Wondrous Harry Kane Sinks Miserable Leeds As Relegation Worries Grow For Bielsa

Kane inspired a 4-0 win at Elland Road which sinks Leeds further towards the drop
14:30, 26 Feb 2022

Leeds - and Marcelo Bielsa - are in big trouble. Once again their porous defence left them with an impossible task as Tottenham came to town and scored four at Elland Road. This result means that Leeds have conceded a record twenty goals in a single Premier League month, having been hit for six by Liverpool in midweek. 

Bielsa’s free-flowing attacking style of play has simply been undone over the past months as teams have found it all too easy to get at their defence. They hit the woodwork twice and had several chances which should have found the back of the net, but ultimately they were made to pay by a scintillating Spurs attack, led by Harry Kane. 

It was a carbon copy of the performances we have seen in recent weeks from the men in white and having conceded six in midweek at Anfield, and four at home to Manchester United last weekend, this squad simply cannot learn from their mistakes. Liam Cooper, Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford, the spine of this team, were forced to watch on from the stands as their colleagues failed to deliver the level of defensive performance required at this level. 

Tottenham, who should have lacked confidence having lost four of their last five, were clinical and lethal in front of goal. The away side went in front in the opening ten minutes as Ryan Sessegnon found space on the left-wing and crossed the ball to the opposite full-back Matt Doherty who finished expertly from close range. 

Those wing-backs are key for Antonio Conte and with the positions up for grabs, both Doherty and Sessegnon put in impressive displays. Dejan Kulesevski, who has made a flying start to life in London, doubled Spurs’ lead from an improbable initial position as he played a one-two from the corner flag, found himself in the box and then found the bottom corner with a left-footed finish. 

Leeds kept on coming, as they always do and nearly had an immediate response when Robin Koch hit the post from twelve yards after good work from Raphinha. Tottenham were in the mood though, and so clinical in front of goal. Harry Kane, who put in such a phenomenal display at the Etihad in their win over Manchester City, returned to the scoresheet as he volleyed in from a tight angle after a wonderful ball from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. 

Sessengnon was then denied by Meslier, who hasn’t kept a clean sheet since 30th November and although Leeds had the better of the final ten minutes of the first half as Luke Ayling missed a free header - it was another dismal first half performance. 

For the fourth game in a row, Leeds were at least two goals down at half-time and for the fourth consecutive match, Bielsa made a double change at the break. It is clear that the team selection, and overall performance has been utterly shambolic, and Bielsa seems unable to fix it. 

Stuart Dallas then missed an absolute sitter with 15 minutes to go, when Leeds were desperate for a goal. He beat Hugo Lloris to the ball midway through the Spurs half and raced towards goal, but instead of shooting he took his time and eventually saw his shot blocked. Dan James wasted a decent opportunity minutes later as Leeds continued to fluff their lines in front of goal. 

Emerson Royal should have made it four after a brilliant through ball from Kane, before the England captain played a wondrous pass from inside his own half, to Son, who took the ball down and finished superbly. That breaks the record for the most goal/assist combinations, taking Kane and Son to 37 - above the deadly duo of Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba. 

Kane was a complete joy to watch and showed once again why he is more than just a goalscorer, but Leeds seemingly cannot escape the mire. If they continue this level of defending, they will certainly be relegated and Bielsa’s legacy will be tarnished. 

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