Leeds United's Marcelo Bielsa love affair feels like it is coming to an end as they are brushed aside too easily by Tottenham Hotspur

It was all just a bit too easy for Tottenham Hotspur. A lot too easy.

They beat Leeds United 4-0 but it could have been more had they really wanted it to be.

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When Dejan Kulusevski coasted too easily inside Junior Firpo and Diego Llorente to curl his side's second goal goal of the game it was greeted with the sort of stunned silence away goals often are at Elland Road, then a smattering of boos. Even Antonio Conte's shrieks of joy were restrained by his standards.

STARTING POINT: Matt Docherty puts Tottenham Hotspur in front

They sang his name before kick-off but once the game was underway it just felt like the relationship between Leeds and Marcelo Bielsa, the coach they have worshipped for four years, is going a bit flat. For most of the first half, the biggest cheer was an ironic one when Sheffield referee Craig Pawson gave a foul against Pierre-Emile Hojberg. Eventually, the sight of Joe Gelhardt putting on his bib and jogging down the touchline to warm up topped up.

Gelhardt never made it onto the field.

It was a 12.30pm kick-off, notoriously less atmospheric than later games and neither the milky sunshine, nip in the airn or the identity of the opponents gave it the same edge as Manchester United's visit six days earlier but after three straight defeats, this was a big game for the relegation-threatened Whites and it felt like for 45 minutes they were sleepwalking through it.

Leeds showed more passion in the second half but on the pitch it amounted to little more than four tetchy bookings and one further goal conceded. They have now shipped 20 in five miserable matches, the last four lost.

Playing against any Premier League side, let alone Leeds, is not easy of course, but it was a lot more straight-forward for Spurs than it ought to have been. All four goals were.

The first came after just 11 minutes.

In the early stages of the game Ryan Sessegnon was playing more wing than back on the left, dragging central midfielder Stuart Dallas out to deal with him whilst Luke Ayling tucked inside to look after Son Heung-Min. Once more Leeds's midfield was undermanned.

When Harry Winks got the ball out to Sessegnon he curled a cross for his fellow wing-back Matt Docherty to get in front of Jack Harrison from and tap in. Five minutes later Kulusevski doubled the lead.

At that point Sessegnon began to sit much deeper because Spurs did not have to force it, just wait for the opportunities to open up. In the second half it would be Docherty who took the lead.

They pounced in the 29th minute, Winks able to pick up Llorente's pass in far too much space in the congested midfield and dink a ball Harry Kane put in.


It was not that Leeds did not have chances.

Straight after Kulusevski's goal, Robin Koch won the second ball from a pump forward and after a one-two with Raphinha, sidefooted against the post.

It could have changed the mood had it gone in but it did not.

At 3-0 a Harrison shot was headed away from goal and Ayling was presented with a great chance but headed it wide, seemingly unsure of he should go for goal from a fair way out or give it back to Raphinha.

The boos as the players trudged off at half-time were louder.

The start of the second half was different. Bielsa brought on Rodrigo and Mateusz Klich and had a reshuffle, dropping Robin Koch to centre-back, Adam Forshaw to holding midfield, and pushing Dan James out to the left to allow Rodrigo to play centre-forward.

The Elland Road cauldron came to the boil, the home fans recognising in a way the club's management failed to in January that this was a group of players in need of some help.

But on the field, the passion was misdirected. Klich and Dallas were booked for fouls, Firpo for kicking the ball away after James went through Cristian Romero, with Forshaw angrily trying to pick it up. But when Son ran at Koch, he shrugged him off the first time, then glided past him the second, only to shoot at Illan Meslier. Docherty was then twice played into far much space, Sessegnon unable to get on the end of the first cross, his then Son's shots smothered when he was picked out the next time.

The way Docherty kept running in behind James cast Harrison's first-half performance in a better light, although at least the Wales international put in a good sliding block on Kulusevski in the 72nd minute five minutes after Meslier saved low from the Swede.

It was Firpo who paid the price - not that he could argue either - prompting another rejig which saw Dallas go to left-back and Ayling become a third centre-back. Ironically, at the same time, Spurs switched Docherty over to the left.

When Kane dropped into midfield, hit a long ball and watched Son control it and put it past Meslier for the fourth after 85 minutes, plenty of home fans got up, unable to take any more.

Leeds ought to have had a penalty in the 64th minute when Klich was shoved as he shot in the area but they would have missed it, just as Dallas allowed his shot to be blocked by Ben

Davies after taking the ball around Hugo Lloris around 35 yards out and James steered a good chance wide of the target, all at 3-0, and Raphinha hit a free-kick against the post in stoppage time.

It was just that sort of day. They are becoming far too frequent.

Leeds United: Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Struijk (Klich 46), Firpo (Shackleton 78); Koch; Raphinha, Dallas, Forshaw, Harriso (Rodrigo 48); James.

Unused substitutes: Roberts, Klaesson, Gelhardt, Cresswell, Summerville, Kenneh.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Romero, Dier, Davies; Doherty, Winks, Hojbjerg, R Sessegnon (Emerson 78); Kulusevski (Bergwijn 78), Son (Scarlett 87); Kane.

Unused substitutes: Reguilon, D Sanchez, Rodon, Austin, White, Devine.

Referee: C Pawson (Sheffield).