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Report: Spurs 2-1 Leeds

Posted on 2 April 2002  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

Taking everything into account, not least the quality of the opposition, this must rank as our best home result in the Premiership this season.

Superb defensively under intense pressure in the second half, we held on to make it three games unbeaten since the disastrous defeat against Charlton to move into seventh place.

Leeds ended with Robbie Keane, Mark Viduka, Alan Smith, Robbie Fowler and the dangerous Lee Bowyer all on, desperately pushing for a share of the spoils as they chase that vital fourth Champions League place.

But it wasn't to be. Instead, first half goals from Steffen Iversen and Teddy Sheringham were enough for the three points and take us to Highbury in good heart.

Glenn Hoddle made three changes from Saturday's draw at Middlesbrough.

Teddy Sheringham, Simon Davies and Dean Richards all start in place of Sergei Rebrov, Gus Poyet and Ledley King respectively. Rebrov and Poyet on the bench, King rested completely. Kasey Keller remains in goal with Canadian Lars Hirschfeld his deputy on the bench.

The action in a barnstorming first half started as early as the first minute. Steffen Iversen latched onto Teddy Sheringham's flick but Dominic Matteo blocked well. Nigel Martyn lashed the ball upfield, Anthony Gardner's attempted header back was read by Robbie Fowler whose attempted lob was clawed away by Keller.

Leeds threatened twice before we went ahead with nine minutes on the clock.

Ben Thatcher picked up the ball in space down the left flank, looked up and hit a pinpoint cross towards Iversen who rose majestically above Matteo to head into the bottom corner.

The visitors soon hit back and Viduka's header looped inches over and Woodgate met Bowyer's cross perfectly only for his header to flash just wide.

Play continued to switch from end to end and after Martyn gathered Matty Etherington's low drive, we doubled our lead.

Thatcher's long throw was flicked on by Richards, Sheringham laid it back to Davies whose shot was goalbound, Woodgate blocked but Sheringham rammed in the loose ball.

The midfield action started to heat up and Thatcher was booked after a bust-up with Alan Smith but despite the tempo of the game, few chances were created for the rest of the half.

Leeds came out firing after the break and after Bowyer and Harte tried their luck it was no surprise when they pulled a goal back. Viduka turned on a sixpence on the edge of the box and drilled into the bottom corner from 16 yards.

Bowyer tried his luck again from 20 yards on the hour and boss Glenn Hoddle changed it around soon after as Gus Poyet replaced Anderton.

David O'Leary followed suit by throwing Robbie Keane into the action and with Keane, Smith, Fowler and Viduka all on, there was no denying his intentions.

With Chris Perry and Ben Thatcher particularly outstanding, most of Leeds' possession fell down on the edge of the box. It took until the 80th minute for another clear-cut chance as a move down the left ended with Bowyer turning well but shooting straight at Keller.

Play went straight down the other end as Iversen's header from Sherwood's fine cross produced the save of the match from Martyn, clawing the ball away at full stretch.

Leeds threw everything forward in the latter stages but to the credit of the defence and the unflappable Keller, no more chances were created.