Player ratings as late Bentancur brace seals comeback win

November 12, 2022


From Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Tottenham left it late to come from behind and beat Leeds 4-3 on Saturday.

Spurs were poor for extended stretches at the back but Antonio Conte’s side dug in deep to end this portion of the season on a high.

Leeds were nearly gifted a sight at goal within the first five minutes Eric Dier’s bouncing back-pass only just reached Hugo Lloris with Rodrigo racing to meet the loose ball.

Dier should have done better with a cross at the other end following a swift Spurs break with Harry Kane and Richarlison waiting in the box.

And Leeds took a tenth-minute lead after Crysencio Summerville managed to worm his way between Dier and Emerson Royal before firing under Lloris at his near post.

A cutback from Dejan Kulusevski was steered towards goal by Emerson Royal, but Illan Meslier was level to it as the hosts went in search of a quick equaliser.

Spurs continued to move through the gears and carved out a glorious opening when Ben Davies danced his way into the penalty area and pulled it back for Emerson, who fired over horribly.

Summerville nearly doubled his tally for the afternoon on the counter, though this time Lloris was able to come out and smother him, while Rodrigo Bentancur prevented Brenden Aaronson from scoring on the rebound with a sliding tackle. Rodrigo struck the post for the visitors soon after but the flag went up for a late offside.

Tottenham grabbed an equaliser following a scramble from a corner with Kane thumping home – a goal that stood despite Meslier appearing to have been fouled by Clement Lenglet.

An open affair nearly saw Spurs score straight away when Kulusevski was slipped through, but Meslier came out to deny him in a similar fashion to Lloris on Summerville.

Leeds went back in front after Tottenham failed to deal with a corner, ending with Rasmus Kristensen heading over a dawdling backline for Rodrigo to finish.

Spurs nearly hit back immediately when Emerson’s cross was blocked by Robin Koch but retrieved by Richarlison, whose deflected effort was cleared off the line.

Conte’s men came racing out of the blocks after half-time and found an equaliser through Ben Davies after Kane’s initial effort was cleared off the line.

Kulusevski, so influential on his first start since September, came close to putting Spurs ahead after he was sent racing away by Richarlison, but his outside-of-the-boot strike rolled wide.

For the third time, Leeds went in front after Rodrigo slotted home at the far post, with Spurs furious that a foul wasn’t called on Rodrigo Bentancur in the build-up.

And for the third time, Tottenham quickly found a response after Bentancur himself smashed home after the visitors were only able to half-clear a Davinson Sanchez cross.

Within minutes, Spurs notched themselves ahead for the first time, with Kulusevski easing his way to the byline and cutting back for Bentancur to grab his brace.

Tyler Adams, who had bossed the midfield battle for much of the afternoon, received a second booking for a cynical foul on Yves Bissouma.

Spurs rode out four minutes of stoppage time to end a run of two successive defeats, while Leeds’ recent fine form came to a grinding halt.

GK: Hugo Lloris – 5/10 – Didn’t cover himself in glory with his kicking but this was overshadowed by Meslier’s deficiencies.

CB: Eric Dier – 3/10 – Another haphazard and error-stricken display from a defender who could well be starting for England at the World Cup. Yikes.

CB: Clement Lenglet – 5/10 – Found it difficult living with Leeds’ press but wasn’t the worst offender.

CB: Ben Davies – 6/10 – Scored a crucial goal in the contest but was similarly a bit so-so at the back.

RM: Emerson Royal – 3/10 – Killed nearly every Spurs attack one way or another. Fans got on his back and his substitution was met with cheers.

CM: Rodrigo Bentancur – 9/10 – Swept up well and compounded a great display with two well-taken goals.

CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 5/10 – Way off the pace of a blood-and-thunder encounter, misplacing passes and harried into errors.

LM: Ivan Perisic – 6/10 – Looked leggy from the off but at least that’s understandable given his added workload recently.

RF: Dejan Kulusevski – 9/10 – The creator of almost every Spurs attack. Deserved more from wasteful teammates most of the afternoon but at least Bentancur delivered in the end.

LF: Richarlison – 6/10 – Provided plenty of energy on his return. Didn’t get too many sights of goal.

CF: Harry Kane – 8/10 – Took his goal extremely well and linked play expertly when the going got tough.

SUB: Matt Doherty (57′ for Emerson) – 6/10

SUB: Davinson Sanchez (57′ for Lenglet) – 6/10

SUB: Yves Bissouma (68′ for Richarlison) – 6/10

Manager: Antonio Conte – 6/10 – His changes were crucial, but it’s also his fault that Spurs were in such a predicament. Swings and roundabouts.

GK: Illan Meslier – 3/10 – Made a number of errors which ultimately cost Leeds a famous win.

RB: Rasmus Kristensen – 6/10 – The only Leeds defender who wasn’t ran ragged. Used his physical advantages well.

CB: Robin Koch – 4/10 – A few strange decisions and passes didn’t cover him in glory.

CB: Liam Cooper – 3/10 – Spun inside-out by Kulusevski time after time.

LB: Pascal Struijk – 4/10 – Tried to double up on Kulusevski but to little avail.

CM: Tyler Adams – 6/10 – Had an impressive afternoon in the midfield battle until Bentancur scored twice and he was sent off.

CM: Marc Roca – 7/10 – Was hooked before it got sour for Leeds. His technical qualities were standout.

RM: Wilfried Gnonto – 5/10 – Battered from pillar to post and was taken off through injury. Looked lively, at least.

AM: Brenden Aaronson – 6/10 – Dropped deep to help the midfield while also pushing on as an attacker.

LM: Crysencio Summerville – 7/10 – Relished going up against Emerson and Dier and with good reason.

CF: Rodrigo – 8/10 – Two excellent finishes for a man who will feel aggrieved to have been on the losing side.

SUB: Sam Greenwood (46′ for Gnonto) – 5/10

SUB: Luke Ayling (79′ for Roca) – 4/10

SUB: Joseph (89′ for Kristensen) – N/A

SUB: Joe Gelhardt (89′ for Rodrigo) – N/A

Manager: Jesse Marsch – 6/10 – Got his game plan mostly spot on but was let down by mistakes.

Player of the Match – Rodrigo Bentancur