Patrick Bamford impressed again as Leeds thumped Tottenham 3 – 1. In an absorbing game at Elland Road, Stuart Dallas put Leeds ahead with his eighth league goal of the season, the Northern Ireland midfielder pouncing from close range after Hugo Lloris’ terrific reaction save to prevent Sergio Reguilon putting through his own net.
Patrick Bamford scored for Leeds United in front of watching England boss Gareth Southgate to help dent Tottenham’s European chances. The lead lasted 12 minutes, Son Heung-min equalising with a clinical finish after Dele Alli was allowed to run unchallenged before threading a clever pass into the South Korea forward‘s path.
But Leeds responded through Bamford, who tapped in Ezgjan Alioski’s cross before substitute Rodrigo confirmed Spurs’ first league defeat in three games under interim manager Ryan Mason.
On a frustrating day for Spurs, Harry Kane had two goals ruled out for offside and hit the bar from a free-kick, while Illan Meslier produced an excellent save to keep out Serge Aurier’s deflected attempt.
With three matches left, sixth-placed Spurs are five points off fourth spot with both teams immediately above them – West Ham and Chelsea – having games in hand.
Leeds, who started the weekend in 11th spot, climbed above Aston Villa and Arsenal – who both play on Sunday – into ninth. Will Bamford get Euro 2020 call?
Southgate, who will this month name his squad for this summer’s delayed Euro 2020 Championship, was at Elland Road to see Bamford score his 15th Premier League goal of the season.
Earlier this season, Southgate said Bamford was close to being called up but opted instead for Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins.
With countries allowed to select a 26-player squad instead of the usual 23 at this summer’s tournament, the former Chelsea player could well be in contention for a first England call at the age of 27.
He has been a key to Leeds’ solid return to the top flight and was in the right place to score his team’s second goal during a typical hard-working performance by Marcelo Bielsa’s side. Their return to the Premier League has been peppered with memorable moments. Leeds have taken four points off champions-elect Manchester City, won convincingly at third-placed Leicester and played some exciting football throughout.
This high-energy performance was another highlight as they scored three or more goals in a single game for the eighth time. They could have won by a more handsome margin.
At 1-1, Lloris produced a one-handed save to keep out Jack Harrison and the Spurs keeper later denied Mateusz Klich at 2-1, before Moreno’s goal, after a superb run and pass by the returning Raphinha, settled it.
The result means Leeds will finish this season unbeaten at home in the league against the so-called big six.
Will Spurs make Europe?
This was Tottenham’s second defeat since sacking Jose Mourinho last month. Not only is 2020-21 their 13th season without a major trophy after they lost to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final, they are now in danger of missing out on a place in Europe.
While Mourinho has since resurfaced in Italy at Roma, Spurs’ search for a permanent manager looks set to extend into the close season.
Whoever takes over faces a huge task.
Question marks remain over the future of England captain Kane while Gareth Bale has just three games before he is due to return to Real Madrid.
Tottenham’s next manager will be the 10th permanent appointment made during Daniel Levy’s 20 years as chairman. He really needs to get the next one right.
Having beaten Southampton and relegated Sheffield United at home under Mason, this was a careless performance against Leeds.
The hosts were much more energetic and took the lead after Aurier failed to cut out a cross, while Eric Dier’s poor headed clearance sparked the move that led to Bamford scoring Leeds’ second goal.
Fourth place looks an unlikely prospect now for Spurs, while sixth place will become seventh if Liverpool beat Southampton at Anfield in the day’s late kick-off.
Leeds keep out the ‘big six’ – the stats
- Leeds became the first side to remain unbeaten at home in the Premier League against each of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham in a season since West Ham in 2015-16, and only the third newly promoted side to do so, after Ipswich Town in 2000-01 and Birmingham City in 2009-10.
- Spurs have lost five of their 10 Premier League away games in 2021.
- Patrick Bamford became just the fourth Englishman to score 15-plus goals for Leeds in a single Premier League campaign after Lee Chapman (15 in 1992-93), Rod Wallace (17 in 1993-94) and Michael Bridges (19 in 1999-00).
- Bamford has had a hand 22 Premier League goals this season (15 goals, seven assists) – only one Englishman has been involved in more (Harry Kane, 34).
- Only team-mate Kane (21) and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah (20) have scored more Premier League goals than Tottenham’s Son Heung-min (17) this season.
- Stuart Dallas is the first Northern Ireland player to score as many as eight Premier League goals in a single season since Chris Brunt in 2008-09.
Leeds are at Burnley next Saturday (12:30 BST), while Tottenham are at home to Wolves on Sunday, 16 May (14:05 BST).