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The magic of Marine is the magic that will get us through these next months | Frank Cottrell Boyce

fre, 08/01/2021 - 11:30

My daughter learned there it was acceptable to shout on a terrace and Spurs will apparently change in the suite we’ve hired for our kids’ birthdays

When my daughter was little, I took her to watch Marine AFC play. Thrilled by the revelation that it was socially acceptable to shout your head off on the terrace, she yelled: “Come on you football match!!” She never uttered a truer sentiment. For a few blissful moments the crowd behind her took up the chant. It was empowering.

And, Football Match did indeed come on. This Sunday, it’s Marine’s turn to embody the magic of the FA Cup when they play Spurs – currently something like 160 places ahead of them, the biggest discrepancy at this stage in the competition’s history. José Mourinho’s team will apparently be using the Arriva Suite – which we’ve hired for our kids’ 18th birthdays – as their changing room.

Related: FA Cup third round: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Related: Marine FC: ‘A club that is rooted in its community and families can call home’

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FA Cup third round: 10 things to look out for this weekend

fre, 08/01/2021 - 01:05

Boreham Wood, Marine and Stockport are hoping for romance but a shadow of uncertainty is hanging over the competition

Chorley’s home tie against Derby always looked ripe for an upset and still does, albeit with the Championship side now in the role of underdogs against hosts from four divisions below. An outbreak of Covid-19 means Wayne Rooney and his senior Derby players will be watching from home as a team of youngsters deputise in order to fulfil the fixture. A similar scenario may unfold on Friday evening with Aston Villa fielding youth players at home to Liverpool. Chorley’s chances of reaching the fourth round have hugely increased, but manager Jamie Vermiglio has been left deflated by the fixture’s reduction in status to little more than a box-ticking exercise. At least, unlike Southampton’s game against Shrewsbury, it’s still going ahead. At a time when the virus looks likely to wreak havoc on fixture lists in all four divisions, there is little wriggle-room even without these added headaches. Whether or not Covid-hit games should be played this weekend is open to serious question, much like the wisdom of even attempting to carry on with this season’s FA Cup. BG

Chorley v Derby, Saturday 12.15pm (all times GMT)

Related: Aston Villa set to field youth players in Liverpool FA Cup tie due to Covid cases

Blackpool v West Brom, Saturday 3pm

Newport County v Brighton, Sunday 7.45pm

Related: Manchester City purring again after stumbling upon winning formula | Jonathan Wilson

Stockport v West Ham, Monday 8pm

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Moussa Sissoko believes José Mourinho is turning Tottenham into winners

ons, 06/01/2021 - 13:00
  • ‘He pushes hard every day on it,’ says midfielder
  • Spurs, without a trophy since 2008, are in Carabao Cup final

Moussa Sissoko believes José Mourinho is turning Tottenham into winners. The midfielder scored in the 2-0 Carabao Cup semi-final victory against Brentford on Tuesday and, like everybody at the club, is determined to bring home a first trophy since 2008.

When the chairman, Daniel Levy, hired Mourinho in November 2019 it was to build on the work of Mauricio Pochettino and take the final step to silverware. There is at least one notable difference between the managers. Whereas Pochettino made it clear that the domestic cups were some way behind the Premier League and Champions League in terms of priorities, Mourinho is obsessed by chasing everything with equal rigour.

Related: Ndombele's all-action response to Mourinho's call drives Spurs into final | Ed Aarons

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Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Brentford: Carabao Cup semi-final – as it happened

ons, 06/01/2021 - 01:06

Two goals from Moussa Sissoko and Son Heung-min saw Tottenham past Brentford, who had Josh Dasilva sent off

12.06am GMT

Related: 'I sense that desire': Mourinho believes Tottenham can end trophy drought

10.31pm GMT

Related: Ndombele's all-action response to Mourinho's call drives Spurs into final

10.31pm GMT

Related: Tottenham beat Brentford to reach Carabao Cup final after Son seals win

9.49pm GMT

“We are all very happy. We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Today we played a great game against a good team. It was a good battle but we deserved to win ... You don’t only play a final: you have to win it. So let’s be ready.”

9.39pm GMT

Spurs are into the Carabao Cup final, where they will face the winner of Wednesday’s semi-final between Manchester City or Manchester United. Jose Mourinho’s side controlled most of this match and won thanks to goals by Sissoko and Son, but things would have got much more interesting if Toney had not had an equaliser disallowed for a very tight offside judgement by VAR. Clear and obvious it was not. Dasilva’s late red card was not so contentious.

9.34pm GMT

90 min: Brentford’s chance for scrap of consolation evaporates as Henry sends a swirling shot over the bar from 16 yards.

