Competition: English Premier League.
Hotspur: Taricco, Kanoute.
Tottenham Hotspur: Keller;
Richards, King, Gardner, Carr; Davies, Redknapp,
Ricketts, Taricco (Marney);
Referee: Mr S. Dunn (
The Tottenham winning goal caused uproar in the Leeds United camp. A controversial free-kick, awarded against Dominic Matteo, was whipped in and Fredi Kanoute forced the ball home. However, Helder Postiga was standing in an offside position throughout, yet deemed not to be interfering with play. United boss, Peter Reid said, “I wasn’t sure about the free-kick for their goal and I was less than convinced by Postiga’s position. He was well offside, and to say that he was not interfering with play when they scored is just rubbish. He was in front of my goalkeeper. My players weren’t happy.”
determination were in plentiful supply for Leeds United at Tottenham,
but it still wasn't enough to prevent a first Premiership defeat of the season.
In a game where stunning strikes were the order of the day, it was the hosts
who produced two of the best to secure a precious 2-1 victory. United boss
Peter Reid was left to lament what might have been after Alan Smith scored a
superb opener, but Mauricio Taricco and Freddie Kanoute proved they too could deliver quality efforts and
The previous season United would have waved the white flag after coming under real pressure, but there was enough honest endeavour to suggest that meek surrenders are a thing of the past. The first or second time viewer may not be convinced, but anyone who has attended any of the pre-season games will agree that the spit was there on Saturday, even if the polish wasn't.
United defended admirably throughout and worked hard in midfield, but Tottenham had the bigger presence in the middle of the park and their use of wing backs ensured
At times it was like a scene out of Rourke's Drift with United keeping ten men behind the ball as Spurs threw everything bar the kitchen sink at the visitors. Indeed, so desperate was Glenn Hoddle for a win that it would have been no surprise to see him produce a kitchen sink to assist his players. However, for all they were in control, Tottenham didn't create too many clear-cut chances and United would have taken great heart from that. Paul Robinson was a virtual spectator and, apart from a few long range efforts, the United keeper had little to do as the home side failed to test him seriously. Worryingly, the hosts had an astonishing amount of possession, but the
United fans would see far worse performances than this from their team that season and, as Peter Reid rightly pointed out afterwards, if they could add some quality to the work rate they would improve in the coming months. However, the performance highlighted why the manager was looking for more creativity because there was the worry that, for all the effort, there wasn't enough sparkle to hit Spurs where it hurt. Another worry for Reid was the performance of Mark Viduka, who just wasn't at the races. The big striker, who was on international duty in midweek, complained about a lack of service, but Leeds were penned so far in their own half at times that they had all on just to cross the halfway line. Mark Viduka's future was still being debated, but it was unlikely anything would happen before Sunday and United needed to galvanise the big man because his presence, on form, made a real difference.
While Viduka didn't have the best of afternoons, his strike
partner Alan Smith showed his class once again by grabbing his second goal of
the season. It took just four minutes for Smith to make his mark when he
hammered the ball home from twenty-five yards after Seth Johnson teed him up in
the middle of the park. Stunned
Jamie Redknapp and the over-hyped Helder
Postiga wasted opportunities while Stephen Carr
bungled a far post effort when it looked easier to score. But that was all Tottenham could muster in the way of clear-cut chances
until Mauricio Taricco, for once allowed the chance
to run at the defence, unleashed an unstoppable
drive from the edge of the area to level the scores shortly before half-time.
Jason Wilcox and Gary Kelly congratulate Alan Smith Alan Smith celebrates his goal with Gary Kelly
Mauricio Taricco shoots from distance to equalise
Mauricio Taricco celebrates with Ledley King and Jamie Redknapp
Fredi Kanoute celebrates but Mark Viduka is dejected
Fredi Kanoute celebrates his winner with teammates Jody Morris is tackled by Rohan Ricketts Lamine Sakho looks dangerous
Alan Smith holds off Anthony Gardner Jermaine Pennant attacks Jermaine Pennant is beaten
Mauricio Taricco in the air by Fredi Kanoute
Zoumana Camera hurdles Helda Postiga Seth Johnson clashes with Jamie Redknapp
Helda Postiga tries to stop Dominic Matteo
Aaron Lennon was not afraid to attack Lucas Radebe and Seth Johnson close down Helda Postiga
Alan Smith opened the scoring but Mauricio Taricco and Fredi Kanoute scored in the Spurs win. Seth Johnson teed-up first goal
Zoumana Camara, Lucas Radebe and Dominic Matteo remained cool under sustained pressure
Jody Morris fought hard Mark Viduka was “not at the races” Jermaine Pennant was a lively substitute
Aaron Lennon later moved to Spurs, as did Paul Robinson Gary Kelly saved with a flying header Peter Reid was not happy
United were glad that Robbie Keane Kasey Keller was in goal Dean Richards and Stephen Carr were the full-backs
was not available
Anthony Gardner and Ledley King were in central defence Dean Marney and Fredi Kanoute were the substitutes used
Simon Davies, Jamie Redknapp, Rohan Ricketts and Mauricio Taricco were the starters in midfield
Helda Postiga and Bobby Zamora were the strikers
Goran Bunjevcevic, Milenko Acimovic and, future Leeds keeper, Neil Sullivan were unused substitutes