HOW very un-Spursy.
New Tottenham boss Antonio Conte saw his team stage a stirring second-half comeback to win his first Premier League home match in charge.
Sergio Reguilon scored the winning goal as Spurs beat Leeds at homeCredit: Getty
The left-back pounced when the ball bounced back off the postCredit: Getty
But the Italian and his players were booed off by their own fans at half-time after a dismal first-half display in which Daniel James gave Leeds the lead just before the break.
Spurs striker and England captain Harry Kane must have been delighted to get back in the home dressing room at the interval.
It was just about the only place his Three Lions team-mate Kalvin Phillips could not follow him.
The Leeds star had Kane in his pocket for the first 45 minutes as in an unfamiliar sweeper role he man-marked his international skipper out of the game.
Forget about him being dubbed ‘The Yorkshire Pirlo’ he was more like The Yorkshire Beckenbauer.
But fair play to Kane and Tottenham as they vastly improved in the second half when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Sergio Reguilon were their unlikely scorers.
Victory moved Spurs up to seventh in the table, four points off the top four. But the first 45 minutes showed Conte still has a lot of work to do.
Leeds had an early chance when Phillips’ free-kick had Lloris scrambling to his right to collect in only the second minute.
Stuart Dallas then fired a 20-yard drive just wide for the visitors.
With Spurs struggling to pick their way through the visitors’ disciplined midfield and defence, Adam Forshaw drilled another long-range effort just past the angle with Lloris seemingly beaten.
But just when it looked like the outclassed hosts might escape into the interval still goalless, Leeds grabbed the goal their first-half superiority deserved as James arrived with perfect timing at the far post to turn in Jack Harrison’s delicious centre.
That and more negative Spurs play from the restart sparked a chorus of boos that reached a crescendo when referee Andre Marriner blew for half-time.
Phillips almost undid his and his team’s good work when he badly misjudged a header just seconds into the second half.
This let in Kane, whose shot rolled against a post after being half-blocked by Leeds keeper Illan Meslier.
It was shot-shy Tottenham’s first effort on target for two-and-a-half matches.
Daniel James put the visitors in front when he finished at the back postCredit: Reuters
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg grabbed Spurs first Premier League goal since October 17Credit: Getty
James was then denied by Lloris and Son Heung-min had a shot deflected on to the bar as the hosts upped the tempo.
The South Korean thought he should have been awarded a penalty when he went down in the box under Phillips’ 54th-minute challenge. But ref Marriner was having none of it.
So Conte and his players will feel justice was done when Lucas Moura pulled the ball back for Hojbjerg to steer home the equaliser three minutes later for his second Prem goal of the season.
Better was to follow for them when Reguilon smashed home another from a yard out after Eric Dier’s deflected free-kick had hit the inside of the post.
As the nervy home fans started biting their nails in the closing stages, Conte waved his arms and called on them to get behind his players, like a demented conductor in charge of the North London Philharmonic.
Nuno Espirito Santo would never have done that.
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The winner came from Eric Dier’s deflected free-kickCredit: Getty
Kalvin Phillips refused to give his England captain Harry Kane a yard of spaceCredit: PA
Antonio Conte was at his animated best on the sidelines throughoutCredit: Reuters