9.32pm GMT

88 min: Spurs substitution: Vinicus on Son off.

9.29pm GMT

86 min: Spurs substitution: Tanganga on, Hojbjerg off.

9.28pm GMT

84 min: After a the referee consults the evidence on the pitchside scree, Dasilva is sent off for going over the ball and catching Hojbjerg in the shin. Can’t argue with that, whether it was intentional or not. There’s a long gash on the shin of Hojbjerg, who is very, very angry.

9.24pm GMT

81 min: Brentford substitution: Forss on, Mbeumo off.

9.24pm GMT

80 min: A sign of Brentford’s desperation: Jensen tries to blem one in from 35 yards. Sanchz stops it from even reaching the box.

9.22pm GMT

78 min: Hojbjerg s hassled into losing possession near his own box but Harry Kane, of all people, is back to help out.

9.20pm GMT

76 min: Spurs want to bury Brentford. Kane feeds Son, who sweeps the ball wide to Ndombele, who tries his way into the box. From a difficult angle he smashes the ball out via the near post.

9.18pm GMT

74 min: Raya denies Kane after more slack defending. Then Brentford hurtle down the other end and one of the newcomers, Fosu, forces Sanchez to block a shot.

9.17pm GMT

74 min: Brentford substitution: Emiliano and Fosu on, Canos and Janelt off.

9.17pm GMT

73 min: Beck Sorensen gets soppy at the back and is lucky Son doesn’t nick the ball and set off in search of a third goal for Spurs.

9.14pm GMT

71 min: Spurs substitution: Winks and Davies on, Lucas and Reguilon off.

9.14pm GMT

Now Spurs have extended their lead! Kane laid the ball off to Ndombele, who had burst from midfield and then slides a perfect pass through to Son, scampering on to the ball from deep. Son fires high into the net from 16 yards.

9.10pm GMT

66 min: That was a reminder to Spurs - who shouldn’t need one after recent events - of the danger of not extending a one-goal lead. They can mull that over now while Aurier receives treatment, having seemingly hurt himself in a tackle with Jensen.

9.08pm GMT

It’s been ruled out for a very tight offside. The trouble for Spurs started from a corner, which reached Pinnock beyond the back post. He nodded towards goal, Lloris clawed it half-away, and Toney knocked it over the line from close range. But he was offside by millimetres. Apparently.

9.06pm GMT

Brentford think they have equalised but VAR is checking whether Toney was offside....

9.06pm GMT

62 min: Mbeumo flings a mighty throw into the Tottenham box, Sissoko tries to head clear but instead flicks it on. Reguilon, caught by surprise, shins it out for a corner.

9.04pm GMT

59 min: Dier spanks a long diagonal to Aurier, who feeds Sissoko at the edge of the area. Sissoko drives for the byline and then clips a cross to Son, who’s free 16 yards out. Son tries to steer a volley into the bottom corner ... but misses by a yard.

9.01pm GMT

57 min: Jensen’s freekick into the Spurs box is headed away. Spurs continue to stifle their opponents.

8.55pm GMT

53 min: Reguilon booked for barging into Toney to stop a counterattack.

8.55pm GMT

52 min: Mbeumo booked for catching Reguilon after stretching to reach the ball after it ran away from him. And it’s a freekick to Spurs at he edge of the area. Kane bashes it straight into the wall.

8.54pm GMT

50 min: Aurier flies forward to support Lucas, then collects a through-back from the Brazilian on the underlap. Then he lashes a shot a couple of yards wide.

8.53pm GMT

49 min: Mbeumo eludes Sanchez down the right and cuts into the box. From the byline he pulls it back for Toney. But Aurier has read the danger and throws himself in front of Toney’s shot to make a tremendous block!

8.51pm GMT

48 min: Canos holds back Lucas and then takes him down. The referee calls over Brentford’s captain, Dalsgaard, to explain that Canos will get a second yellow if he carries on like that.

8.50pm GMT

47 min: Jensen spreads play wife to Canos on the right. Canos carries it infield and then wraps around his shot from 25 yards. Sanchez gets in the way of it.

8.49pm GMT

46 min: Off we go again. Can Brentford do anything differently? They’re going to have to, because Mourinho’s men won’t change so long as they’ve got the lead.

8.45pm GMT

“That ‘old-school’ stand at Salford can still be seen at many a junior, and indeed some lower league senior, grounds around Scotland,” writes Simon McMahon. “I hope when it was demolished, Paul Scholes rebuilt it brick by brick in his back garden?”

