Tottenham Hotspur 4 Leeds United 3: Whites beaten but not disgraced in pulsating game

Leeds United finished part one of the Premier League season with a defeat, but not one which needs stewing on in the six weeks before they return to action.

The timing of Rodrigo Bentancur's two goals – after 82 and 83 minutes – made defeat hard to take in a game Leeds's Rodrigo had put them ahead twice in and Crysencio Summerville once, and the Whites will certainly not be happy with some of the goals they conceded, but in possession, it was a very good performance to follow up league wins over Liverpool and Bournemouth.

They contributed to a hugely entertaining game but that will be of no comfort to coach Jesse Marsch, who looked very unhappy at the full-time whistle.

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The lack of a VAR intervention for Tottenham's opener and a red card for Tyler Adams probably helped to darken his mood.

SHARP: Rodrigo celebrates his second goal for Leeds UnitedSHARP: Rodrigo celebrates his second goal for Leeds United
SHARP: Rodrigo celebrates his second goal for Leeds United

Just to walk around the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was a reminder of how far ahead the Champions League club are ahead of a club still establishing itself in the Premier League but the gulf was never evident on the field.

Leeds started the game with the confidence their last two league games ought to have put into them, and it only grew when they saw how effectively they were getting in behind the Spurs back line.

Brenden Aaronson passes to Summerville looked the best route to goal, and the opening goal came that way in the tenth minute.

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Rasmus Kristensen, heading on Illan Meslier's goalkick, and Willy Gnonto, on his full debut, were involved in the build-up but it was Aaronson's pass that made the difference, Summerville calmly slotting home his fourth goal in as many games.

It was the eighth consecutive game Tottenham had gone behind in.

Spurs looked just as capable of cutting through at the other end, just not finding the net.

Dejan Kuluseviski was having a lot of joy down the inside-right channel but when he pulled the ball back for Emerson Royal, Meslier beat the shot behind for a corner. The next time he burst through, the cross was overhit.

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On the other side, Ben Davies stepped out of the back three, played a one-two with Harry Kane but again it was Emerson he picked out, and the shot was ballooned.

Within a minute, Summerville was running onto another Aaronson throughball, Meslier saving with his feet. Rodrigo's shot against the post came from an offside position.

Generally, though, it was Spurs on top at this stage but it was no surprise they needed a little help to open the scoring. Kane appeared to push Adams at a corner and Clement Lenglet was right on top of Meslier when England's captain volleyed in with the aid of deflection.

Goalkeepers are woefully over-protected, but Meslier looked to have an argument for a foul. It did not wash with Michael Salisbury of his video assistant Paul Tierney.

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When Meslier saved from Kulusevski a minute later, the crowd was pumped up and Leeds riding a storm. A Richarlison shot hit Robin Koch. who cut out a Kane pass bound for the Brazilian.

But Leeds did ride out the storm – and more.

Eric Dier conceded a corner with an excellent tackle when Aaronson went around him but Spurs made a hash of clearing the corner. Liam Cooper played it back in, Kristensen headed it on and as it dropped, Rodrigo volleyed in.

Rather than deter Leeds, Davies' equaliser early in the second half led to a period of sustained pressure at the other end.

Once again there was a player in Meslier's way but this time it was team-mate Kristensen hampering his attempt to save the follow-up after saving Kane's initial shot.

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Aaronson was always available for the ball and constantly looking to unlock the door when he got it, though he never quite managed.

Substitute Sam Greenwood put a free-kick over when Summerville was fouled just outside the area by Davison Sanchez and thw winger had a shot blocked, but generally Spurs were pretty hard to break down

It took a counter-attack to do it, Cooper stepping up to win the bll, playing it to Marc Roca wand watching him play an excellent pass which got an even better, clam finish from Rodrigo for his ninth goal of the season with 13 minutes to go.

Roca was almost immediately substituted as Leeds switched to five at the back and it was from his area of the pitch that Bentancur equalised with the aid of a deflection as a cross deflected to him.

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A minute later, Spurs were ahead for the first time in the game, taking advantage of more poor defending. Kulisevski beat Koch too easily to get to the byline and the only person close enough to stop Bentancur getting a shot in was wearing Spurs white.

With 83 minutes gone, it was a low blow.

When Adams was sent off for a second ill-judged foul, it signalled the end of Leeds's chances in the game. They had been good, but not quite good enough.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Dier, Lenglet (Sanchez 57), Davies; Emerson (Doherty 57), Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Perisic; Kulusevski (Moura 89), Kane, Richarlison (Bissouma 68).

Unused substitutes: Skipp, Gil, Forster, Spence, Tanganga.

Leeds United: Meslier; Kristensen (Joseph 89), Koch, Cooper, Struijk; Adams, Roca (Ayling 79); Gnonto (Greenwood 46), Aaronson, Summerville; Rodrigo (Gelhardt 89).Unused substitutes: Firpo, Llorente, Perkins, Gyabi, Robles.

Referee: M Salisbury (Lancashire).