Second-half goals from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Sergio Reguilon inspired a Tottenham comeback as they secured a 2-1 victory against Leeds United in Antonio Conte’s first home league game in charge.
There was nothing to separate the sides until just before the break, when Marcelo Bielsa’s men seized the initiative. Dan James turned home Jack Harrison’s inviting cross from the left after some brilliant work from the winger.
Spurs upped the ante in the second half and equalised when Hojbjerg guided the ball home from Lucas’ pass. Reguilon completed the comeback with twenty minutes to play, reacting quickest to prod home from close-range after Eric Dier’s free kick came back off the post.
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Leeds gave it their all in the search for an equaliser which ultimately alluded them, despite their best efforts. They remain in 17th place, just two points above the relegation zone, while Spurs jump to seventh, four points shy of the top four.
Spurs are in Europa Conference League action on Thursday night with a trip to Slovenian side NS Mura. As for Leeds they must make another journey south, this time to Brighton & Hove Albion, in the tea-time kick-off next Saturday.
Talking Point – A new side to Spurs?
There was a newfound grit, determination and resilience about Spurs performance, traits we have not seen in them for a while. After going behind they could have buckled, but they didn’t, if anything they rose to the challenge. Conte has not been in charge for long, but you can already see the Italian’s philosophy starting to take shape on the pitch. Conte needs to transform the mentality, once this is right, the physical aspects of the game will begin to take shape. This is a good win for Spurs against a tough opponent. This is a good foundation on which to turn their fortunes around.
Man of the Match – Sergio Reguilon
A solid all-round performance from the Spaniard sees him worthy of the ‘Man of the Match’ award. In the Conte system, wing backs are crucial both offensively and defensively. You need to be effective going forward, while being aware of your defensive duties. Reguilon showed he can strike this balance; he was disciplined in defence and clinical when his opportunity came in attack. He is naturally quick and energetic, traits that will surely see him thrive in the way that Conte wishes to play. This could be the start of something exciting for Spurs.
Tottenham: Lloris 7, Emerson 7, Tanganga 7, Dier 7, Davies 7, Reguilon 8, Hojbjerg 8, Winks 7, Lucas 7, Son 7, Kane 7.
Subs: Sanchez 6, Sessegnon 6, Dele 6.
Leeds: Meslier 6, Dallas 6, Llorente 6, Cooper 6, Struijk 6, Phillips 6, Forshaw 6, Klich 6, James 7, Harrison 7, Gelhardt 7.
Subs: Firpo 6, McKinstry 6, Roberts 6.
44’ GOAL! Spurs 0-1 Leeds! (James) Oh my word, Leeds have taken the lead on the verge of half-time and it is well deserved based on their first half performance. Harrison skips past Emerson, delivering a beautiful curved pass from the left into the box for James, who tucks the ball home from close-range!
58’ GOAL! Spurs 1-1 Leeds! (Hojbjerg) The home side are back on level terms! Hojbjerg doesn't connect as cleanly as he would have liked with an effort from just inside the box, but he won't care as the ball trickles past Meslier and into the bottom corner. Game on!
69’ GOAL! Spurs 2-1 Leeds! (Reguilon) Spurs have turned this game around! Dier takes the free-kick which is deflected onto the post, Reguilon reacts quickest and is there unmarked to prod home from close-range. Comeback complete and Conte loves it!
- Dan James is the fifth player to score for both Leeds and Manchester United in the Premier League, after Rio Ferdinand, Alan Smith, Eric Cantona and Lee Sharpe.
- Tottenham are the first team since Opta have Premier League shot data (2003-04 season) to go six straight halves of play in the competition without managing a single shot on target.
- Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has now scored as many goals in 50 Premier League appearances for Tottenham as he managed in 109 for Southampton (four). All four of his league goals for Spurs have come at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
- Sergio Reguilon netted the winner for Tottenham, that was his first goal for the club on what was his 50th appearance in a Spurs shirt.
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