8.34pm GMT

It’s been a job efficiently done so far by Spurs. They took an early lad thanks to a smart header by Sissoko and some sloppy defending, and they’ve managed the game pretty well since then, working hard and harmoniously to keep Brentford at arm’s length. Brentford need to come up with something special to get back into this.

8.31pm GMT

43 min: Brentford are passing nicely around mid-way but Spurs are solid and aren’t allowing them any openings.

8.27pm GMT

40 min: Son’s corner is met at near post by both Moura and Toney and goes spinning and lopping towards the far corner of the net! Raya reacts swiftly to backpedal and palm it away, preventing his team from going 2-0 down.

8.25pm GMT

38 min: Danger! Canos pings over a fetching cross from the let. Dier makes a critical intervention to stop Toney from getting on the end of it. But his header falls to Dasilva near the edge of the box, and Son charges in to block the forward’s powerful shot.

8.22pm GMT

35 min: Cute interplay by Brentford, then Mbeumo clips a pass towards Toney near the penalty spot. Despite pressure from Sanchez the striker manages to connect with a diving header, but he can’t apply enough power to trouble Lloris.

8.20pm GMT

33 min: Brentford continue to pass progressively - until they approach the Tottenham third, where they can find no way through.

8.17pm GMT

30 min: That’s better from Spurs. They pen back Brentford and probe for openings. Son and Reguilon both have crosses repelled before Sissoko floats on towards the back post. Brentford hold firm and eventually clear.

8.15pm GMT

27 min: Harry Kane has appeared in nine semi-final so far in his career and scored two goals. He’s had very little involvement so far today. In fact, in the last few minutes Spurs have dwindled as an attacking force. Hopefully for them that is only temporary and not another manifestation of a negative tendency that has cost them in the Premier League recently.

8.11pm GMT

25 min: Brentford seem to have digested the concession of the early goal and are now starting to gain momentum as they seek an equaliser. But Lloris irritates them by venturing towards the penalty spot to catch the ball from a corner.

8.09pm GMT

23 min: Reguilon brings down Mbeumo, who’s given the fullback plenty of problems. The freekick is near the right touchline, half way inside Spurs territory. Jensen sends it towards the back post. Pinnock leaps well to meet it but can’t direct his header on target from 15 yards.

8.07pm GMT

20 min: Ndombele can carry on, happily. “James Poole (of Hartley & Poole fame) scored a wonder goal from the half-way line in the FA Cup for Salford City a few years back when they were still in the Northern Premier League,” recalls Andrew. “It’s worth a look just for the brilliant old-school stand, which was later demolished.”

8.05pm GMT

17 min: Brentford kick the ball out of play so that Ndombele can receive treatment. He’s lying in the centre circle clutching his ankle after a late tackle by Janelt, who get a deserved booking.

8.01pm GMT

14 min: True to their pre-match word, Spurs are not trying to sit on their lead. ON the contrary, they’re trying to double it immediately. Raya foils them this time, diving to his left to turn away Son’s bending sidefooter from the edge of the area.

8.00pm GMT

Spurs open the scoring from their first dangerous attack! Brentford will be disgusted at their own defending. Reguilon’s cross from the left was lovely, but Sissoko had plenty of time and space between the two centrebacks - and he used it impeccably, guiding a header from 10 yards beyond the diving keeper and into the corner of the goal.

7.56pm GMT

9 min: Jensen flights a freekick from 10 yards inside the Spurs half towards the left-hand side of the area. Pinnock heads it across goal but Spurs clear, with Ndombele overhead kicking it to safety.

7.54pm GMT

7 min: There is no sign of Brentford freezing or being overwhelmed by this occasion. They’re very clever and sprightly and, so far, giving as good as they get.

7.51pm GMT

5 min: Dasilva pounces on a loose pas by Aurier and dribbles past two and into the Spurs area. But when the ball runs away from him, Sanchez whacks it off him and it ricochet into the arms of Lloris.

7.50pm GMT

4 min: Mbeumo gets the wrong side of Reguilon and curls over an inviting cross. But Sanchez is well positioned to head clear.

7.49pm GMT

3 min: It’s been a confident start from Spurs, with all their main players getting useful touches. Ndombele plays a particularly nice pass through to Son, who knocks it wide to Reguilon, who wins a corner. It’s cleared easily.

7.46pm GMT

1 min: Brentford set the semi-final in motion by kicking the ball straight back to their keeper, who wellies it downfield.

7.45pm GMT

The players march down the tunnel and on to the pitch, to absolutely no applause or cheers. Spurs are wearing their customary colours of white shirts and navy blue knickerbockers, while Brentford are in a dark grey number with red stockings.

