Tottenham edge past Leeds in seven-goal thriller

LONDON — Tottenham surged back to beat Leeds United 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller in north London as both teams put on an incredible show.

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Leeds were 2-1 up at half time thanks to goals from Crycencio Summerville and Rodrigo, as Harry Kane’s controversial equalizer had Spurs level.

Ben Davies made it 2-2 early in the second half but Rodrigo made it 3-2 with less than 15 minutes to go. But Rodrigo Bentancur then scored twice in two minutes to make it 4-3 and send the Tottenham fans wild. Tyler Adams was sent off late on after picking up two yellow cards.

With the win Spurs have 29 points from 15 games and are in the top four at the World Cup break. Leeds suffer their first defeat in three and are two points above the relegation zone.

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What we learned from Tottenham vs Leeds

Spurs are still in bad shape: From booing Emerson Royal when he came off to the general malaise around the team, Spurs fans are feeling very negative right now. Even though they won. They’re still in the top four heading into the international break and they’re in the Champions League last 16. But all is not well under Antonio Conte. This week he refused to commit himself to the club beyond the end of his contract at the end of this season and unless Tottenham spend big in January, this is heading towards a very familiar outcome. It looks like Conte believes he has taken this Spurs team as far as he can with the current squad. He has shown enough to suggest if he’s given better players they can push on again but right now everything has gone stale. Still, there is enough fight to keep coming back and winning games like this.

Second half Spurs boggle the mind: Even when they got it back to 2-2, they sat back and didn’t want to play. Then when they went 3-2 down, they got going again and went 4-3 up. This is a very strange Spurs seem who only seem to be motivated when they go behind in games. They have now comeback to win against Bournemouth, Marseille and Leeds in three of their last four games in the Premier League and Champions League and they are at their best when they’re desperate. Tottenham need more control and they need to stop digging themselves an almighty hole in the first half.

Textbook Leeds, good and bad: They were clinical in the first half as they scored with their two big chances and they were aggressive to win the ball back, great on the counter and pressed with intelligence. This was a proper Jesse Marsch display. But some of the bad parts came out too. Defensively they were sloppy and were dragged around and switched off for Spurs’ second right at the start of the second half. Leeds have to improve defensively if they’re going to take the next step and become a top 10 team in the Premier League. Everything else is there but they can’t keep being their own worst enemies.

Tactical focus

Leeds sat back and soaked up pressure but were very dangerous on the break and pressed Spurs cleverly in the final third. As for Tottenham, they had more of the ball than usual but didn’t quite know what to do with it. Their second half surge materialized, as expected, but the talent in this Spurs squad should have them playing with more swagger. That got the job done thanks to individual brilliance.

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Stars of the show

Brenden Aaronson: This display will delight USMNT fans ahead of the World Cup as he buzzed around, grabbed an assist on the opener and caused so many problems.

Rodrigo Bentancur: Tried to get Spurs on the front foot time and time again, scored two late goals to win the game and won the ball back a lot. He’s so good on it and his fine season continues.

Rodrigo: Got Leeds’ second and third goal with superb instinctive strikes and gave Leeds a focal point in attack. What a season he’s having.

What’s next?

Tottenham are back in action on Dec. 26, as they travel to Brentford for the first Premier League game after the break. Leeds host Man City on Dec. 28.

How to watch Tottenham vs Leeds live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium

Key storylines

Spurs looked shattered at Forest in midweek and Conte will be delighted this is the final game before the World Cup break. Kane needs a rest, but probably won’t get one, and Tottenham need to start fast and not have to rely on another second half surge to get a result. If Spurs can win this weekend, being in the top four when the break rolls around would be a very good return given they haven’t been at their best for most of the season so far. As for Leeds, even though they’ve won two in a row they are still just above the relegation zone and Marsch knows a positive performance and at least a point would be huge heading into the extended break. Leeds have to stop giving up big chances because going forward they are exciting and create plenty of big opportunities.

In-form players to keep an eye on

Kane has been carrying this Spurs team all season long and his 11 Premier League goals tells us that, while Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg have been warriors in central midfield. For Leeds, the emergence of Crycenio Summerville, Sam Greenwood and Willy Gnonto has been huge and has added an extra dimension to their attack.

Tottenham team news, injuries, lineup

Cristiano Romero, Ryan Sessegnon and Heung-min Son are out and they are Tottenham’s only injury concerns. With Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison back fit and starting, that is a huge boost for Conte. They start alongside Kane in attack, while the rest of the team picks itself with Perisic going to left wing-back.

Leeds team news, injuries, lineup

Stuart Dallas, Adam Forshaw, Joe Gelhardt and Luis Sinisterra are out, while Archie Gray remains a doubt and Patrick Bamford is nursing a hip injury and is out. Mateusz Klich is out and Jack Harrison is also a doubt. Marsch rested plenty of starters for the League Cup defeat at Wolves in midweek, as Aaronson, Adams, Meslier, Cooper and other key players return.

Tottenham edge past Leeds in seven-goal thriller originally appeared on NBCSports.com