Spurs Under 23’s 4-2 Leeds United: (match report)

Wayne Burnett’s Spurs Under 23 side played their first competitive away game of the 2021/22 season on Monday afternoon, as they took on newly promoted Leeds United at their Thorp Arch training ground in the Premier League 2. Spurs won what was a fantastic game of football 4-2 and played very well throughout, but it was a really end to end game which could have went either way. Spurs lined up with Joshua Oluwayemi in goal, while a back four consisting of Kallum Cesay, captain Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Tobi Omole and Marcel Lavinier lined up in front of him. Matthew Craig and Harvey White started in central midfield, and Nile John and Jack Clarke started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Alfie Devine. Dilan Markanday once again led the line for Spurs after his excellent performance against Chelsea. Spurs got the game underway on a sunny afternoon in Yorkshire, but after former Leeds player Jack Clarke conceded a free-kick in a promising position, Leeds had an early chance to take the lead. However, Sam Greenwood’s resulting effort went over Oluwayemi’s crossbar. After Clarke lost the ball Lewis Bate played a brilliant through-ball towards Joe Geldhart, but after entering the Spurs box his low effort was saved relatively comfortably by Oluwayemi. Amari Miller then hit an effort wide from the the left side of the Spurs box, before Charlie Cresswell headed wide from Lewis Bate’s corner kick.

After connecting with Greenwood’s cross Joe Geldhart forced a save out of Oluwayemi, before the Spurs goalkeeper then accidentally gave the ball to Sean McGurk. However, the former Wigan player took his effort quickly and it was saved by Oluwayemi, who then tipped behind an effort from the same player moments later. Oluwayemi gathered Joe Geldhart’s header from the resulting corner kick, before Lyons-Foster cleared away Liam McCarron’s cross, and then the impressive Lewis Bate hit an effort wide from distance. Geldhart had an effort deflected just wide of the Spurs goal from the edge of their box, as Leeds continued to cause Spurs problems. However, after Spurs won a corner kick the visitors took a slightly unexpected lead. Harvey White’s fine delivery from the corner came down for Dilan Markanday, who controlled the ball well before turning and hitting a powerful and simply unstoppable low effort into the bottom left hand corner of the Leeds goal, 1-0. After receiving Markanday’s pass Nile John went forward with the ball down the right flank, but the ball then ended up coming to Kallum Cesay inside the Leeds box, but his effort on goal was tipped behind by Leeds goalkeeper Kristoffer Klaesson. After Greenwood received Geldhart’s cross inside the Spurs penalty area the former Arsenal player chested the ball down for Lewis Bate, but his first time effort went over Oluwayemi’s goal.

After latching onto Harvey White’s header Dilan Markanday received the ball with his back to the Leeds goal. The Spurs forward then worked his way around Charlie Cresswell and Jack Jenkins with some spectacular skill, before then entering the Leeds penalty area (down the left side of their box) and hitting an unstoppable effort into the roof of their goal, 2-0. An excellent ball over the top of the Leeds defence from Harvey White then set Markanday through on goal, shortly after the restart. Markanday went into the Leeds box before eventually having a shot on goal, but Liam McCarron had got back really well to make a sliding block at the last moment as Spurs won a corner kick. Leeds got a goal back shortly afterwards after Greenwood received Lewis Bate’s pass out on the right flank. Greenwood then crossed the ball really well for Joe Geldhart to latch onto inside the Spurs box, and his effort on the volley went into the Spurs goal, despite the very best efforts of Lyons-Foster on the line, 2-1. After Devine had won a free-kick on the edge of the Leeds box, Harvey White saw his effort hit the Leeds wall, before then seeing his follow up effort also blocked. After receiving the ball on the left side of the Spurs box, Amari Miller saw his effort go over the Spurs goal, after Spurs had lost the ball in midfield. However, after Cesay brought down Miller from behind inside the Spurs box, Leeds were awarded a penalty. And Sam Greenwood then stepped up to hit the ball into the left hand corner of Oluwayemi’s goal, 2-2.