7.39pm GMT

“White and Hart on the bench tonight is up there with Arsene managing Arsenal, but Hartley and Poole once playing for Hartlepool can never be beaten,” declares Antony Wilson, who has presumably forgotten that Wolfsburg used to be managed by Wolfgang Wolf.

7.31pm GMT

“With White and Hart on the bench for Spurs, couldn’t Jose have had a laugh and asked Kane to put his feet up too?” writes Risha Mohyeddin with a chortle.

7.26pm GMT

Firstly, he reveals that Pontus Jansson would have been picked but is suffering from a minor injury. He also says the fact that this tie is being contested over one leg rather than the usual two increases the chances of Brentford pulling of an upset in their first ever semi-final. “We all know it’s not an everyday game but we are looking forward to it. Let’s try to attack, do our best and see what happens. Everybody knows Tottenham are big favourites and name-for-name are a better team than us but the fact it’s only one game helps us.”

7.17pm GMT

Moussa Sissoko has ben speaking to Sky Sports and reveals Jose Mourinho’s instructions, which, apparently, really do include “don’t sit back”: “He told us to take this team seriously because they are a very god opponent, doing very well in the Championship. Everyone wants to be in the final so it’s going to be a big battle. Let’s do everything to go through. Be strong defensively and when you have the ball, go forward. Don’t sit back and don’t wait.”

7.09pm GMT

Spurs: Lloris; Aurier, Sanchez, Dier, Reguilon; Sissoko, Hojbjerg; Lucas, Ndombele, Son; Kane

Subs: Alderweireld, Alli, White, Hart, Davies, Bergwijn, Winks, Vinicius

5.13pm GMT

Hello. Spurs haven’t won a major trophy for 13 years and it would mean a lot to them and José Mourinho to get one in the cabinet as soon as possible. Brentford don’t even need a cabinet (although, as Richard Foster details here, they they did win the London War Cup in 1942, which is not to be sniffed at). Now both clubs have a chance to end long waits, or at least to meet a Manchester club in the Carabao Cup final. Spurs are the obvious favourites but that means nothing to Brentford, who have already ousted four Premier League clubs to get this far.

This is Brentford first match of the year, because their joust with Bristol City last weekend was postponed owing to Covid-19. They have a fully fit squad, except for the injured Christian Norgaard. Spurs are without several players, including Matt Doherty, Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela. But they have a big squad and no credible excuses. It’s on.

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'I sense that desire': Mourinho believes Tottenham can end trophy drought

ons, 06/01/2021 - 00:47
  • Manager praises ‘honest people’ after win over Brentford
  • Højbjerg should be fit for FA Cup after despite late injury

José Mourinho believes Tottenham’s players have shown their desire to end the club’s trophy drought after booking their place in the Carabao Cup final with a 2-0 win against Brentford.

Related: Ndombele's all-action response to Mourinho's call drives Spurs into final

Related: Tottenham beat Brentford to reach Carabao Cup final after Son seals win

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Ndombele's all-action response to Mourinho's call drives Spurs into final | Ed Aarons

tir, 05/01/2021 - 23:29

Tottenham rely on the mercurial Frenchman to feed Son and Kane, and he delivered in his manager’s biggest game at the club

José Mourinho said last week: “It’s not easy for him to last 90 minutes.” This time, however, as Tottenham booked their place in the Carabao Cup final with a 2-0 victory over Brentford, Tanguy Ndombele proved him wrong.

From the first minute when he burst from his own half before picking out Lucas Moura with an inch-perfect pass, the imposing France international looked determined to make an impression in a match his manager had described as the biggest since he arrived at Tottenham in November 2019.

Related: Tottenham beat Brentford to reach Carabao Cup final after Son seals win

Related: 'I sense that desire': Mourinho believes Tottenham can end trophy drought

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Tottenham beat Brentford to reach Carabao Cup final after Son seals win

tir, 05/01/2021 - 22:57

Son Heung-min had no time for the romance of the Brentford story. The Championship club had never played a major semi-final in their 132-year history but they thought they had a springboard to victory midway through the second half.

Ivan Toney had headed home from point-blank range for what he thought was the goal to cancel out Moussa Sissoko’s 12th-minute opener and Brentford felt a jolt of momentum. And then they did not.

Related: Ndombele's all-action response to Mourinho's call drives Spurs into final

Related: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Brentford: Carabao Cup semi-final – as it happened

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When Brentford won a Wembley cup final – with help from traffic police

tir, 05/01/2021 - 13:32

Brentford won the London War Cup in 1942 thanks to two goals from Les Smith, whose car broke down en route to the final

By Richard Foster for The Football Mine

As soon as Brentford had beaten Newcastle United in the League Cup quarter-finals, talk centred around the club’s first appearance in a major semi-final in their 131-year history. The Bees’ trophy cabinet is not exactly bursting at the seams, but the club did enjoy cup success 80 years ago, which included a semi-final victory against Tottenham, the club they play this week in the League Cup semi-finals.

