Leeds United (Away)
FA Cup Fourth Round Replay

Wednesday 3rd February 2010

A return game with Leeds is something that both clubs could probably have done without.  With the priority the league position at the end of the season and the end of the transfer window coming in between the two matches, both clubs have changed personnel and not in a way that might help either team out.

Spurs have lost Giovani dos Santos, Robbie Keane, Alan Hutton, Kyle Naughton and Jamie O'Hara on loan, while Leeds have moved David Prutton on to Colchester United and defender Paul Huntingdon to Stockport County, with players coming on on both sides being cup-tied, it leaves them short of options to play in this replay.

Spurs had the better of the opening exchanges at White Hart lane, but Leeds played some good passing football and with their crowd behind them at home, they will be a tough proposition.  They were worthy of their draw at the Lane, with Jermaine Beckford showing why there is such interest in him as a striker with skill and finishing ability.  Robert Snodgrass is a striker who drops off and goes wide, leaving him space to open up the opposition defence, while Jonathan Howson drives forward from midfield.  If the Whites are missing Neil Kilkenny, this will mean they lack a little guile and tracking back, but they should be able to find a stand-in and Bradley Johnson might be that man.  Peter Doyle is a tough tackler in that part of the pitch, so he will be looking to impose himself on the Tottenham midfield.  Luciano Becchio might start for Leeds in this game and his height and strength might add to the array of attacking options they have.

The defence could be without Patrick Kisnorbo and his height was a major feature in Peter Crouch's quiet match in the first tie.  Jason Crowe did not play at the weekend and the middle two will probably be Leigh Bromby and Richard Naylor, with Michalek as one of the full backs on the other side of the back four to Crowe. 

For Tottenham to progress they must not take this tie lightly and hopefully they will have learned from the first match that they need to put teams away by taking their chances.  Defoe got back on the score-sheet on Saturday at Birmingham and Gareth Bale is making good chances from an attacking left back position, so with Crouch starting too, the front pair must be clinical in their finishing to give Spurs a chance to win through to the Fifth round.  Much will depend on the resistance put up in midfield.  With Palacios and Huddlestone likely to be the middle pairing it will need them to be at their strongest, otherwise they get brushed aside.

The use of Danny Rose from the bench could be a good one in this tie.  He might get some stick form the home supporters, but his pace might be the one thing that can turn this game in Tottenham's favour.

Without scoring too many goals lately, I would consider the following to be a suitable win for Spurs ...

PREDICTION : -  Leeds United  1     Tottenham Hotspur   2

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.


LEEDS UNITED :  -  Max Gradel (out - cup-tied); Gary McSheffrey (out - cup-tied); Shane Lowry (out - cup-tied); Neil Kilkenny (doubtful - injury); Patrick Kisnorbo (doubtful - injury); - (-); - (-); 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -   Roman Pavlyuchenko (out - groin); Benoit Assou-Ekotto (out - hip); Ledley King (out - knee); Aaron Lennon (out - groin); Jonathan Woodgate (out - groin); Younes Kaboul (out - cup-tied); Kyle Walker (out - cup-tied); Eidur Gudjohnsen (out - did not play in original tie); Carlo Cudicini (out - hip and wrists); - (-); 


ITV 1 - (live coverage)
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Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152
 (live coverage)
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If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
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North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean)  Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :
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BBC London - http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2005/10/12/live_commentaries_feature.shtml
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Leeds United   1   Tottenham Hotspur    3      (Half-time score : 1-1)

FA Cup Fourth Round Replay
Venue : -  Elland Road
Wednesday 3rd February 2010
Kick Off :  8.00 p.m.
Crowd :   37,704
Referee :  Andre Marriner (West Midlands)
Spurs kicked off and played towards the home end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Cold, some drizzle; snowed before the match
Teams : - 
Leeds United :

12  Ankergren

17  Johnson       (  2  Crowe  86)
16  Michalek
  6  Naylor (c)
22  Hughes  (32  White  76)

14  Howson
  4  Doyle
26  Bromby
23  Snodgrass

  9  Beckford    
10  Becchio     (13  Grella  86)

Unused subs: 
25  Martin
18  Robinson
30  Hatfield
27  Somma


Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

22  Corluka
19  Bassong
20  Dawson  (c)
  3  Bale

21  Kranjcar
  8  Jenas
  6  Huddlestone
  5  Bentley
      ( 89)

18  Defoe        (10  Keane 78)
15  Crouch

Unused subs: 
27  Alnwick
14  Modric
30  Dervite
12  Palacios
34  Parrett
37  Fredericks
25  Rose

