Kane and Son break Premier League record as we hit four at Leeds
Leeds United 0-4 Spurs
Sat 26 February 2022, 14:25|Tottenham Hotspur
A blistering three-goal salvo inside the opening half hour laid the foundation for a fine victory at Elland Road as we confidently beat Leeds United 4-0 on Saturday afternoon.
Goals from Matt Doherty, Dejan Kulusevski and Harry Kane quickly quietened a typical noisy Leeds crowd, and a strong second-half display was eventually rewarded when Heung-Min Son added a fourth late on. Leeds had their chances, striking the woodwork twice but, for the most part, we were always on control.
The opener came on 10 minutes when our wing-backs combined to devastating effect - Ryan Sessegnon sending over an excellent low cross from the left which Doherty confidently converted for his first Spurs goal. And it was 2-0 just five minutes later - Kulusevski beating Illan Meslier at his near post with a fine finish. We then extended our lead even further just before the half-hour mark, Kane latching onto Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s ball over the top to score with an angled volley.
A dominant second-half display saw us create numerous chances with Doherty, Kulusevski, Son and substitute Emerson Royal all going close as we controlled the game in some style, although Leeds really should have scored late on when Hugo Lloris’ attempted clearance 40 yards out hit Stuart Dallas but, when he was in on goal, The Northern Irishman delayed getting a shot away and, when he did, Ben Davies was across to block.
We rounded off the scoring five minutes from time with another glorious goal. Kane picked out the run of Son with one of his trademark passes and the South Korean drilled past Meslier for 4-0 – that strike set a new Premier League for goal combinations with Kane and Son now having 37 in total.
The perfect response
After the disappointment of Wednesday night’s defeat at Burnley, this was a fantastic response as we produced a performance full of desire, spirit, commitment, and chances – with the four goals a real boost.
The stats will show that Leeds had 18 shots to our 15, but only three of theirs were on target while they struck the woodwork twice, and their best spell in the game came once we had stormed into an early three-goal lead. It always had the potential to be an open and entertaining contest and that’s certainly how it panned out.
With a typically partisan atmosphere at Elland Road, the home side started brightly and Pascal Struijk glanced a header just wide on three minutes before we grabbed the lead with a fine goal. Harry Winks picked up possession on halfway and slid a lovely ball inside right-back Luke Ayling for Sessegnon to stride on to, his first-time ball into the box smashed home by Doherty.
The goalscoring right wing-back was involved in our second, too. Kulusevski looked to be going nowhere down by the right-hand corner flag but managed to wriggle away from Junior Firpo to find Doherty, who slipped a lovely return pass to Kulusevski as he moved into the box, and he rode a challenge before slamming past Meslier.
Robin Koch struck the woodwork from Raphinha’s touch as Leeds looked for a quick response but we were so on top at this stage and added a third when, after our initial move broke down, Hojbjerg retrieved the ball and spotted the run of Kane, clipping a pass over Diego Llorente for Kane to volley home.
For most of the second half, we were in control and should have added to our scoreline but for the hands of Leeds goalkeeper Meslier. First, Son burst through midfield but shot straight at Meslier, Kane then released Doherty but the Leeds stopper blocked and then Koch denied Son on the rebound, Kulusevski later tried to beat the French ‘keeper at his near post again but he was equal to this one and our impressive Swede then saw a shot superbly blocked by Dallas as we completely dominated.
But to their credit, Leeds came back into it and should have scored through that golden opportunity for Dallas on 76 minutes, while Dan James should have done better when he rolled a shot wide after a swift counter-attack.
After Meslier denied us again when he prevented Royal from dribbling round him, we finally scored again when that lethal combination of Kane and Son struck once more, a goal of wonderful simplicity but such clinical efficiency.
Raphinha struck the post with a 22-yard free-kick in stoppage time, but we held on to the clean sheet to ensure a good day’s work at both ends of the pitch.
Having equalled the Premier League goal combinations record of 36 against Manchester City last weekend, it always felt just a matter of time before Kane and Son would break it – and they didn’t need long! They tied Chelsea duo Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba with Son setting up Kane at the Etihad but moved to the top outright with their 37th goal combination today following a role reversal as Kane assisted Son.
Team news saw Antonio Conte make two changes to our starting XI from Wednesday's defeat at Burnley. Having replaced Rodrigo Bentancur at half-time at Turf Moor, Harry Winks came into start with Bentancur ruled out through injury. Doherty, meanwhile, came in for Royal, who was named on our substitutes’ bench.
Reaction on Spurs TV
Speaking pitchside, Antonio Conte told us: "I’m pleased for my players. Today, I asked for answers, not only about footballing aspects, but especially in the character, in the spirit, in the desire, the will to fight, the will to win duels. Today, in a difficult game - don’t forget to play against Leeds away, in this stadium, is not easy - to have these types of answers is good for me."
Highlights on Spurs TV
Leeds United 0-4 Spurs
Leeds (4-1-4-1): Meslier, Ayling (c), Llorente, Struijk (Klich 46), Firpo (Shackleton 78), Koch, Raphinha, Dallas, Forshaw, Harrison (Rodrigo 46), James. Substitutes (not used): Klaesson, Cresswell, Kennet, Summerville, Gelhardt, Roberts.
Spurs (3-4-3): Lloris (c), Romero, Dier, Davies, Doherty, Winks, Hojbjerg, Sessegnon (Royal 78), Kulusevski (Bergwijn 78), Kane, Son (Scarlett 87). Substitutes (not used): Austin, Reguilon, Rodon, Sanchez, White, Devine.
Goals: Spurs - Doherty 10, Kulusevski 15, Kane 27, Son 85.
Yellow cards: Leeds - Klich 52, Dallas 53, Firpo 54, Rodrigo 77; Spurs - Sessegnon 48, Ben Davies 89.
Referee: Craig Pawson.
Venue: Elland Road.
Weather: Sunny spells, moderate breeze, 9 degrees.