Having spent their formative years in non-league, Brentford were elected to the Football League in 1920. In 1926, the former referee and Gillingham manager Harry Curtis began his 23-year managerial spell at Griffin Park, overseeing the most successful period in their history. In 1929-30 Brentford won all 21 of their home games in the league although their poor away form let them down and Plymouth Argyle won the title. Brentford would have to wait until 1933 to earn promotion to the Second Division. They finally reached the top flight for the first time in their history in 1935. Just as Brentford finally made it to the top, Tottenham were going in the opposite direction, being relegated after finishing bottom of the First Division.

Related: How English football responded to the second world war

Related: Youri Djorkaeff: ‘I was in love with England, its fans and weather’

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Brentford's focus on the human touch belies Moneyball reputation | Jonathan Liew

man, 04/01/2021 - 23:30

Team facing Tottenham in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final has several overlooked players who have found their true home

Rasmus Ankersen, the director of football at Brentford, often likes telling the story of his first meeting with Matthew Benham, the club’s owner. It was 2013 and with Brentford third in League One, Ankersen decided to make some small talk. “Do you think you’re going to go up?” Ankersen asked. Benham turned to him. “Well,” he replied, “at the moment we have a 42.3% chance.”

This is the sort of story people like to tell about Brentford: a club bought by a gambling tycoon with a lust for numbers, staffed by a small army of analysts and disruptors applying regression curves and game theory to the EFL on a rainy Tuesday night. The frequent refrain you will hear is that Brentford’s most successful era since the 1940s is based on a “data-driven”, “Moneyball-style” approach: both of which evoke the notions of shortcuts and magic recipes, of success generated painlessly by computer code.

Related: José Mourinho typically primed for his 'biggest game' as Spurs manager

Related: Érik Lamela will not play against Brentford after Christmas Covid breach

Related: Brentford happy to do it their own way in quest for promotion

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Tottenham against idea of allowing Dele Alli to leave club in January

man, 04/01/2021 - 17:01
  • Frustrated midfielder linked with move to Paris Saint-Germain
  • José Mourinho wants to keep options open given busy schedule

Tottenham are reluctant to sanction a move for Dele Alli in January. The 24-year-old midfielder is frustrated at his lack of playing time and his representatives are exploring the possibility of finding a fresh challenge for him. He has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain, and especially so following Mauricio Pochettino’s arrival there as manager.

Spurs question whether there will be a market to sell Alli this month – in other words, if an interested club would pay a premium for a player who is battling to recover his top level – while they are not inclined to loan him for fear of reducing their options for the second half of the season.

Related: José Mourinho typically primed for his 'biggest game' as Spurs manager

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José Mourinho typically primed for his 'biggest game' as Spurs manager

man, 04/01/2021 - 14:00

Portuguese knows importance of Carabao Cup semi-final with Brentford to Tottenham’s 13-year hunt for silverware

Never let it be said that José Mourinho hides his light under a bushel or runs from the pressure and significance of high-profile matches. The Tottenham manager goes hard in the opposite direction and at times like these, as he prepares for a pivotal semi-final – at home to Brentford in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night – it is easy to make out the trademark psychology.

Mourinho projects confidence, not least with references to his previous glories, and there have been more than a few of those in this competition alone. He is one of only three managers to have four League Cups to his name – three with Chelsea, one with Manchester United. The other two are Brian Clough and Sir Alex Ferguson.

Related: Érik Lamela will not play against Brentford after Christmas Covid breach

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Football rumours: Chelsea to replace Frank Lampard? Dele Alli to PSG?

man, 04/01/2021 - 10:08

A Blue Monday awaits in today’s transfer tittle-tattle

Far be it from the Rumour Mill to claim to know what goes on in the mind of Roman Abramovich, but it’s being reported that Chelsea’s Russian owner is ready to replace Frank Lampard unless he quickly whips his side into shape following last night’s humiliation at the hands of Manchester City.

The Athletic say the 42-year-old manager’s position is “under serious threat” and claim Chelsea have “started to explore alternative plans with a view to replacing Lampard if the current slump continues”. They don’t, however, go so far as to speculate over who might take over should Abramovich pull the trigger.

Related: Frank Lampard plays down pressure after Chelsea slip to meek defeat

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Érik Lamela will not play against Brentford after Christmas Covid breach

søn, 03/01/2021 - 23:30
  • Winger was among three Tottenham players pictured at party
  • José Mourinho gives no explanation of absence from squad

Érik Lamela will not be available to face Brentford in Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup semi-final, José Mourinho has said. The Tottenham winger was one of three players from the club to break tier 4 coronavirus regulations over the Christmas period.

