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What a result yesterday. The Pizza shop just outside White Hart Lane sells matchday special 7" Pizzas (with four different sets of toppings), a piece of Dalek bread and coke/7 up/other soft drink of your choice. Once we'd exterminated that lot and climbed up to the gods to watch the gods, Dr Nattan had time to coach Jabba in the art of curing back ache before Leeds were swarming all over Spurs for 90 minutes while not learning too many defensive lessons from Saturday.
Before Spurs' first effort on goal though, Fowler had almost chipped Casey Jones in the Spurs goal, but he steamed back and just tipped the ball away. You didn't have to be much of a lip reader to see what Robbie thought in huge detail on the big Telly! The Leeds midfield bustled with Batty ruling, Bakke supporting and Smith and Bowyer seemingly everywhere. However, the warning signs were there early on, Iversen wriggling though to be one on one with Nige alarmingly easy. Fortunately, he's a donkey and totally scuffed his shot.
Not long later though, Mills failed to close down Ethrington who whipped in a cross that Mateo failed to get a head to. Iversen did and floated a header past the diving Martyn. The way Leeds had been playing, I was confident we'd score and go on to win the game. Chance after chance was carved out; shots rained in, crosses piled in, moves moved in, but the ball never found its way into the Spurs net.
A Spurs attack broke down and Fowler tracked back to clear up. However, instead of moving forwards, albeit while facing the Leeds goal, he passed backwards, somewhat short of a Leeds player. The ball was never really cleared properly after this and via a throw in, the ball dropped to someone on the edge of the area who shot towards Nige's goal. Although it was blocked on the way through in the forest of legs it sat up nicely for Sheringham to stab the ball home. Now we knew how Blackburn felt after we were two up at Ewood Park, dominating the game, but being two goals down.
While a lot of entertaining football was being played, the referee, one Mr Uriah Renie, managed to piss off two sets of supporters with a string of terrible decisions. Just as Ellery had a surprisingly good game on Saturday, Renie had a bloody awful game yesterday. The Spurs fans didn't appreciate him for booking Ethrington for diving, the Leeds fans didn't appreciate him for failing to appreciate football's a contact sport. It was hard to stomach and surely the first time a Renie has *given* people indigestion rather than cured it...
Half time came on no sign of the Arsenal score. Strange. Maybe they were playing at night we surmised.
Second half came and Leeds again battered Spurs. A couple of minutes in, Viduka continued his run of scoring with a lovely turn on the edge of the area and fired a superb shot past the despairing dive of Keller. Still most of the second half to go, an equaliser had to come. The attacks continued, Keane was again brought on with plenty of time to spare - credit here to O'Leary, maybe he's sussing the subs thing out - and he caused more problems for the Spurs defence. So much pressure was applied that Leeds broke the corner flag. "Shit ground no flags" we wittily sang.
Still no equaliser though and when the final whistle went, it was another game where we'd really played quite well but got nothing out of the game due to a few moments of poor defending. An enjoyable game despite the result and encouraging to see O'Leary starting to learn a few lessons during a game as well as hearing him talk positively after the game about next season. O'Leary out? Nonsense? Naive young manager, maybe - but he's shown plenty over the last few seasons both in getting to European semi finals and learning to change things that don't work like the 4-3-3 disaster to suggest he's got what it takes. With all he's had to cope with this season he's done alright - there's no-one around who would do any better and plenty who would do a lot worse. Patience everyone.
We never got to hear the Arse score at the ground, is this really an example of Spurs being so petty and jealous they wouldn't announce the score that meant the Arse went to the top of the league?
Copy from Football Unlimited of 02/04/2002.
There can have been few bigger moaners than David O'Leary since Tony Hancock hung up his homburg. Consequently, sympathy does not flow easily towards the Leeds United manager.
Any neutral who attended this match, however, might have wept for him. For the first half-hour Leeds dazzled Tottenham with their ambition and attacking brio, only to fall two goals behind.
Leeds had an even stronger second half, scoring just after the interval before pushing Spurs back on their heels for the rest of the game. But their hopes of a place in the Champions League next season are in tatters; they are five points behind Newcastle, who have two games in hand.
Copy from Yorkshire Evening Post of 02/04/2002.
IT has not been a case of happy holidays this time around for Leeds United.
Going into the Christmas season, United were on fire. Indeed, come New Year's Day they topped the table and all the talk was of Leeds clinching their first Premiership success.
