Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey Match Report - Leeds v Spurs, 30.09.2000
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Leeds v Spurs, 30.09.2000


Leeds scorers:-
Viduka, 52,53
Smith, 59,64

Spurs scorers:-
Rebrov, 37, 74
Perry, 60

Attendance:- 37,562

Referee:- N. Barry

Leeds (4-4-2):- Martyn; Kelly, Radebe (Capt. sub Hay, 45), Mills, Harte; Bowyer, Bakke, Dacourt (sub McPhail, 35), Matteo; Viduka (sub Bridges, 80), Smith

Subs not used:- Robinson (GK); Huckerby

No bookings

Spurs (4-3-3/4-4-2):- Sullivan; Carr, Perry, Vega, Thatcher; Freund, Sherwood (Capt.), Leonhardsen; Iversen, Ferdinand (sub Anderton, 30), Rebrov

Subs not used:- Walker; Thelwell, Clemence, Dominguez

Booked:- Iversen, Vega

After a first half which was like Emergency Ward 10 (showing my age here!), with the Elland Road pitch like a field hospital, Spurs failed to hold on to a deserved half-time lead, and for a mad 15 minutes after the interval, defended like sheep facing rabid wolves, as Viduka and Smith tore us to shreds to turn the game dramatically.

To their great credit, Spurs did fight back in the crazy 6 goal second half, but the only satisfaction we can draw is to record that the home fans were frantically whistling for the game to end as both Sherwood and Anderton came close to an equaliser, as Spurs did put Leeds under some pressure in the closing minutes.

George Graham started with a 4-3-3, but had a decision made for him, when the ineffective Les Ferdinand had to be stretchered off with concussion after a clash of heads with Radebe. Darren Anderton replaced him, and made all the difference, giving the midfield structure, and making it a potent force again. Indeed Spurs dominated the rest of the half, and when Sergei scored we fancied our chances, as Leeds also lost Radebe and Dacourt to injury.

Early efforts for Viduka and Smith didn't give Sullivan too much trouble, as Spurs managed to hold their line outside the danger zone. Even Vega made some impressive tackles, and I thought Freund was playing one of his best games of the season, doing what he does best, always getting a foot in, and nibbling away at whoever had the ball. Sergei Rebrov got a shot on target after Leonhardsen snatched a loose Radebe header. A good build up by Sherwood and Carr led to a shot for Leo, which was deflected for a corner.

Bakke won a free kick 25 yards out, and Ian Harte stepped up to hit a typical powerful drive, which took a nasty deflection, leaving Sullivan stranded. The shot went wide. After a sequence of injuries, Sergei gave us a deserved lead, after Anderton fed Carr, who crossed quickly. Rebrov's 20 yard strike was not powerful, but was very well placed and hit first time to beat Martyn. The silent Leeds fans had been baited by our contingent throughout "A song, you haven't sung a song!", and now they withdrew even more. They were of course to have the last laugh.

Bakke was lucky to escape booking for a challenge on Leonhardsen. Spurs countered an attack with Steffen Freund racing out of defence, providing for Anderton whose shot was parried by Martyn. The ball ran for several yards, and there was no follow up from an attacker. Iversen could have reacted quicker to this. I have had reservations about Iversen's performance so far, as his control is poor, and he bottles out of every 50-50 challenge.

The sequence in the second half was like this:-

52 - Viduka drives home after Sullivan struggles at the back post to push out a Bowyer cross. The ball rebounded of the post for Viduka to finish.
53 - Viduka again, as he deflects a Kelly shot to leave the goalkeeper helpless. Iversen forces a save from Martyn with a long shot and then:-
59 - Smith is bundled off the ball by Carr and heads home the free kick taken by Bowyer
60 - Perry heads home a super Darren Anderton free kick taken from the left.
63 - Smith restores the 2 goal advantage with a free header from a Bowyer corner.
69 - Smith nearly makes it 5-2, as he has two shots in quick succession blocked, and then hits the underside of the bar from a Matteo cross.
73 - Iversen heads down an Anderton corner, and Rebrov (lurking Greaves-like in front of the keeper) hits an overhead kick which is cleared from behind the line. The linesman quickly gave the goal, and MOTD replays confirm the goal.

Michael Bridges replaced Viduka, and almost immediately ran on to a through ball, but Sullivan was equal to his effort.

On the way home (listening to talk shows) there were some Tottenham fans claiming that they had their Tottenham back, but I would not be so optimistic, especially as the defence was carved up so easily. Spurs league record is now very symmetrical:-

Played 8
Home Won 3 Drawn 1 Lost 0
Away Won 0 Drawn 1 Lost 3
For 11 Against 11 Pts 11 Position 10th.

After 8 games, I do not think the table lies.

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