A photo of Lamela at a party in a house with Sergio Reguilón and Giovani Lo Celso – together with 12 other adults including the West Ham midfielder Manuel Lanzini – emerged before Saturday’s 3-0 win over Leeds. Lamela was left out of the squad without explanation. Reguilón was an unused substitute while Lo Celso had been ruled out by a hamstring injury that stands to sideline him for most of January.

Related: Premier League fans’ half-term reports. Part two: Liverpool to Wolves

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Premier League fans’ half-term reports. Part two: Liverpool to Wolves

søn, 03/01/2021 - 09:00

Fans rate the best and worst of the season so far – the stars, the flops and what needs to change in 2021

Part one: Arsenal to Leicester

Always good to be top of the league, can’t get much higher than that. We dropped points in our last two games, but all things considered, I’m happy. The downside has been the injuries. To lose Van Dijk and Thiago away to Everton’s School of Science – or was it Dogs of War? – so early in the season was tough. But Thiago is back: I’m looking forward to seeing him on a regular basis. 9/10

Related: Men's transfer window January 2021 – all deals from Europe's top five leagues

Related: The alternative 2020 sports awards: quotes, storms and animal cameos

Related: David Squires on … the endless joyride that was football in 2020

Related: David Squires on … a tale of two Jordans and rough justice on Merseyside

Related: Premier League fans’ half-term reports. Part one: Arsenal to Leicester

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Harry Kane and Son Heung-min score as Tottenham beat Leeds to go third

lør, 02/01/2021 - 18:25

José Mourinho has been a little grouchy of late, moaning about the inability of his Tottenham players to follow on-field orders and railing at the perceived failings of authority, namely the late decision to postpone Wednesday’s game against Fulham.

The last thing he needed was for the news to break on the eve of this game that three of his players had flouted coronavirus rules by attending a Christmas party. What was going through the minds of Sergio Reguilón, Erik Lamela and Giovani Lo Celso? Presumably nothing. None of them played here, although Lo Celso was never going to because of a hamstring injury.

Related: Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Leeds United: Premier League – live!

Related: Tottenham condemn three players for Christmas party Covid rules breach

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Mourinho 'disappointed' in Tottenham players breaking Covid rules – video

lør, 02/01/2021 - 17:53

Tottenham Hotspur manager José Mourinho said he was 'disappointed' in Sergio Reguilón, Giovanni Lo Celso and Érik Lamela following the publication of a picture showing that the three players had met at a gathering over Christmas. The three players – plus West Ham United's Manuel Lanzini – broke coronavirus regulations after the picture showed them celebrating with 11 other adults, two children and a baby. Mourinho said that the consequences of the players' actions would be kept in-house.

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Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Leeds United: Premier League – as it happened

lør, 02/01/2021 - 15:29

Harry Kane and Son-Heung min were too good for Leeds, picking them off in transition to lift Spurs to third in the table

2.44pm GMT

Related: Harry Kane and Son Heung-min score as Tottenham beat Leeds to go third

2.29pm GMT

Here’s a very tired Son-Heung min

[Exhales demonstratively] It was a really difficult game - they do an unbelievable job and work so hard. We created a lot of chances and got a clean sheet, it’s a fantastic start to the new year. I couldn’t wait [to score his 100th goal for Spurs] and I’m very happy and very grateful for my team-mates who supported me early on. I needed a lot of help for this big achievement and I’m really proud. But the most important thing is that we got the clean sheet here and the three goals.

2.21pm GMT

Related: Crystal Palace v Sheffield United, EFL and more – football clockwatch – live!

2.21pm GMT

It was an easy win for Spurs, who were a model of efficiency in transition and could have scored six or seven. Harry Kane’s debatable penalty gave them the lead, Son scored a lovely goal on the stroke of half-time - his 100th for Spurs - and Toby Alderweireld headed the third.

2.20pm GMT

Peep peep! Spurs jump from seventh to third in the great game of Snakes and Ladders that is the 2020-21 Premier League season.

2.18pm GMT

90+2 min: Doherty sent off! Matt Doherty gets a second yellow for a late tackle on Pablo Hernandez, and Spurs are down to 10 men. It was a pretty straightforward decision.

2.17pm GMT

90+1 min “The Dutch Total Football team and snide fouls in the same post - wash your mouth out, or at least clean your fingers!” says Richard Hirst.

Those boys knew how to look after themselves, Neeskens in particular. There was that great David Lacey line, in 1978 I think, about the Dutch reminding us that they invented the clog.