However, just three months later and following a disastrous Easter period, David O'Leary's men are now facing an altogether different prospect.
The 4-3 defeat against Manchester United on Saturday coupled with a reverse against Tottenham yesterday sees Leeds languishing in sixth spot.
The title was out of the question a long time ago but a Champions League place was still up for grabs before the weekend.
But Leeds now face an almighty battle to simply achieve a Uefa Cup slot and they could even now face the embarrassment of having to enter the much-maligned Intertoto competition in an effort to serve some European fare at Elland Road next season.
Apt it may have been then, as a sign of Leeds' fall from grace, that yesterday was April Fools Day
But the 2-1 loss at White Hart Lane did not paint the whole picture and United can feel aggrieved they did not take at least a point from the fixture.
True, the defensive failings exposed so clinically by the Red machine on Saturday again came to light against Glenn Hoddle's side as Spurs ran into a 2-0 lead.
Leeds were too easily penetrated as first Steffen Iversen and then Teddy Sheringham capitalised on their generosity. But after that initial shock, Leeds dominated possession and created chances to retrieve the game.
Mark Viduka's 51st-minute strike made for an intriguing second half. But Hoddle's side, more often praised for their flowing football, showed another worthwhile quality not so often linked to his teams the ability to shut out some of the best attackers in the Premiership.
Leeds were thwarted despite all their endeavour and they left the capital without reward.
The game had been billed as the battle of the underachievers. Certainly Leeds have not fulfiled their early-season promise while Spurs are of a similar ilk.
The Londoners still hold painful memories of Blackburn's Andy Cole ending their Worthington Cup dream at the Millennium Stadium where they were favourites to lift the trophy.
Soon after that their FA Cup run was ended in spectacular fashion by Chelsea at the quarter-final stage when Tottenham had been tipped to go on and enjoy success in that competition.
Both Leeds and Spurs went into yesterday's clash with injury problems. United were once more without inspirational skipper Rio Ferdinand, so obviously missed when Manchester United had torn Leeds' defence to shreds at Elland Road just two days previously.
A knee injury still troubled the England defender, while winger Harry Kewell was also out after picking up a foot injury against the champions.
Seth Johnson was dropped to the bench, Norwegian Eirik Bakke came onto Kewell's left flank and Lee Bowyer took over in centre midfield.
Spurs also had problems with the likes of Les Ferdinand and Christian Ziege unavailable.
However, the game got off to a flying start with Iversen immediately getting in behind Dominic Matteo to test Nigel Martyn from just inside the box.
At the other end Robbie Fowler picked up on an awful back-header from young Spurs defender Anthony Gardner to deliver a delightful lob which goalkeeper Kasey Keller had to scramble to clear.
With Fowler going close and Alan Smith, starting on the right-hand side of midfield but popping up everywhere, looking lively, United certainly seemed to have got their mauling at the hands of Sir Alex Ferguson's assassins out of their system.
But then Ben Thatcher was given time out on the left to set up his cross and Iversen rose easily above Matteo to plant a firm header past Martyn.
Ten minutes had passed and deja vu must have crept in for O'Leary as his side were effortlessly opened up once more.
Sheringham nearly doubled the hosts' advantage when his speculative long-range effort whistled past the post moments after the restart.
Leeds were undeterred and Viduka and Woodgate both went close as they went in search of their own reward.
But they were then dealt a hammer blow when David Batty was lucky to escape without a caution after going in late on Sheringham and the wily striker picked himself up and was soon firing in Spurs' second goal.
United failed to deal with Thatcher's long throw, Dean Richards flicked on and Sheringham laid off for Simon Davies to rifle goalwards. Jon Woodgate got in a block but Sheringham was on hand to steer the ball past Martyn in the 29th minute.
After a stern intervention by O'Leary at half-time, Leeds reappeared with renewed vigour and enthusiasm. They attacked from the off and pressed Spurs deep into their own half.
Bowyer went close with a drive, while Keller fumbled a similar effort by Harte. Then came Viduka's lifeline.
The Aussie striker linked well with Fowler and produced a wonderful piece of skill to work his way past Richards on the edge of the area before directing a left-foot drive past Keller.
Leeds were visibly roused by their breakthrough and went in search of more.
O'Leary introduced Robbie Keane, who had such a positive impact from the bench on Saturday, and he showed more telling touches.
Bowyer profited from his work but his shot was straight at Keller, Smith had an effort blocked, Harte went close once more but Leeds could not find the goal they needed to draw level.