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Saturday, August 28, 1999 Published at 17:57 GMT 18:57 UK


Harte gains sweet revenge for Leeds

Ian Harte blasts Leeds United to victory at White Hart Lane

Tottenham 1-2 Leeds

A stunning free-kick from Ian Harte seven minutes from time gave Leeds a sweet victory over former manager George Graham's Spurs at White Hart Lane.


The BBC's David Oates: "A second half smash and grab raid by David O'Leary's side
Harte's pile-driving effort snatched maximum points for the visitors after they had looked out of the game at half-time and heading for a crushing defeat.

Tim Sherwood had put Tottenham in front in the 36th minute - but with the home fans expecting a second-half rout, Alan Smith put Leeds back on level terms.

Tempers were never far from boiling point in a tense clash - and with three minutes to go Smith was sent off for a second bookable offence, after aiming an elbow at Mauricio Taricco.

Slick Spurs

Much of the ill-feeling could be put down to Graham's acrimonious departure from Elland Road last season.


[ image: Spurs players engulf opening goalscorer Tim Sherwood]
Spurs players engulf opening goalscorer Tim Sherwood
Since arriving at White Hart Lane, Graham has transformed Tottenham and they dominated the first half with the same brand of slick attacking football that had taken them to the top of the Premiership for the first time last week.

They took the lead nine minutes from the break. Les Ferdinand's flick-on from Steffen Freund's long throw caused chaos in the Leeds ranks and Steffen Iversen nodded the ball on for Sherwood, who volleyed past Nigel Martyn into the bottom corner.

The enthusiastic Iversen and Ferdinand were proving a dangerous pairing up front.

And Sherwood, David Ginola and Oyvind Leonhardsen linked well in midfield to provide the strike duo with a string of chances.

Wasted

Iversen in particular could have had three goals, as he fluffed a chip after unselfish work from Ferdinand, saw Leeds keeper Nigel Martyn catch a powerful header and then just failed to convert a Ginola cross at the far post.

Sherwood's runs from midfield were a real threat to Leeds, and aside from his goal he could have scored twice more in the first half, but failed to keep the ball down on both occasions.

Leeds, by contrast, looked toothless in attack early on, with only Harry Kewell able to cause Tottenham's defenders geunine problems.

But for all Spurs' first-half superiority, they could only manage one goal - and the visitors made them pay for their profligacy.

Tactical transformation

The match turned on two half-time substitutions.

Ferdinand was finally forced off after being knocked cold early on in clash of heads with Lucas Radebe, while Leeds changed formation from five-at-the-back to 4-4-2, bringing on David Hopkin and Darren Huckerby.


[ image: Mauricio Taricco grapples with Leeds striker Michael Bridges (right)]
Mauricio Taricco grapples with Leeds striker Michael Bridges (right)
Leeds looked a rejuvenated side and Smith put them back in the match with a neat strike in the 53rd minute.

As United piled pressure on the home ranks, David Batty slipped the ball into Smith inside the area, the 18-year-old spun on the spot and placed a low shot across Walker and into the far corner.

Shell-shocked Spurs hit back and the first-half pattern of home dominance was re-established.

Sherwood and Iversen both headed wide from promising positions and Martyn was forced to beat away a stinging volley from substitute Jose Domingues.

A piece of magic from Ginola almost put Spurs back in front, but after he had beaten three defenders, Martyn athletically turned away the Frenchman's sharp strike.

But Leeds were a now different proposition and the chance of the match fell to Lee Bowyer, who should have scored 15 minutes from time, when he blazed over the bar after David Hopkin had found him unmarked six yards from goal.

It mattered little, however, as on 82 minutes the referee awarded Leeds a free-kick just outside the box and Harte spanked a glorious rising shot that arrowed into the roof of the net.

Teams:

Tottenham: Walker, Carr, Perry, Young, Taricco, Leonhardsen, Sherwood, Freund, Ginola, Iversen, Ferdinand. Subs: Baardsen, Fox, Dominguez, Nielsen, King.

Leeds: Martyn, Duberry, Radebe, Woodgate, Mills, Batty, Bowyer, Kewell, Harte, Smith, Bridges. Subs: Robinson, Kelly, Haaland, Hopkin, Huckerby.

Referee: M Reed (Birmingham)



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