2.16pm GMT

90 min “VAR is the sporting equivalent of Trump,” says Mary Waltz. “No matter how much you do not want to discuss Trump ever again his outrageous actions and words force you back on discussing him. VAR is the same. it ruins everything good in this world.”

So who, or what, is our Joe Biden? Is it Peter Walton?

2.15pm GMT

89 min Phillips is booked for a foul on Vinicius. That means he’s suspended for Leeds’ next game, the FA Cup tie at Crawley. It’s almost as if he did it deliberately!

2.14pm GMT

88 min “Ndombele is Spurs’ most talented player,” says Cian O’Mahony. “Tough love - or the lack of it - has nothing to do with it.”

He was their most talented player last season, too, and he was crap. I think it’s reasonable to draw a connection, but it’s also reasonable to think he was always going to come good. I feel better already.

2.13pm GMT

87 min Harry Kane has made one and scored one, and now he’s done one. Carlos Vinicius replaces him.

2.11pm GMT

85 min Hojbjerg is booked, because the referee was running out of time to fulfil his contractual obligation. (And for a foul on Pablo Hernandez.)

2.10pm GMT

84 min “Just saw the quiz answer from earlier,” says Peter McHugh. “I worked with a Spurs fan (as I am myself) who always called Vinny Samways, Sammy Heighway. His malapropisms were legendary.”

I’d love to know what he made of Steffen Freund. “Steffen, could I have your autograph? And have you got half an hour to talk about my sexual desire for my mother?”

2.09pm GMT

83 min Bamford, 12 yards out, heads straight at Lloris from Raphinha’s cross. Not much of a chance.

2.08pm GMT

83 min Phillips blocked Hojbjerg’s shot, though it was going wide anyway.

2.07pm GMT

80 min Raphinha zips outside Doherty and drives a speculative cross-shot that is comfortably saved by the falling Lloris.

2.06pm GMT

79 min Nothing much happening. Leeds are still bouncing around like Tigger; Spurs are still working very hard to keep Hugo Lloris’s sheet clean.

2.05pm GMT

78 min “It’s not quite the same as using by not using, but one of my abiding memories is seeing the Dutch ‘total football’ team of the 70s playing England at Wembley,” says Richard Hirst. “On the TV you saw the pass played and maybe one other option. Live you saw the multiple options available as the team flowed forwards and flowed backwards - breathtaking.”

We’re doing a Joy of Six on that soon – assists without touching the ball. Off-the-ball runs, dummies, snide fouls at set pieces. If you’ve got any nominations, please send them in. No1 is Marco van Basten, that’s all I’m giving you.

2.03pm GMT

77 min Another Spurs change: Lucas Moura replaces Tanguy Ndombele, who had a 7/10 kind of day. He’s become a very important player for Spurs, which proves Jose Mourinho’s tough love can work.

2.03pm GMT

77 min “The penalty chat has gone way off topic - whether it’s in the box is a fair question (personally I think it is - contact was still being made when they were on the line and in this case advantage should go to the attacker) but the penalty was given live, as it would have been 10 years ago or 20 years ago,” says Phil Beattie. “The fact that it was a foul has nothing to do with VAR whatsoever...”

Yes but I’d argue VAR has increased the number of ‘live’ decisions being given, in the same way DRS changed, for example, the number of LBW decisions given on the field. All I know is that beauty is ephemeral. Oh and that penalties are up by about 100 per cent (I think), and that can’t be right.

2.01pm GMT

76 min Moussa Sissoko replaces Harry Winks.

2.00pm GMT

74 min Pablo Hernandez, who has etc, has another medium-range shot deflected behind for a corner. Leeds are hilarious; they are playing as if world peace depends on their scoring a goal this afternoon.

1.59pm GMT

73 min Pablo Hernandez, who has been really good since coming on, has a medium-range shot deflected behind for a corner.

1.59pm GMT

73 min “Hi Rob,” says Lalith Adithyan. “How good has Hojbjerg been for Spurs this season. He has been a defensive rock for them this season and spurs have been crying out for a player like him. He has also made some decent runs into the box in this game.”

I must admit, I elevated my nose at precisely 45 degrees when they signed him, but he’s been extremely good.

1.59pm GMT

73 min Spurs break from the corner and Kane tries to score from inside his own half. It was a decent strike, which had Meslier backpedalling desperately, but it just cleared the crossbar. Meslier probably had it covered in the end.

1.58pm GMT

72 min Another corner for Leeds, won by Shackleton this time. It’s lovely to watch, though we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Spurs are 3-0 up and could have scored 10. I suppose it was always going to be like this, certainly once Spurs scored the first goal.

