Leeds beat Tottenham to go top

 

Leeds 2 Tottenham 1

Harry Kewell signed off for Leeds for the next three weeks by firing manager David O'Leary's side back to the top of the Premier League.

Kewell, who along with team-mate Mark Viduka will head back to Australia tomorrow for his country's vital World Cup play-off matches, was indebted to a calamitous mix-up between Neil Sullivan and Chris Perry to poach his sixth goal of the season.

The 82nd-minute winner capped a come-from-behind victory for Leeds, with the three points ensuring they again lead the way in the top flight, capitalising on the 3-0 defeat at Newcastle by previous leaders Aston Villa yesterday.

Chances flowed and were wasted at regular intervals, with Lee Bowyer the main culprit prior to hobbling off in the 38th minute, his substitution allowing Seth Johnson to make his long-awaited debut following his recent Stg£9million arrival from Derby.

Bowyer, playing with a broken nose sustained during last weekend's 1-1 draw against Manchester United after being accidentally elbowed by Nicky Butt, first fired into the grateful arms of Sullivan despite an infuriated Kewell and Robbie Keane waiting for the pull-back.

An 11th minute block from Mauricio Taricco then proved vital as a sweetly-struck right-foot volley from Kewell, with Keane the supplier, was destined for the top left-hand corner.

Bowyer's second opportunity followed in the 15th minute, the midfielder beating the offside trap in receiving a through-ball from Olivier Dacourt after the Frenchman had dispossessed Gustavo Poyet. But with only Sullivan to beat, Bowyer scuffed his left-foot shot, with the ball drifting beyond the post to the Leeds star's disappointment.

Bowyer completed his hat-trick of chances in the 26th minute, forcing Sullivan into a save low to his right from an angled first-time shot in running onto a through-ball from Bakke.

Shortly after, the Norway international then planted a free header from six yards wide of the woodwork, with Ian Harte the supplier from a corner.

Goalkeeper Nigel Martyn, who had barely touched the ball in the opening 45 minutes, was then picking it out of his net seven minutes into the second half as Leeds conceded their first league goal at Elland Road this season.

Johnson was guilty of playing his part for after losing the ball in midfield, he was turned by Poyet who fired a superb left-foot drive into the top right-hand corner.

But for a linesman's flag Leeds' reply would have been instant, only for Viduka's volley in latching onto a fine through ball from Dacourt to be ruled out for offside.

But then just after the hour Leeds did draw level, albeit courtesy of a slice of good fortune as Harte's 25-yard right-foot drive was touched onto the post by a diving Sullivan, only for the ball to hit him on his back and cross the line.

It was Harte's second goal of the season and his first since the 2-1 defeat of Arsenal at Highbury.

Leeds were now back in the driving seat and they should then have taken the lead in the 69th minute as delightful skill from Dacourt sent Keane clear, but the Republic of Ireland international fired a tame shot against Sullivan's legs.

But luck was clearly with Leeds as Kewell stole in between Perry and a slow-to-react Sullivan, following a back flick from Ledley King, to ensure Leeds remain the only unbeaten Premiership team this season.

PA