By Andy Baggott
January 28 2013
Leeds produced a superb performance to knock Tottenham, out of the FA Cup on Sunday. Neil Warnock's men were in fantastic form to beat the side sitting 4th in The Premiership with their best performance of the season.
Leeds started without wantaway striker Lucciano Becchio. While it can't be argued that the Argentinian has had an excellent season, his inclusion does lead to more long balls. With Ross McCormack and Luke Varney up front, there was more passing, and it was a far better game - there may well be life without Becchio after all!!!
Tottenham started with a very strong line up, players like Bale, Lennon and Parker all started as they came for a win. They started the brighter, but Leeds were snapping into tackles, and giving them no room at all. Leeds took an early lead, Michael Browns pass was missed by Diouf, but ran onto Varney. The former Portsmouth man ran from his own half and finished superbly for his first Leeds goal. The striker has had some stick from some of the Leeds fans, and what a way to respond. It was a typical cup tie now, Leeds defending and hitting on the break - Tottenham, probing for openings. They were restricted to long shots, which keeper Ashdown dealt with well. Out wide, young Sam Byram and Aiden White dealt brilliantly with the dangerous Bale and Lennon, while in midfield Michael Brown rolled back the years with a great performance. Just before the break, Leeds had a second sight of goal, Varney's header ran to McCormack, but his shot was well saved by Bradd Friedel.
Second half came, and Leeds were the first to strike - McCormack running from deep this time. He showed great composure to cup back inside the defender and fire a blistering shot into the top corner.
Tottenham again continued to push, and minutes after Dempsey went close, Bale worked some magic on the left and fired in a cross - Dempsey this time meeting it with a flicked header that looped in - it was game on, and Leeds were ready to batten down the hatches- however, the expected onslought never came - Totteham seemed strangley devoid of ideas, and it was McCormack who had the best chance, been denied by a good save from Friedel. Tottenham continued to press, but never really threatened, apart from one chance, where the outstanding Lee Peltier cleared the danger with a brilliant late tackle - the whistle blew as Rodolph Austins shot from the halfway line was rolling into an empty net, and it was all over. A fantastic win, and rewarded with a trip to Champions Man City in the next round...just like the old days...