After Harvey White had made a strong challenge there was a bit of a coming together between both sets of players, but the situation was calmed down quite quickly, and in the end Harvey White was shown a yellow card. Before the half was up Nile John, who had been growing into the game managed to latch onto a loose ball in the middle of the pitch, he then eventually slipped the ball into the feet of Markanday inside the Leeds box. Markanday then skilfully worked his way around Kristoffer Klaesson before slotting home, 3-2. Harvey White then had an effort from distance saved by Klaesson before the referee sounded his whistle for half-time. Leeds got the second half underway, and an early back pass from Nohan Kenneh to Klaesson was deemed by the referee to have been a back pass, resulting in a Spurs free-kick just inside the Leeds box. Devine laid the ball off to Clarke, whose powerful first time effort went wide of the Leeds goal. After having an effort blocked Leeds substitute Crysencio Summerville then saw his low cross from the right flank tipped away by Oluwayemi well. A good Spurs move at the opposite end of the pitch ended in Cesay finding Devine with a pass into the centre of the Leeds box, but the midfielders effort went narrowly wide of the Leeds goal. Tobi Omole then did really well to block Summerville’s effort on the line, before Oluwayemi was then unable to gather Amari Miller’s cross from the left, but then was able to make a spectacular save moments later. Oluwayemi doing really well to tip Geldhart’s brilliant effort from the edge of the Spurs box onto his crossbar.

Lyons-Foster cleared away the lively Lewis Bate’s cross, before John advanced forward with the ball, showing good pace before winning a free-kick in a good position. However, Clarke’s resulting effort was was blocked by the Leeds wall, and he was replaced by Romaine Mundle shortly afterwards. Oluwayemi then saved Geldhart’s effort on goal well, before gathering the ball bravely at the feet of Greenwood. The very busy Joshua Oluwayemi then punched away a Leeds free-kick, before Spurs got their fourth goal of the game. Matthew Craig passed the ball to Nile John, who worked his way past a Leeds player on the edge of their box before finding the bottom right hand corner of their goal with a brilliant curling effort, 4-2. Shortly after the game got started again Mundle cut inside from the left flank before hitting a low effort which was saved by Klaesson. Lyons-Foster then headed over Harvey White’s corner kick, before Yago Santiago came on to replace Dilan Markanday. After receiving the ball down the left hand side of the Spurs box, Sam Greenwood hit the ball well over the Spurs goal in what was the final piece of action of the game. Spurs will be looking to continue their really good start to the season when they host Arsenal at Hotspur Way on Friday.

Player reviews:

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: Making a number of impressive and very important saves throughout the game, goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi got better as the game went on, and he made some really important and impressive saves, with the very best one being the one to push Joe Geldhart’s excellent effort onto his crossbar in the second half.
  • Kallum Cesay: Making his competitive Under 23 debut Kallum Cesay got forward well down the right flank and he did well to create a good chance for Alfie Devine, who came very close to scoring from that chance.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: The Spurs captain had a very good game in central defence, in my opinion. Lyons-Foster made some really good clearances, kept really fine positioning throughout and also really impressed with his excellent distribution out of defence.
  • Tobi Omole: Playing alongside Lyons-Foster on the left side of defence, Tobi Omole made some important defensive interventions and he also had a calming effect on the game from central defence.
  • Marcel Lavinier: Playing at left-back for this game Marcel Lavinier liked to get forward and try and link up with winger Jack Clarke on the left flank.
  • Matthew Craig: It was a very hardworking performance once again as the deepest of the two midfielders by Scotland youth international Matthew Craig. He worked well alongside the more experienced Harvey White, was good on the ball and also got the assist for Nile John’s late goal.
  • Harvey White: Showing real craft and tenacity in midfield, I thought that Harvey White performed excellently well as a number eight. The midfielder got the two assists for Dilan Markanday’s first two goals, before then creating a brilliant chance for Markanday shortly afterwards with a great pass on his weaker right foot. Pressing the opposition players well throughout the game, the 19 year old made a real impression on the match from central midfield in both a defensive and forward thinking way.
  • Nile John: Starting off on the right flank before gradually playing a lot more central as the game went on, Nile John got a first half assist before later doing really well to score his first goal of the season. John went on some really clever forward runs with the ball, and he made a really good impression on the game in the second half.
  • Alfie Devine: The CAM worked tirelessly off the ball and his positioning on the day was good, and he came very close to scoring his first goal of the season with a low effort in the second half.
  • Jack Clarke: Playing out on the left wing Jack Clarke didn’t get on the ball in forward positions a lot during his time on the pitch, as Spurs seemed to focus more on playing the ball down the right flank. He did however, work very hard for the team.
  • Dilan Markanday: My man of the match, see below.
  • Romaine Mundle: The second half substitute took up a position on the left flank, worked hard and also had an effort saved by Klaesson.
  • Yago Santiago: The late substitute went on one clever and skilful run down the right flank during his time on the pitch.

My man of the match: Dilan Markanday was absolutely unstoppable against Leeds today, and his determination to make a difference really did make the difference for Spurs on the day. Markanday took all three of his goals excellently well, showing great skill on all three occasions, and his movement off the ball was very good throughout his time on the pitch. I’m really hoping that he is involved in the Spurs first team squad for their match on Thursday.

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