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
Leeds United

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Leeds United

Becchio  45+1

Tottenham Hotspur

Defoe 37
Defoe 73
Defoe 90+3
Cards : -  
Leeds United

Johnson (foul)  82
Beckford (foul)  83


Tottenham Hotspur 

Bentley (foul)  59


Match Report : -  
A replay in snowy Yorkshire is probably not everyone's idea of a good night out, but that was what it proved to be after Tottenham ran out 3-1 winners against Leeds United with Jermain getting three goals from about ten chances that he had alone.  With some more clinical finishing, the game could have been over by the 25th minute, but a goal just before half-time kept the home team in it and then a late free-kick threatened an equaliser.

Unfortunately for Leeds, it meant a third Spurs goal instead and the Fifth Round tie against Bolton Wanderers was being heavily pencilled in on the Spurs calendar.  But the win was not a walkover and was only possible through the hard work put in to match Leeds' effort.

The impressive performances all across the pitch were there for all to see and no-one shirked the shift they had to put in, with even the one player who gets it in the neck for his seeming lack of effort - Tom Huddlestone - spending more time closing opponents down than spraying passes around. 

Inside the first minute, Richard Naylor tried to find his keeper with a header from the left hand corner of his box, but only played in Defoe, but the Spurs striker couldn't get enough on his shot to take the ball much more than a yard past the goalie Ankergren before it was hacked away by a defender.  A corner in the seventh minute found an unmarked Bassong, who could not keep his volley down and looked stunned that the ball reached him in such a big space in the box.

Leeds were passing the ball well and with Tottenham players backing off, both Doyle and Snodgrass had shots from distance.  Leeds then thought they had hit the bar, but a free-kick was given against Beckford for putting his arm over Gomes' shoulder.  Spurs also hit the bar later in the game when Crouch climbed all over a defender and should have had a free-kick given against him, but didn't.  Defoe had cracked a shot inches wide, with Ankergren anchored to the spot after Crouch had headed a Bentley cross down, then had a great chance to score when through on the keeper.  Gareth bale sold Jermaine Jenas short with a pass inside Tottenham's own defensive third and JJ had to quickly put his foot through the ball to avoid going in half-hearted to the tackle.  The ball flew up-field, where it cleared the last Leeds defender and found Defoe latching onto the opening.  He took the ball through to the edge of the box, but delayed too long in getting his shot away, allowing Ankergren to get his body in the way and deflect the ball out for a corner.

The Danish goalie made an even better save shortly afterwards, when Bale fired in a low cross and it deflected off Leigh Bromby's knee towards the inside of the near post, but the Leeds keeper dived in the opposite direction to that he had started to go and blocked the ball at the foot of his post.  A great break on the left from halfway saw Jenas do what he does best and surge on past the other side's players and he had the presence of mind to draw the ball back to the edge of the box, where his pass was just a little too far ahead of Crouch. 

With half an hour gone, Huddlestone played a perfect ball over the Leeds defence and Defoe raced through on goal, but he ran too far into the defender's path and Michalek eased him off the ball with a claim for a foul, but the referee - Andre Marriner - was far too far behind play to have a view on it.  And the lineman wasn't going to give the decision.  Defoe was thwarted by the keeper again four minutes later, when Corluka's chip into the box was controlled on Huddlestone's chest and laid back for JD to smash a shot at goal on the volley, which Ankergren pushed out.

It was in the 27th minute that Defoe finally got one past the United goalie.  David Bentley, who had a very good game on the right wing, beat Hughes and put in a low ball to the penalty spot, where Defoe was waiting.  The ball bobbled up in the bumpy goal area and he was quick to get it onto his left foot and get a shot off.  Luckily for him, it sliced off his left boot and left Ankergren stranded as it hit the net in the very top corner of the goal. 

Leeds almost hit back straight away and the cross that came in from Snodgrass' free-kick perfectly picked out Michalek's head and despite only being a few yards out, it was saved by Gomes, who flung himself to his left to push the ball wide of the goal.  From the corner, the ball dropped at the far post for Bromby and as he shaped to shoot, Michael Dawson and Vedran Corluka dived in to block him out.  Then Gomes did well to hold onto a long shot from Bradley Johnson, as Becchio and Beckford were ready to pounce on any scraps that might come their way. 

