It was a comfortable afternoon for Tottenham as they overwhelmed Leeds at Elland Road, winning 4-0 to put their previous howler behind them. Spurs may be back on track, but Leeds are very much amidst a crisis.
Tottenham delivered the perfect response after their humiliating defeat to Burnley on Wednesday, as they thrashed Leeds United 4-0 at Elland Road.
All eyes were on Tottenham to make a major statement after Antonio Conte’s brutal interview in midweek, and they came out the traps flying and raced into a three-goal lead inside the opening 30 minutes.
Both wing-backs combined as Matt Doherty put Tottenham ahead inside ten minutes, before Dejan Kulusevski continued to impress with a fine finish to double their advantage and it was only a matter of time before Harry Kane got his goal.
Stuart Dallas squandered an easy opportunity in the second half to pull one back for Leeds as he fluffed his lines in front of an open goal, before Heung Min Son and Kane combined in trademark fashion to add a fourth for Tottenham late on.
Here, Express Sport brings you four things we learned as Tottenham ran riot at Elland Road.
Tottenham must utilise the counter
They say you should play to your strengths, but it’s something that Tottenham don’t do enough, although they proved against Liverpool and Manchester City that they are excellent on the counter.
When Tottenham sit back and let Kane, Heung Min Son and now Kulusevski break on the counter, it’s a frightening sight and not many sides can deal with it.
Tottenham took the lead as both wing-backs poured forward before combining, and the pace of their attack also allowed Kane space in behind to keep up his recent scoring run.
Conte should look to exploit this method further, as it’s an extremely successful tactic for Tottenham, as previous results have also shown.
Back Conte – reap the rewards
Kulusevski was a class act yet again for Tottenham, and it’s a surprise that Juventus let the Sweden international go if he is capable of these performances.
Despite being back into a corner, Kulusevski still managed to wriggle his way out of trouble before firing past Islan Meslier in the Leeds net, scoring out of absolutely nothing.
There have been concerns over whether Conte will be properly backed at Tottenham, but the signing of Kulusevski is already proving that if Spurs back the Italian, they will be rewarded.
Rodrigo Bentancur has also impressed since arriving in January, but the Uruguayan missed out on the trip to Elland Road through injury.
Spurs have Harry Kane back
After Kane missed out on a move to City in the summer, there were concerns over how he would react, and the England captain took a while to find his feet.
Kane made his worst ever scoring start to the season, and it looked as though the summer disappointment with England and in the transfer market had taken its toll on the striker.
But class is permanent, and Kane began to find the net again, and after his world-class performance against City at the Etihad, the England international oozed class again at Elland Road.
The timing of his run, and the execution of his finish against Leeds was perfection, before providing the perfect ball to Son who scored Tottenham’s fourth.
Doherty sends Conte a message
Tottenham thought they had secured a bargain for Matt Doherty when the wing-back arrived for just £12million from Wolves, but the move didn’t work out as initially expected.
Doherty failed to consistently produce the goods, and Emerson Royal was signed as a replacement for the Irishman.
But Emerson has endured a similar fate to Doherty, and the Brazilian was dropped by Conte for the trip to Leeds, and their original signing took full advantage with an exceptional first-half performance.
Doherty scored the opening goal and even assisted as Spurs ran riot, and the Irishman has now sent a clear message to Conte that he should be the regular starter.
Dallas howler highlights Leeds crisis
There’s no denying that Leeds are in freefall towards the Premier League bottom three, but Stuart Dallas had the chance to pull one back for the home side after dispossessing Hugo Lloris before running towards an open net.
But he hesitated and somehow missed the opportunity, and his lack of confidence shows exactly how Leeds are feeling at this moment in time.
The recent collapse of Leeds continues to gain momentum, and Marcelo Bielsa’s side have now conceded more goals than any other Premier League side (59).
Leeds have now lost five of their last six games, conceding 20 goals just in that period alone, and they are just three points clear of the bottom three.
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