8th May, 2021
Patrick Bamford’s 15th English Premier League goal of the season helped Leeds United to a 3-1 win over Tottenham, all but ending their opponents’ tenuous UEFA Champions League hopes.
Leeds United laid siege to their visitors in typical fashion and led through Stuart Dallas’ eighth league goal of the campaign.
Son Heung Min levelled and Harry Kane had a goal disallowed for offside before Bamford again pressed his claims for joining the England captain in Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad.
Kane hit the crossbar with a free-kick inside the final 20 minutes at Elland Road.
But chasing the game left Tottenham increasingly vulnerable on the break and Rodrigo completed the misery for Ryan Mason’s side at Elland Road.
Hugo Lloris got down and across to his left well to deny Bamford after Jack Harrison slid a pass into the Leeds United striker’s path in the seventh minute.
Lloris again excelled himself as Sergio Reguilon turned Harrison’s virtually undefendable cross towards his own goal.
But Dallas was on hand to smash home and give Leeds United a deserved advantage.
Spurs’ much-vaunted front four led the response impressively, with Robin Koch blocking a Dele Alli effort from a Son pass.
But when the roles were reversed – the midfielder cleverly delaying his through-ball – the South Korea forward dispatched his 17th goal of the season.
Only a fractional offside on the end of another Alli pass prevented Kane from putting Tottenham ahead, although back came Leeds United.
Dallas seized on some sloppy defending from Eric Dier and Reguilon and set in motion a slick move from which Bamford converted Ezgjan Alioski’s low cross.
Marcelo Bielsa was concerned enough by Spurs’ early second-half pressure to make a change before the hour, Raphinha replacing Tyler Roberts.
The effect was soon evident, with Mateusz Klich’s snap-shot forcing another superb stop from Lloris.
Opposite number Illan Meslier excelled himself to push Serge Aurier’s deflected cross to safety, although he was relieved to see Kane’s 72nd-minute free-kick cannon against the top of the bar.
Meslier saved with his feet from Erik Lamela before another substitute, Rodrigo, calmly collected Raphinha’s pass to seal the points.
Spurs lie sixth with three matches to play, five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea having played a game more.
Liverpool and Everton, two and four points behind them respectively, each have two games in hand.
It is now sure that it is mathematically possible for Spurs to still reach 65 points, but it is not possible realistically.
Indeed, Mason’s men are only six points better off than Leeds United, who are up to ninth and eyeing a top-10 finish on their Premier League return having hit the 50-point mark.
Leeds United will continue their pursuit of a top-half finish at Burnley next Saturday, with Tottenham hosting Wolves a day later.