Saturday, November 27, 2021

Tottenham 2-1 Leeds United: Conte era up and running as Reguilon completes comeback

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 21 Nov 2021

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Tottenham came from behind to beat Leeds United 2-1 and get their first win under new head coach Antonio Conte.

After starting his second spell in the Premier League with a goalless draw at Everton, the former Chelsea boss saw his side fall behind at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday before half-time through a Dan James strike.

However, Spurs produced an encouraging display in the second half, levelling via Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg before Sergio Reguilon reacted quickest in the box to tap in the winner.

Leeds, without a Premier League away win over Spurs since February 2001, started the match on the front foot and had Hugo Lloris worried by shots from Stuart Dallas and Joe Gelhardt.

Conte’s men offered little threat of their own, and they went into the break behind when James raced in to convert Jack Harrison’s low cross from the left. It meant Spurs became the first side since at least 2003-04 to go six straight halves of play in the competition without managing a single shot on target.

They responded within 30 seconds of the restart, Harry Kane’s effort squirming off the base of the right-hand post after Illan Meslier’s block, before Lloris just denied James a second.

Son Heung-min’s deflected strike crashed off Meslier’s crossbar, and the Spurs forward then had penalty shouts waved away after a challenge by Kalvin Phillips, but the breakthrough finally came 58 minutes in when Hojbjerg’s scuffed shot bounced through a crowded box and into the bottom-right corner.

Spurs’ were then rewarded for their improved efforts 11 minutes later, Reguilon left with a simple finish after Eric Dier’s free-kick came back off the base of the post.

 

What does it mean? Conte breathes life into Spurs

After a listless first-half performance, Spurs showed significantly more endeavour in the second to claim the three points and move above Manchester United into seventh in the table.

The result also means Conte has registered at least one win against all 54 sides he has faced as a coach in Serie A and the Premier League.

Reguilon looks the part

Conte’s success with wing-backs is well documented, and Reguilon could prove another key component to his plans.

The Spain international delivered six crosses from open play down the left, created a goalscoring chance and helped himself to the winner.

Leeds look in trouble

Leeds produced one of their best first-half displays of the season but simply could not raise their performance to match Spurs after the break.

With just two wins from 12 and two points keeping them outside the drop zone, Marcelo Bielsa needs to stop the rot quickly.

What’s next?

Spurs head to Mura in the Europa Conference League on Thursday before a league visit to Burnley next Sunday. Leeds are next in action at home to Brighton and Hove Albion on November 27.

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