This was difficult territory for Leeds without Bamford, Rodrigo and Raphinha – no proper attacking force. A significant deficiency for the strength of the first team. Conte had just taken over coaching Spurs and there will be an inevitable improvement. Remaining players had to step up – with Daniel James scoring his first goal for Leeds.
Leeds were relying on Gelhardt for our striker. Forshaw played a more up front midefield and Phillips played in defence. James was moved to the right. In the first half hour this team playing out of position worked giving Leeds a lot possession.
There were continued promise of improvement for Leeds: Phillips was using his talent with cross field passes and incisive tackles. Gelhardt made an impression on the Spurs defence with his pace.
Early on Leeds careful passing and high pressing by Struijk gave Dallas an early shot just wide of goal. Leeds’ intensity gave them early possession. Spurs were redtuced to a couple of counter attacks with man for man marking by Leeds effective – especially Phillips with Kane.
Opportunities for both sides came from cross but both defences played a crucial role in heading on crosses into the box.
A moment of relief came on the half hour with the referee ending up upside down on the floor by Phillips.
Just before half time Leeds take the lead. Harrison is returning to form with a searing run down the left hand side nutmegging the Spurs defender with James running in front of two Spurs defenders to catch the perfectly placed cross from Harrison.
A reignited Spurs
But the lead did not last. It was a scary first five minutes with Spurs coming out attacking. Harry Kane was unlucky in the first minute only to hit the post. Leeds responded forcing three corners out of Spurs. Son then had a cycle kick that came off Llorente hitting the post. The scares continued for another five minutes with Phillips nearly causing a penalty.
Gelhardt showed his accuracy with two shots on target which Leeds need to see more of.
The first scrappy Spurs goal led to Firpo coming on to strengthen the Leeds defence. Forshaw was then replaced by Roberts. Good first half but Forshaw was tiring in the second half.
Leeds lost the initiative in the second half after the second goal although the shots on goal tally was still with Leeds, which is a promising sign.
Overall a promising performance by Gelhardt who wass replaced late by McKinstry. For Leeds a superior first half that promises wins in the future but we had no answer to a reignited Spurs in the second half.
Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips