Tottenham added another element to Sunday's final round of Premiership matches after a victory made possible by Darren Anderton's two goals enabled them to draw level on points with Arsenal in the scramble for the one Uefa Cup place still to be decided.
Their London rivals remain in pole position, with a goal difference advantage of four and a concluding game at home to relegated Bolton. But last night's result ensures that Tottenham's visit to Newcastle will bring equal commitment from both sides.
Anderton's performance in only the second full game of his rehabilitation was the key feature of an excellent display by Tottenham and a massive step towards a place in Terry Venables' European Championship squad. His sharpness, considering the seven months he has missed, was a tribute to his determination to make up for lost time.
He took his chances superbly, sprinting after Terry Sheringham's through ball to put Tottenham ahead midway through the first half, and combining splendidly with the England forward to score an outstanding second, 25 minutes from the end, taking the initiative himself with a positive run through the middle, exchanging passes with his team-mate and then shooting home powerfully off the right-hand post.
"Having been out for two years myself when I was 23 I know what Darren has gone through and he will feel tremendous now," Tottenham's manager, Gerry Francis, said. "As far as the European Championships are concerned, it is up to Terry but from what I saw of Darren tonight he did not look too bad."
Francis rightly highlighted the contribution of Sheringham, who also created the first Spurs goal for Chris Armstrong, winning an aerial challenge that made his co-striker's 22nd goal of the season a simple affair.
Leeds had taken a 13th-minute lead through David Wetherall, allowed a free header from Gary Kelly's cross, but with eight senior players unavailable through injury and suspension Howard Wilkinson's side were always vulnerable.
Leeds' Premiership season has been in steady decline since November and although they have no relegation worries this result stretches the current run of consecutive defeats to six, equalling the worst sequence in the club's history, last experienced at the end of the 1948-49 season.
Leeds United (4-3-3): Lukic; Kelly, Wetherall, Beesley, Worthington; Ford (Couzens, 67), Tinkler, Palmer; Gray, McAllister, Masinga. Substitutes not used: Radebe, Bowman.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Walker; Wilson, Campbell, Mabbutt, Edinburgh; Anderson, Dozzell, Howells, Fox; Armstrong, Sheringham. Substitutes not used: Calderwood, Rosenthal, Day.
Referee: M Bodenham (Cornwall).Reuse content