HARRY CARRIES LEEDS TO VICTORY
By Chris Bargh
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
It is often said you need a slice of luck to win championships and with Ian Harte's strike to cancel out Gus Poyet's shock opener, Leeds certainly had that.
Tottenham keeper Neil Sullivan could only help Harte's long range shot into his net and Dean Richards misdirected back header allowed Kewell to poach the winner.
United's injury worries eased when skipper Rio Ferdinand, Bowyer and Harry Kewell were all passed fit and so the side took on a more familiar look to the won that edged past Troyes in the UEFA Cup in midweek.
Spurs arrived on the back of a four match winning streak and fielded an unchanged line-up.
Despite early Leeds pressure, with Lee Bowyer wasting the best opportunity, selecting to shoot rather than cut the ball back to Mark Viduka who was free inside the area, the Londoners carved out a good shooting chance but Gus Poyet fired high over Nigel Martyn's bar.
Ten minutes in, a confident Leeds passing movement down the right involving Danny Mills, Bowyer and Robbie Keane ended with the Irish striker delivering a brilliant cross for Kewell to fire in a volley which was well blocked by Chris Perry.
Bowyer was everywhere - tormenting the Spurs defence with his well times runs from midfield - and he should have given Leeds the lead when Dacourt broke up a Spurs move in midfield and delivered the perfect pass into the area, but the United midfielder dragged the ball wide of Neil Sullivan's left hand post just ten yards out.
Keane also looked in superb form and was a constant menace, while a superb tackle and pass by Ferdinand to Kewell allowed the Aussie international to test Sullivan with another shot from the left of the area.
Tottenham gave Leeds a scare as Darren Anderton tricked his way past three defenders into the area and the United bench were relieved to see the ball flash across the face of the goal without anyone getting the crucial final touch.
Bowyer forced Sullivan into another good save diving to his right, while Bakke flashed a header just past the post form a Harte corner, but still Leeds were unable to convert their dominance into goals.
Ferdinand made another adventurous sortie forward but as space opened up in front of him, his 25 yard shot was too high to worry Sullivan.
Five minutes before the interval Leeds were rocked by an injury to Lee Bowyer who limped off with a hamstring injury, but that allowed recent arrival Seth Johnson to make his full United debut.
United ended the half with Dacourt dragging a shot wide and Kewell's volley bouncing high over the bar after more brilliant work by Keane, but the Tottenham goal survived intact.
Bowyer's withdrawal unsettled the United rhythm and they looked completely out of sorts at the start of the second half.
Johnson's shot flew harmlessly wide but his next contribution was more costly when he gave the ball away in midfield and Spurs worked it to Ziege on the left. The German was allowed time to find Poyet on the right just outside the area and the Uruguayan star cut inside before curling the ball past Martyn into the corner of the net.
With increasing frustration in the stands, the Elland Road faithful were finally rewarded on 61 minutes. When Kewell laid the ball back to Ian Harte 25 yards out there looked to be nothing on, but the Irish international cut back onto his right foot to drive the ball goalwards and his effort nestled in the corner courtesy of a howler by Sullivan, who could only palm the ball into the net.
The Scottish international keeper looked more assured when he saved Mills' similar long range attempt and then he did brilliantly to prevent Keane giving United the lead, saving with his legs as the Leeds striker raced onto Dacourt's through ball.
Anderton's 20 yard shot deflected wide by Freund provided another scare for Leeds, while Johnson's first appearance in a white shirt could have been short lived when he appeared to catch Tarricco with his elbow, but referee Steve Bennett chose to show the yellow card when it might have been red.
Alan Smith replaced Keane, but after Bakke's drive skimmed flew inches over the bar, Spurs gifted Leeds the winner with just eight minutes left.
A long throw by Mills was headed back towards his own goal by King and Kewell reacted fastest to nip in directed the ball past the advancing Sullivan.
United continued to press hoping to make the points safe, but they had done just enough to deserve their first league win in four outings and to return to the top of the table.
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