Football: Kewell uses his head to make Spurs think again
Leeds United 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0
Thursday 05 March 1998
There are also grounds for believing that any side that can fail to gain anything from a Leeds team that was understrength and distracted by Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final against Wolves is in serious trouble. Certainly Tottenham's defence last night rarely rose above being a shambles.
Leeds were dreadful for 45 minutes, wasted numerous chances in the second half and yet still won this match comfortably thanks to Harry Kewell's goal in pre-interval injury time. Not a moment too soon either, as this was only their second success in the League since 20 December.
It was goal amidst a wasteland of mediocrity. David Ginola, a treat to watch even on his bad days, strived for better football but was consistently dragged back by the inadequacies of his colleagues, not least Jurgen Klinsmann.
The German could not convert two chances created for him by Ginola in the first 22 minutes and squandered a ripe opportunity with three minutes to go when he could not make proper contact on Garry Brady's pass. His night rather summed up Tottenham's
In the last 20 minutes you would have expected the visitors to have pounded forward in search of something to take back to London, but they fizzled out lamely, capitulating almost every time Leeds struck back at them. "We had lots of chances," George Graham, the Leeds manager, said "and in the end should have won by three goals.''
Few would dispute the Leeds manager's analysis although, his Tottenham counterpart, Christian Gross did. "We had the better of the first half and over the 90 minutes we were unlucky not to get a draw," he said. As they say, football is a game of opinions.
At least no one could dispute the excellence of Leeds' goal. Rod Wallace played a one-two with Lee Bowyer that gave him space on the right flank and his cross went to the far post. Harry Kewell, running hard to get to the area, could easily have made a mess of the chance but he used his head in more ways than one, directing the ball low into the corner of the net.
Sadly, it was the only truly lucid moment of the night.
Leeds United (4-4-2): Martyn; Maybury, Molenaar, Hiden, Harte; Halle, Bowyer, Hopkin, Kewell; Wallace (Matthews, 88), Hasselbaink (McPhail, 88). Substitutes not used: Jones, Jackson, Beeney (gk).
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Bardsen; Carr, Vega, Campbell, Wilson (Fenn, 82); Fox, Howells (Saib, 59), Berti (Brady, 71), Nielsen; Klinsmann, Ginola. Substitutes not used: Calderwood, Grodas (gk).
Referee: P Alcock (Sevenoaks).
Latest in Sport
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 2 Expert urges cat lovers to own just one animal each
- 3 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 4 Yes, the iPhone 6 is a miracle, but it's Apple's tax affairs that deserve a double take
- 5 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE NQ to MID LEVEL - An e...
Highly Attractive Pakage: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - A highly attractive oppor...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...
£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...