Tottenham came from behind three times to beat Leeds United 4-3 in the Premier League on Saturday, entering the World Cup break in style. However, Harry Kane caused a first-half stir after suffering an apparent back problem just nine days before England began their campaign against Iran.
Crysencio Summerville continued his excellent scoring form to put Leeds ahead before Kane leveled the hosts. Rodrigo scored either side of halftime to cancel out Ben Davies’ second equalizing goal before Rodrigo Bentancur produced a late brace to clinch three big points.
express sport looks at the four key talking points from another turbulent Tottenham match as Antonio Conte’s side dramatically returned to winning ways before domestic football pauses for the World Cup.
Family boos in the first half
There was a familiar response from the stands when Tottenham entered the dressing room at half time. Boos rang through the stadium as Spurs finished another first half behind, despite scoring their first goal before half-time in nine games through Kane.
Poor starts have become something of an unwanted trademark under Conte recently, brought on by woeful defending from his back three and midfield. It’s a trend the Italian head coach will be desperate to shake if he wants to guide the Spurs to back-to-back top-four finishes.
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Harry Kane injury scare
Kane scored Tottenham’s first equalizer after 25 minutes, albeit controversially, and played the full 90 minutes. However, Gareth Southgate would have held his breath after the Three Lions captain went down into his back in the first half.
With just over a week to go before the Iran clash and James Maddison going off injured earlier in the afternoon, the last thing Southgate would have wanted was another doubt. But Kane should be in good condition to start the World Cup as England’s main man again.
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A week to forget for Emerson Royal
Emerson Royal have had a rocky start at Tottenham following their £25m move last summer. And his problems were summed up when Tite announced his Brazil squad earlier in the week, including 39-year-old Dani Alves as a right-back option over him.
He was the target of choruses of discontent from the home supporters during the Leeds match after refusing two great chances in the first half. And after being sent off after 57 minutes, it’s clear he has a lot more to prove if he wants to make it to the Premier League.
Rodrigo Bentancur saves the day
Tottenham once again salvaged a result from a precarious position, and this time it was Bentancur who saved the day with a two-minute brace into the dying embers. First, he hit a wide shot to tie the Spurs and give them the momentum in the final 10 minutes.
Moments later, a well-crafted exchange between Kane and Dejan Kulusevski led to the Swedish winger putting Bentancur in the net again. It’s a great result to end the first section of the season, but Conte will undoubtedly be desperate for more control when domestic football resumes after Christmas.
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