Match report: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Leeds United 1Tottenham Hotspur overcome Leeds United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Antonio Conte secured his first Premier League win as Tottenham Hotspur manager as his side came from behind to defeat Leeds United.
Daniel James gave the visitors the lead in the first half but Tottenham turned the game around in the second with goals from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Sergio Reguilon.
A minute into the game Tottenham gave the ball away and Joe Gelhardt advanced before being brought down.
Kalvin Phillips tested Hugo Lloris with the resulting free-kick, forcing him to dive to his right and make a save.
Leeds made a bright start, moving the ball around well and pushing Spurs back into their own half.
With seven minutes gone, Stuart Dallas struck a fierce drive which whistled past the post.
The away side’s pressing forced Tottenham to give the ball away on a regular basis.
In the 18th minute Harry Kane picked the ball up in space and played a lofted pass to Emerson Royal whose cross was put behind for a corner.
Heung-min Son collected a loose ball and surged upfield before squaring to Kane in the box but the striker lost his footing and the attack broke down.
Tottenham were slow and ponderous in possession and this allowed Leeds plenty of time to get into an organised shape.
With 40 minutes on the clock, Adam Forshaw hit a powerful effort from 35 yards out which flew just off target.
Leeds took a well-deserved lead in the 44 th minute. Jack Harrison beat Royal with an exquisite piece of skill then picked out Daniel James, who poked the ball into the net.
Tottenham had an excellent opportunity at the start of the second half. Moura played in Kane and Illan Meslier quickly came off his line to save the shot.
At the other end, James advanced into the box and released a shot with the outside of his right foot which Lloris tipped behind.
Tottenham came very close to equalising in the 51st minute. Moura chipped the ball to Son and he hit a shot which took a big deflection of Diego Llorente and rattled the crossbar.
The home team then had strong appeals for a penalty waved away by the referee. Kane played in Son who went down under a challenge from Phillips. This was checked by the VAR which supported
the referee’s decision, as Philipps did not make any contact with Son.
In the 56 th minute Gelhardt directed a powerful effort on goal which Lloris punched away. A minute later, Gelhardt’s drilled shot was collected by Lloris.
Against the run of play, Tottenham equalised in the 57th minute. Reguilon sent in a cross which was cleared and Moura collected the loose ball before he teed up Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who steered home.
The goal energised the home side, who started to play with intensity for the first time in the game.
Kane turned Liam Cooper in the box but was off balance and could only muster a weak shot which was blocked by Pascal Struijk.
Ben Davies was picked out in the penalty area but he started to lose his footing and his shot was blocked.
Spurs took the lead in the 68th minute. Eric Dier’s free-kick took a deflection and hit the post before bouncing back into the path of Reguilon who made no mistake from point-blank range.
With 79 minutes gone, Son curled an effort wide from just outside the box.
In the 84th minute James directed an effort on goal which was collected by Lloris.
Leeds looked deflated after conceding the two goals and barely threatened Tottenham in the final stages.
Tottenham demonstrated their resilience and determination to stay in the game when they were being out-played and to come from behind to secure the win.
However, Spurs manager Antonio Conte will know that Tottenham’s performance was below-par for much of the game.
He will need to find improvements in his side sooner rather later, with the extremely busy Christmas period on the horizon.
Tottenham Hotspur visit Slovenian outfit NS Mura in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte speaking in his post-match press conference: “In the first half we struggled a lot. In the first half we conceded possession. In the second half we changed the plan, tactically.”
“We started to put pressure in every area of the pitch and we created chances to score and scored two goals.”
“I am pleased for the players. I have changed the plan tactically but they played with personality, they ran and they created difficulties for Leeds in the second half.”