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FA Cup

  • January 27, 2013
  • • 9:00 AM
  • • Elland Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire
  • Referee: K. Friend
  • • Attendance: 29943

Leeds 2-1 Tottenham: Varney and McCormack shock Spurs

Neil Warnock's side clinched a narrow win as it capitalized on some sloppy defending from Spurs to book a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Leeds United has progressed to the FA Cup fifth round after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Tottenham at Elland Road on Sunday.

Neil Warnock’s side took the lead in the first half thanks to a goal from Luke Varney after poor defending from Spurs and the club doubled that lead in the second half.

Ross McCormack got the goal in spectacular fashion in the 51st minutes, and although Spurs pulled one back through Clint Dempsey seven minutes later, the home side held on to a famous win.

Leeds boss Warnock made just the three changes from the side that beat Bristol City last weekend, with cup goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown replacing Paddy Penny, Ross Barkley dropping out for Paul Green and Luke Varney taking the place of Leeds’ most notable absentee; Luciano Becchio, who looks to be nearing the Elland Road exit door.

Tottenham rescued an unlikely point late on against Manchester United last time out and Andre Villas-Boas decided to change a considerable number of starters. Hugo Lloris, Michael Dawson, Kyle Walker, Moussa Dembele and Jermain Defoe were replaced by Jan Vertonghen, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Tom Huddlestone and Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Leeds started well as it pressed and hassled Spurs in the midfield, but it was Tottenham which should have opened the scoring in the first few minutes as Gylfi Sigurdsson headed Jan Vertonghen’s cross straight into the arms of Jamie Ashdown.

If Spurs did not already regret that miss, they did a few minutes later as Kyle Naughton and Steven Caulker both failed to clear Michael Brown’s hit-and-hope pass, allowing Luke Varney to march towards goal and place the ball in the bottom far corner of the net.

Spurs were struggling to create chances throughout the first half but Gareth Bale should have done better when he got in behind Aidan White and shot at Ashdown, with the opportunity to chip the ball over the on-rushing goalkeeper presenting itself on a plate.

Goal-scorer Varney soon had another chance as he linked up well with El-Hadji Diouf down the left and then cut inside to shoot, but his effort sailed well over as Leeds took a 1-0 lead into halftime.

Things started familiarly in the second half as Spurs looked the more likely to score the next goal, but Leeds soon caught them on the counterattack as Diouf and McCormack linked up well, with the Scot latching on to a ball over the defense before cutting inside Caulker and placing a marvelous shot into the top far corner of the goal.

Leeds’ two-goal lead lasted no more than seven minutes as the quiet Bale burst to life down the left, keeping the ball from Green and Sam Bryam before crossing. Dempsey glanced the ball into the far side of the goal with an excellent header to cut the lead in hald.

A few minutes later, the home side really should have re-opened the two-goal lead as Diouf and McCormack combined again and a slip from Vertonghen saw the Scot break free again, but when one-on-one with Friedel, the goalkeeper palmed the shot round the far post.

A fantastic long-ball from Benoit Assou-Ekotto played substitute Jordan Obika through in the dying minutes, but the youngster, under pressure from Lees and Peltier, put his shot well over from a great position and Leeds held on for the win.

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