New 12 months, standard Tottenham. Spurs bounced again into the Premier League’s prime 4 with a 3-0 dwelling win over Leeds United that includes one other star flip from the partnership that is still so integral to their hopes of success this season: Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min.
Each reached important private milestones. Kane’s profitable Twenty ninth-minute penalty broke the impasse and meant he grew to become the primary participant to achieve double figures for each objectives (10) and assists (10) within the prime 5 European leagues this season. Son’s Forty third-minute strike was his a hundredth objective for Tottenham in all competitions. And in gathering Kane’s excellent cross to brush dwelling right-footed, it means as a pair they’ve now mixed for 13 Premier League objectives in a season, matching the file set by Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton in 1994-95 at Blackburn Rovers.
After all, Blackburn gained the title that season and for Spurs to have a real probability of doing the identical, Son and Kane must be as scientific as they have been right here towards a Leeds United aspect who as soon as once more exuded tactical sophistication and spirited endeavour undermined by a porous backline that ranks among the many worst within the division. It’s a central tenet of Jose Mourinho’s ethos to pounce on such errors and in that regard this was one other victory for the Portuguese’s pragmatism, one he little doubt savoured just a little extra given it got here towards the much-celebrated Marcelo Bielsa.
There was lots to love in regards to the guests’ endeavour — a lot in order that the thoughts begins to wander over what Bielsa may obtain in England with a extra gifted group of gamers — however the match may merely be distilled all the way down to this: Leeds had the ball, Tottenham have the factors. The distinction got here in particular person errors on the again and the standard of Spurs in capitalising. Each Kane and Son are far exceeding their anticipated objectives numbers for this season and their scientific ending swung this recreation irrevocably in Tottenham’s favour.
Leeds goalkeeper Ilian Meslier is clearly an thrilling prospect however he’s unable to keep away from the lapses a 20-year-old could be anticipated to endure. After nearly half an hour during which Leeds regarded marginally the extra prone to rating, he performed his workforce into bother, passing the ball out to Harry Winks, who shortly regarded to feed Steven Bergwijn. Ezgjan Alioski was caught the incorrect aspect of Bergwijn and will solely deliver him down, with VAR confirming contact befell simply contained in the field. Kane made no mistake, scoring his first objective towards Leeds within the prime flight and which means he has now scored towards all 30 Premier League groups he has confronted.
Leeds, as they so usually are, have been unperturbed and continued to press for a gap, however an ideal encapsulation of Spurs beneath Mourinho doubled the house aspect’s benefit on the stroke of half-time. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg gained a 50-50 problem with Rodrigo, Kane popped up on the fitting flank and whipped in a chic cross. Son timed his run to perfection and completed coolly previous Meslier. It was Son’s solely shot of the half, Spurs had scored from two of their three makes an attempt on the right track.
Toby Alderweireld eliminated any doubt with Spurs’ third objective 5 minutes after the restart, assembly Son’s nook with a downward header for which Meslier was initially poorly positioned after which gradual to react to because the ball squirmed throughout the road. Having somebody aside from his major two objective scorers discover the online is one thing Mourinho want to see extra of sooner or later.
“[Son and Kane] are good gamers as you realize for a few years,” the Spurs supervisor mentioned after the match. “They play collectively for a few years too. That collectively, plus the way in which we wish them to work together brings objectives. I would like extra objectives, particularly extra objectives from different gamers however as we speak the second objective is nice.
“Additionally it is nice as a result of it’s one thing we spoke about. In opposition to a workforce that defends the way in which Leeds does, it is vitally necessary to have that mobility — a striker in the fitting wing and to have a winger scoring on the primary publish is one thing that pleases us from a strategic perspective.”
Leeds ended with 64% of the possession, finishing nearly 250 extra passes and with 18 photographs to the house aspect’s 20 — most of these coming as Spurs attacked area with the sport opening up — however nothing to indicate for it. Though Matt Doherty was despatched off in stoppage time for a second yellow card after a careless deal with on Pablo Hernandez, Tottenham merely did not make the errors Leeds have been responsible of when the sport was within the stability, incomes their first win since they beat Arsenal 2-0 on Dec. 6 with kind of scientific counterattacking that had propelled them into the title race within the first place.
The truth is, this all felt very 2020 for Tottenham, proper all the way down to the COVID-19 breach that overshadowed the buildup with Sergio Reguilon, Erik Lamela and Giovani Lo Celso all condemned in a strong-worded membership assertion after the emergence of an image showing to indicate them breaking authorities tips to have a good time with their households, West Ham midfielder Manuel Lanzini and his family members through the Christmas interval. Spurs gamers broke lockdown guidelines on a number of events final summer time with Mourinho seen holding a private coaching session in a north London park and Serge Aurier amongst a number of gamers additionally discovered to be breaking the foundations.
These indiscretions have been overshadowed in a sporting sense by Tottenham’s sturdy finish to the 2019-20 season that continued into the present marketing campaign, spearheaded by Kane and Son, who’re simply three in need of former Chelsea duo Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba’s all-time file of 36 Premier League objective combos. Kane and Son appear near-certainties to surpass that quantity given their present price, assuming they continue to be out there for choice.
Panic unfold at an alarming price throughout one temporary first-half second when each gamers seemed to be battling accidents, underlining the precariousness of Tottenham’s title push, even with Gareth Bale and Carlos Vinicius, a late substitute for Kane right here, in assist. However the longer they proceed like this, the extra Tottenham will begin to imagine something is feasible.