Two goals in two minutes from Rodrigo Bentancur at the end of a frenetic game have saved Tottenham and secured their place in the top four as the Premier League breaks for the World Cup.
Leeds took the lead three times, but were fed back on each occasion and eventually beaten by Bentancur’s second, created by the excellent Dejan Kulusevski in the 83rd minute.
The visitors ended up with 10 men. Tyler Adams picked up his second yellow card for a trip over Yves Bissouma and by then Tottenham were on their way to a much needed victory.
A late double from Rodrigo Bentancur saw Spurs come from behind to win a thriller against Leeds on Saturday afternoon
Antonio Conte couldn’t hide his joy after Bentancur’s late double secured the three points in a hard-fought win
That didn’t seem likely for most of the game, but Bentancur equalized in the 81st minute by beating goalkeeper Illan Meslier with a deflection and winning with a tap in two minutes later on a superb dribble from Kulusevski.
The Sweden international was on the grid for the first time since injury, as was fellow forward Richarlison, but Tottenham’s problems at the back continued.
Leeds took the lead in the 10th minute and pierced the hosts with a diagonal move from right to left, through Willy Gnonto and Brenden Aaronson and into the channel between Emerson Royal and Eric Dier.
Crysencio Summerville opened the scoring, marking his fourth goal in as many league appearances for the Yorkshire club
Harry Kane hit back after 25 minutes to level up in his last game before the World Cup
Rodrigo Moreno scored a double to bring his side back to the front twice after Ben Davies scored Tottenham’s second
Aaronson found Summerville, who collected the pass with the outside of his right boot and fended off the challenge from Dier before beating Hugo Lloris with a low shot with his left foot.
MATCH FACTS AND REVIEWS
Tottenham (3-4-3): Lloris 6, Davies 6.5, Lenglet 6 (Sanchez 57, 5), Dier 5.5, Perisic 6.5, Bentancur 8, Hojbjerg 7, Emerson 5.5 (Doherty 57, 6), Richarlison 6.5 (Bissouma 69, 6), Kane 7, Kulusevski 8.5 (Moura 90)
Replacements not used: Forster (GK); Skipp, Gil, Spence, Tanganga
Manager: Antonio Conte 6.5
goals: Kane 25′, Davies 51′, Bentancur 81′ 83′
Leeds United (4-2-3-1): Meslier 6, Struijk 6, Cooper 6, Koch 6, Kristensen 6.5 (Regatillo 89), Roca 6.5 (Ayling 79), Adams 6, Summerville 7.5, Aaronson 7, Gnoto 7 (Greenwood 46, 6), Rodrigo 8 (Gelhardt 89 )
Replacements not used: Robles (GK); Firpo, Llorente, Perkins, Gyabi
Manager: Jesse Marsch 6.5
goals: Summerville 10′, Moreno 43′ 77′
Booked: Roca, Adams
Referee: Michael Salisbury 6
It was Summerville’s fourth goal in his last four games. It was the eighth game in a row for Spurs to concede their first goal.
Royal skied a glorious opportunity when Spurs elicited a response. Unmarked and just 10 yards away, the Brazilian’s effort was wild and wasteful after a fine run and cross from Ben Davies, and the Spurs could have easily slipped two behind as Summerville again sprinted clear to be foiled by Lloris.
Tottenham’s equalizing goal looked like a foul on goalkeeper Illan Meslier, who was attacked by Celement Lenglet when he jumped out of a corner.
Meslier ended up in a pile in his own net and his batted clearance fell to Kane, who reacted skillfully to defeat Tyler Adams and find the net.
Leeds was furious. They surrounded referee Michael Salisbury with their protest and Jesse Marsch raged in his tech room, but there was no intervention from VAR Paul Tierney.
Kane celebrated his 12th Premier League goal of the season.
Two minutes before half time, the visitors took the lead again. This time it was the Spurs who tried to defend a corner.
It was cleared, but was headed back at them by Liam Cooper and aided by Rasmus Kristensen, before Dier played him onside and pushed past Lloris on Rodrigo’s half volley.
Conte’s players were booed down the tunnel at half-time, as on their previous home appearance when they were beaten by Liverpool, but the game was wide open and chaotic, as is often the case with matches involving Leeds.
Davies leveled Tottenham again, six minutes into the second half. Kulusevski picked up the ball on a throw-in, made his way to the bye line and cut a pass low to Kane, whose effort hit Kristensen and bounced back to Davies.
His connection was sharp, but it was still a surprise to see the ball somehow dodge the barrier of Kristensen and goalkeeper Meslier and spin over the line.
Conte made changes to change his defense and replaced Richarlison with Yves Bissouma, but his team gave up a third, Rodrigo’s second of the game and a fantastic finish.
Again, there was the mandatory dispute, with Tottenham’s football head Fabio Paratici and Richarlison leading an appeal against fourth official Graham Scott. They claimed Tyler Adams foul on Bentancur when he passed the ball to Kulusevski.
Cooper cut Kulusevski to gain possession and launch the move that ended with Rodrido beating Davinson Sanchez and hitting a fierce low drive past Lloris from a corner but the goal stood and it was Leeds’ third time leading the way took.
Enter Bentancur, the Uruguayan midfielder who has been in excellent form in recent weeks but rarely carries a goal threat. He has now scored four in six games. And these were crucial for Conte.
A pair of goals from midfielder Bentancur, just minutes apart, gave Spurs the lead for the first time late in the game.
With Spurs ahead, Leeds dropped to 10 when Tyler Adams was sent off for a second bookable foul in the closing stages