There was not much defending on either side, as Tottenham and Leeds played a seven-goal thriller in north London, so who shined for Spurs?
It was a match with the feel of the last game of the season versus the last game before an international break. Over 90 wild minutes at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Spurs fell behind Leeds United three times, coming back each and ultimately winning 4-3 to earn a massive three points. Here are the players that helped and hurt Tottenham in the big win.
Two losers from the Tottenham team
When a team scores four goals in a game, you know some players had good days. Likewise, when you concede three times, you know some mistakes were likely made. Here are the players that almost cost Spurs the points.
Another devastating day for Eric Dier
Through the first two months of the season, Eric Dier was the best defender for Tottenham, making few mistakes, leading the line, and playing well. Over the last month, Dier has been at fault or at least culpable on several goals, as was the case against Leeds.
With the first goal, Dier was not close enough to Crysencio Summerville and never applied any pressure on the attacker. Summerville scampered past Dier and finished neatly past Hugo Lloris at the far post.
When Spurs conceded their second goal, Dier again was at fault. As everyone else on the team ran to employ an offside trap as Spurs tried to clear a corner, Dier was lagging. As the only Tottenham player still inside the box, Dier kept two Leeds players onside, including Rodrigo, who blasted past Lloris for the 1-2 Leeds lead.
Besides, the poor defending Dier struggled to pass the ball, overhitting crosses and giving the ball away too many times on the right. He improved a little when he went to the middle of the defensive three, but it was far from Dier’s best day.
Hojbjerg looks to be just hanging on
There is little doubt Pierre Hojbjerg leaves it all on the pitch for Tottenham. Over the few weeks, over, Hojbjerg has looked spent. On Saturday, Hojbjerg had little impact in the attack and contributed to the Leeds goals.
When Leeds took the initial lead, Hojbjerg went wildly for a ball he would never get as Brenden Aaronson easily turned the Dane and ran at the defense. Credit to Aaronson for a nice play and pass, but it was far too easy for the American to get behind Hojbjerg.
With the ball, Hojbjerg was pressing and inaccurate with his forward passes, making the wrong decision several times. His backpass from midfield that Lloris had to stretch to prevent going out for a corner was a perfect example of a poor decision from a tired player.
Pierre worked until the end of the game and was battling to keep the ball deep in the corner late in the match. There is no doubting his effort; it just seems like Hojbjerg does not have much left to give.
Richarlison’s impact was minimal on the attack
It was an exciting time for Tottenham when the starting line-up was announced, as Richarlison was back in the 11. With Heung-min Son out injured, Richarlison provides the best long-ball threat for Spurs.
Coming back from an injury himself, Richarlison would have wanted to have a good run out on Saturday. Instead, it was just a run-about. Richarlison only got behind the defense once all afternoon, and he was thwarted on that occasion by Illan Meslier.
Richarlison struggled in his hold-up play on a day where the whistle was held more than blown. Time and again, Richarlison was beaten to the ball as he spent as much time on the ground as he did with the ball at his feet.
After a month out, Richarlison would have wanted to get into a groove before the World Cup, but that did not happen Saturday.