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Player Ratings: Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Leeds United

A Leeds team ravaged by injury made a tough trip down to London, returning with nothing to show for it.

Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United - Premier League
Marcelo Bielsa watches on as Leeds play well at Spurs but return with nothing
Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

If ever there was a game of two halves.

An injury-ravaged Leeds made the difficult trip down to London to face Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hostpur with Rodrigo and Raphinha added to the list of absentees.

Joe Gelhardt made his full Premier League debut up-front and Kalvin Phillips dropped into a back-three.

Leeds were immense in the first half and kept Spurs on the back foot with an aggressive display, Dan James’ first goal topping off a dominant performance.

But as Spurs pushed on in the second half the Whites struggled to keep up with the pace and intensity.

A frustrating result overall that leaves Leeds just a place and two points above the relegation zone, but with a paper-thin squad and some of the most influential attacking players missing, it’s hard to knock anyone too much.

Here are the player ratings...


Illan Meslier – 6

Had little to do in the first half and saved well from Harry Kane early in the second.

Not much he could do with either goal in all honesty.

Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United - Premier League
Meslier produced a good save from Harry Kane early in the second-half
Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Diego Llorente – 6.5

Part of a brilliant unit in the first half and personally kept Heung-Min Son quiet - despite being beaten for pace on a couple of occasions.

Won possession high up the pitch and maintained Leeds’ early momentum.

As with most, struggled to contain Spurs in the second half and was unfortunate that his block from the free-kick hit the post and fell to Sergio Reguilon.

Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United - Premier League
Unlucky for Llorente whose block hit the post and fell perfectly for Sergio Reguilon to score
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Kalvin Phillips – 7 (MOTM)

Immense as part of a back-three in the first half, keeping tight on Kane and clearing up the mess of others as well.

Struggled to influence nor dominate as much as he could, as Spurs kicked on in the second half but was probably Leeds’ best player over the full 90.

Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United - Premier League
Kalvin Phillips was immense in the first-half but will be left frustrated to leave with nothing
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Liam Cooper – 6

Played well as the spare man in the first half but struggled man-marking Kane when Phillips pushed into midfield.

It was Cooper’s poorly timed tackle that gave Spurs the free-kick which led to their winning goal.

Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United - Premier League
Liam Cooper struggled to nullify Harry Kane and it was his foul that ultimately led to the winner
Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Stuart Dallas – 6

An experienced head in a side that needed a few. Defended relatively well and kept it simple in possession.

Didn’t have the same relationship with James as he did with Raphinha against Leicester but can’t point to much he did wrong.

Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United - Premier League
Stuart Dallas was an experienced head in a team that needed it.
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Adam Forshaw – 7

Was absolutely everywhere in the first half-pressed high, picked up loose balls and circulated possession well.

Struggled to run the game as Spurs pushed on after half-time but a good performance all in all.

Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United - Premier League
Adam Forshaw was everywhere in the first-half but struggled to control it as Spurs gathered momentum
Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Mateusz Klich (off 49’) – 5.5

Steady without being overly influential.

Made some good runs to support Gelhardt but struggled to link up play round the corners as he can do.

Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United - Premier League
Mateusz Klich made some good runs beyond Gelhardt but failed to link play round the corners
Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Pascal Struijk – 6.5

Lucas Moura was poor in the first half, mainly due to the performance of Struijk.

Tight and aggressive, he looked as comfortable at left-back as he does anywhere else on the pitch.

It is no coincidence that Moura’s improvement came when Struijk moved into the middle.

FBL-ENG-PR-TOTTENHAM-LEEDS
Pascal Struijk did a brilliant job keeping Moura quiet in the first-half.
Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

Dan James – 6.5

His first goal in a Leeds shirt looks to have done him some good, and it was a good run and finish to tap home.

Was the only attacking threat in a tough second-half and popped off a couple of good shots.

Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United - Premier League
Dan James bagged his first goal for Leeds with a good run and finish
Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Jack Harrison – 6.5

Shades of the Jackie of old when he sent Emerson Royal for a hot dog and laid it on a plate for James, and the overall performance was an improvement on the season so far.

Pegged back in the second half as Spurs gained territory and Royal pushed forward.

Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Jack Harrison had a tough battle down the left, beating his man to set up James in the first-half
Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images

Joe Gelhardt (off 87’) – 6.5

Stepped up in his first Premier League start. Looked dangerous when picking up possession in between the lines and full of confidence.

Understandably lacked the stature or experience to lead the line against a back three but did his prospects no harm.

Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United - Premier League
Joe Gelhardt made his full Premier League debut in a good performance at Spurs
Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Substitutes

Junior Firpo – (on 49’) - 4

Any player returning from injury is a positive at the minute but Firpo was poor again.

Coming on as Spurs gathered momentum was always going to be tough but loose passes and poor touches didn’t help.

Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United - Premier League
A return to injury for Junior Firpo but a poor performance overall
Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Tyler Roberts (on 72’) - 5

Came on with Leeds on the back foot and lacked the quality to influence anything.

Tapping a throw-in straight into touch summed it up.

Leeds United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Tyler Roberts was left wanting once again as he struggled to influence much
Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Stuart McKinstry (on 87’) - N/A

Another Premier League debut for McKinstry.

On with a few minutes left and didn’t have enough time to make an impression, but a proud moment nonetheless for him and his family.

Fulham v Leeds United - Carabao Cup
A premier league debut for Stuart McKinstry and a proud moment for him
Photo by Juan Gasparini/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images