 21st November 2021, 9:29 pm
SUNDAY SHOWDOWN: Between new Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte, left, and Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa, right. Graphic by Graeme Bandeira.

Leeds signed off for the latest international break with a strong performance in a 1-1 draw against Leicester City at Elland Road, a game for which Patrick Bamford, Luke Ayling, Robin Koch, Junior Firpo, Jamie Shackleton and Joe Gelhardt were all out injured.

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Marcelo Bielsa's Whites have since had two weeks off and return to action against Spurs in boss Antonio Conte's first home league game in charge.

United are approaching the contest sat fourth-bottom, two points clear of the dropzone, but a win would take Leeds at least 14th.

Tottenham Hotspur 2 Leeds United 1 Recap and reaction

Last updated: Sunday, 21 November, 2021, 19:28

  • 4.30pm kick-off at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
  • Leeds fourth bottom, two points clear of the dropzone
  • Victory would take Whites up to 14th
  • Antonio Conte’s first home league game in charge of Spurs

Antonio Conte on Leeds

We celebrated the win because I think it was a difficult win and I read the stats of Leeds and Leeds was the first team to play with this intensity this way and in the first half they played better than us, they won the tackles but also in the first half we conceded possession. But in the second half we changed the plan tactically, we started to change the pressure and we created more difficulty, we scored two goals, we maybe deserved to score more goals but for sure it was an important win. After the first half our fans were not satisfied with the football we played and I agreed with them totally and in the second half we changed it totally. They played well, they showed good personality and they created difficulty to Leeds. I think to win in this way is good because there were two different situations, the first half and the second half. I said to them if we want to then we can and there is a lot of room for improvement. It’s a good win and it’s good to celebrate with passion. To play against Leeds and Marcelo Bielsa is not easy and we must be satisfied and this is a point to start for the rest of the season. In the first half we were not compact. To beat Leeds you need to stop them at what they are good at.”

Marcelo Bielsa reaction

How harsh was that?

In the second half it was difficult for us not to be dominated, the differences that we established in the first half in terms of dominance were important but the differences that they established over us in the second half were also important. The final half of an hour of the game was difficult for us. The game presented a difficulty that I saw clearly. In the first half when they attacked three and two midfielders we had a lot of presence so they couldn't get the ball to their fowards freely, especially over their two defensive mids and we lost that in the second half, their two midfielders started to manage the ball better and they improved their forwards because they got the ball to the in better conditions. When I started seeing that problem I tried to solve it in different ways. I started seeing that problem and tried to solve it. We started in the second half with Klich and Forshaw, after I attempted with Phillips and Forshaw, after with Phillips and Tyler. After with Pascal and Tyler and. Finally with Pascal and Dallas. It was far too many movements to solve the problem and in the end we didn't solve this problem. And my task is to see the problem and to solve it and I didn't manage to do it. To have used so many variants isn't good because there wasn't enough minutes for the players to assimilate the positions they moved to."

Are you proud of the performance after losing Raphina and Rodrigo?

"You can't ignore the importance of those players but the first half showed that we can attempt to dominate the opponent with the players that we have so to justify the performances with the absences, given that we managed to play 60 minutes with the players we had with us balanced or with us a little bit better it weakens the arguments that the absences is the reason for the result."

How did Joffy do?

"In the first half and in the first part of the second half we had incidents in the game, as the team declined in the final 30 minutes his performance was also dragged back because the team stopped having hold of the ball.

"The feeling that the performance left me was that he was the height of the competition, he showed personality, he could adapt to the rhythm of the game, they are things that are important."

On Archie Gray

"He was an option to be on the substitutes bench but in the end he wasn't picked."

Are you considering adding players in Jan or will you soon be back to full strength?

"In reference to the amount of players that we have in the squad, it is not only about the amount of players but the quality of the players that for the squad.

"So the players have a level for any position it costs us a minimum between 20 and 30 million pounds.

"So in an institution like Leeds that had invested a lot on players in the second year and also the third year to imagine that we could increase the power of our professional group, it shouldn't be evaluated without looking at the economic possibilities.

"It is true we haven't been able to count on Koch for a long period of time due to a problem with his pelvis, Bamford's ankle has also been a long injury.

"Ayling's knee has also been a long injury, after there are injuries that are shorter and more common so I have the feeling that we should only bring in players if they are better than the ones we already have.

"However it is normal to demand an investment in the team.

"As you say, hopefully we can resolve this with the recovery of the players that are absent and it is also by chance that the injuries that we pick up are all by players that play in the same position in the same period."

On Phillips sticking to Kane and the shape at the back

"In some ways I think that the observation you make is not exact.

"Llorente played from the right side to the centre against a player who makes a lot of diagonals.

"Phillips played as a right centre back and following Kane whenever he dropped, Pascal played as a left back and marking Moura and Cooper played in his natural position of left centre back.

"To interpret it as a back three, perhaps what you saw was correct but our intention was to play Llorente, Phillips, Cooper, Pascal with Dallas on the right, Klich and Dallas in the centre, and then after James on the right , Gelhardt in the centre and Harrison on the left."

On Harrison and James

"I notice a progression in both players and I think that in the measure that the competition advances, even though we have played 12 games, I hope that they manage to find a regularity that compares with their qualities."

Live reaction to follow here

90 + 4: For catching Son late

Another big tackle from Phillips

90 + 4: On Kane after Firpo gave the ball away

Cooper has gone upfront

A last throw of the dice

90: Emerson Royal on James on half way

Four minutes added time

90: Leeds trying their best, McKinstry wide right

88: Moura off for Dele Alli

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