Tottenham Hotspur 4 Leeds United 3: Valiant ten-man Whites beaten as Spurs come from behind
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Leeds United's tendency to cause problems for the Premier League's 'Big Six' this season is as baffling as it has been entertaining. Victories over Liverpool and Chelsea, as well as a narrow, undeserved defeat to Arsenal at Elland Road, preceded the Whites' arrival in north London to face Spurs before the World Cup break.
Within ten minutes, Crysencio Summerville had scored for the fourth time in four matches sending the vocal away support at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium into raptures. The Dutchman's left-footed finish, set up by the electric Brenden Aaronson, set the theme for the game: Leeds going ahead and Tottenham pegging them back.
Harry Kane's equaliser required a check by the Video Assistant Referee as it appeared Illan Meslier had been impeded by not one, but two Spurs players at a corner. Leeds' protestations fell on deaf ears, though, and the home side were level. Before long United were back in front, except this time their goal did not come against the run of play. After a sustained period of pressure and Spurs' failure to clear a Leeds corner, the Whites struck back through Rodrigo - his eighth goal in 13 games this season.
Latching onto Rasmus Kristensen's flicked header forward, the Spaniard reacted quickest, volleying beyond Hugo Lloris from just inside the penalty area. And so, at the break Leeds held a slender but deserved advantage, having taken two of their three opportunities on goal.
Shortly after the restart, Spurs once again levelled proceedings. This time there was little debate over the legitimacy of the goal, Ben Davies firing beyond Meslier after Harry Kane's effort rebounded out off Kristensen and fell at the Welshman's feet. Undeterred by the task before them, Leeds continued to press and probe in the final third, enjoying periods of sustained pressure with plenty of bodies committed forward.
It promised to be another famous victory on the road this season, just two weeks after Summerville's unlikely winner at Anfield, as Rodrigo fired low past Lloris with 15 minutes remaining. Leeds were 3-2 up but growing increasingly fatigued. Five minutes later and Spurs were level through Uruguayan Rodrigo Bentancur, and after another 120 seconds, the midfielder had scored again to put the hosts in front for the first time. Both moves originated from the right flank, cutting at the heart of a beleaguered Leeds defence with devastating accuracy.
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium had been serenaded by the away support for much of the afternoon, but as the final whistle drew nearer, with Leeds a goal down and a man down after Tyler Adams was shown a second yellow for a trip on Yves Bissouma, the home support rediscovered its voice.
Leeds performed valiantly for 80 minutes, but caved when it mattered most, relinquishing control of a game they had every chance of winning. The team will return to Yorkshire without the luxury of a third successive league victory, regretful of those final ten minutes. United's next competitive fixture comes in 46 days at home to Manchester City.
Leeds United: Meslier, Kristensen (Joseph 89'), Cooper (c), Koch, Struijk; Adams, Roca (Ayling 79'), Aaronson, Gnonto (Greenwood 46'), Summerville; Rodrigo (Gelhardt 89')
Subs not used: Firpo, Llorente, Gyabi, Perkins, Robles