However, the respite was short-lived, with added time being played at the end of the first half when Howson's ball was played in to Gomes' left hand post and Beckford got there with a volley.  It appeared that he was onside, while three players were offside in the six yard box.  Gomes made a reflex stop to keep the volley out, but the ball went across the face of goal to where Becchio was ready to slide the equaliser into the net.  The whole "second phase" offside argument was ready to be raised again.  Spurs players surrounded the referee at the break, but they appeared to be complaining ab9out the possible penalty Tottenham should have had when Defoe and Michalek came together. 

The grievance seemed to fire Tottenham up and they came out all guns blazing in the second half.  Defoe went on a solo run across the face of the penalty area before hitting a shot over the bar, with Bentley well placed to his right, then the two linked on the right, with Bentley pulling the ball back from the dead ball line to Defoe, but he was closed down quickly.  The England striker managed to get a toe to it and nudge it over to the left of the box, where Niko Kranjcar shot and squirted off his foot towards Peter Crouch at the far post, but even his long legs could not diver tit into the goal and the ball agonisingly went a yard wide.

Spurs were guilty once more of not closing down a forward in a shooting position and Beckford's drive took a deflection off Dawson and it went away for the corner.  From another corner shortly after, Michalek rose without challenge to head goal-wards, but his effort was just too high.  Then a corner at the other end saw Dawson meet Bentley's near post corner and flick a header that would have beaten Doyle on the line had Ankergren not got a hand to it to take it over the bar.  With Leeds not being allowed the luxury of time on the ball, Spurs continued to attack and Tommy rifled a shot from the edge of the box a foot or so wide and then Bentley ran through form his own half, won a tackle as a defender came in and then drove at goal, with the keeper pushing the ball over the bar. 

In the 68th minute, it seemed that Kranjcar and Bale's movement and passing on the left had opened up the Leeds defence to create a second goal, but when Defoe was there in the middle of the goal to turn it home, he was foiled by the linesman's flag, as he had strayed offside.  As if stung by the decision, he then powered a chest down from Crouch straight at Ankergren, before finally getting the second goal for him and the team in the 73rd minute. 

Jermaine Jenas put David Bentley away on the right and he played a low, pacy ball into the goalmouth, with Defoe alert to the possibility and nipping across his marker to guide the ball past the keeper off his shin.  It was a fair reward for his persistence and some great forward running by the little man.

Crouch's header hit the bar and then two dead ball situations threatened to provide Leeds with an equaliser.  A corner was played into the Tottenham box and Bromby got highest to head the ball with power, but he got under it slightly and it went too high, while a free-kick in added time was pumped into the Spurs box from his own half by Ankergren.  A Leeds head won a flick on and there was a little panic in the Spurs box before Bale humped it away and with one bounce in the centre circle, it went over the head of the last defender Doyle and the lone Tottenham forward - Defoe - was onto it like a flash.  Having run tirelessly, he made one final effort to get ahead of the defender and ran across him, so that he couldn't bring him down and then took the ball to his right as the goalie came out, rounding him to pass the ball into the back of the net for his third hat-trick of the season and to send Tottenham through to the next round.

barry levington





Fan Reaction : -



How many chances do Spurs need to score these days ?  Remember when Glenn Hoddle slated Andy Cole for his scoring ratio ?  Well, what would he make of the Tottenham attack, how realistically cold have had eight goals tonight, with Defoe notching six of them.  I don't care if they go in off his shin or his laces, as long as they go in.

I suppose the team did what they needed to against Leeds and were not intimidated by them and set out to make sure the home side did not get on top, but the chances against a Premier League team will be twice as valuable and must be taken.

It is good to see Bale coming into form and with Bentley on the other flank, there will be plenty of opportunities, with the forwards having to be in the right place to miss them, but I would rather we have a few more days like Wigan at home, than Hull at home ... even if we don't get nine every time.

east stan



Other FA Cup replay scores this mid-week :
Wigan Athletic 0 Notts. County 2 Tuesday
Crystal Palace 3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Tuesday
Other League scores this mid-week :
Hull City 1 Chelsea 1 Tuesday
Fulham 1 Portsmouth 0 Wednesday



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