1.56pm GMT

69 min The dynamic Poveda-Ocampo wins a corner for Leeds, who continue to ooze irrepressibility. Phillips’ corner is headed away.

1.55pm GMT

67 min “The problem with VAR regarding penalties is that it only shows ‘contact’ but not whether this is enough to impair another player,” says Foderoy78. “Contact is allowed when shielding a ball or during tackling so it’s hard to use it as the sole perpetrator of a pen. The only person who knows if it’s was enough contact is the ‘fouled’ player. When running at full flight it sometimes only needs the slightest touch to be tripped but every tackle is different.”

Yes, agreed. Another problem is that penalties are never given unless a player goes down. It’s all a bit of a mess, and the traditional remedy – the increased use of common sense – isn’t compatible with VAR. I think that in time (I’m talking 10/20 years), there will be two tiers of fouls in the penalty area. I don’t love that idea but it’s better than the current situation.

1.52pm GMT

66 min Meslier makes another good save, pushing Kane’s shot round the near post. Bergwijn played Kane in; the angle was tight so he slapped it towards the near post and hoped for the best. Meslier was well positioned and pushed it behind for a corner.

1.52pm GMT

66 min A third Leeds change: Pablo Hernandez replaces Rodrigo.

1.50pm GMT

65 min Matt Doherty is booked for a fresh-air swipe in the direction of Luke Ayling.

1.50pm GMT

64 min Alioski is replaced by Jamie Shackleton. He goes to right back, Stuart Dallas to left back.

1.49pm GMT

63 min Spurs look like they might score every time they win the ball back. Who’d be an xG algorithm?

1.48pm GMT

62 min: Great goalkeeping! Meslier makes a brilliant point-blank save from Bergwijn, who took Son’s pass on the run, moved away from Alioski and blootered a shot towards goal.

1.47pm GMT

62 min “One of the best things about Maxi Rodriguez’s goal,” says Robert Smithson, “is Carlos Bilardo yelling “arco!” (go for goal!) just before he hit it.”

1.46pm GMT

61 min A Leeds change: Ian Poveda-Ocampo replaces Jack Harrison.

1.45pm GMT

60 min Leeds are playing with their usual optimism, despite the scoreline. Spoiler alert: this doesn’t end 3-0.

1.45pm GMT

59 min “Happy new year Rob,” says Guy Hornsby. “After the last few games I bailed on watching this game after 18 minutes of Spurs saying ‘come on then Bielsa’. The 2020-grade pessimist in me was expecting a 1-1 draw after 1 shot on target and a 92nd minute equaliser, so chose a walk with the little one. She’s blissfully unaware of how jinxes work (yet) but I may just do that every time in future. Perhaps this is a new dawn. Probably not.”

There are no new dawns, only new years. Now pass me my kombucha.

1.43pm GMT

57 min Son is too unselfish for his own good. He breaks into the area from the left, eschews the obvious shot and instead tries a square ball to the unmarked Hojbjerg that is blocked.

1.42pm GMT

57 min Leeds’ last five games: 5-2, 2-6, 1-0, 5-0, 0-3. God bless them.

1.42pm GMT

56 min “All these debates about penalties would be irrelevant,” says Richard Hirst, “if all teams were as sporting as Fulham and had such incompetent penalty takers.”

Look, man, that’s a good email.

1.41pm GMT

55 min Son’s shot is blocked by a topknot, Phillips I think.

1.41pm GMT

55 min Winks is booked for kicking the ball away.

1.39pm GMT

54 min “Personally I think it’s more about what constitutes a foul,” says Nicholas of my proposed Ifab penalty review. “Every description of a foul revolves around how a player makes a tackle or challenge. How an opponent tries to win a free kick or penalty does not change the nature of the tackle or challenge. His challenge for the ball has not become careless - which is the minimum requirement - upon the action of the opponent. The opponent being “clever” has not in any way, changed the way someone tackled. If the challenge for the ball was legitimate by any usual definition (not a lunge, no studs showing, no high foot etc) how can it become careless according to the action of the opponent?”

You could argue it is careless for not taking into account the potential movement of the opponent before you get the ball. As with most basic rules, we’ve all lost our bearings since the VAR magnifying glass came out. It’s surely time for us all to stop, collaborate and listen.

1.39pm GMT

53 min Spurs are creating chances at will. Kane twists neatly away from Ayling on the left edge of the area and smashes a rising shot into the side netting.

1.37pm GMT

Son’s excellent outswinging corner from the right was met by Alderweireld, who flicked a header that went through Meslier and into the net. Meslier had started to come from the cross, which meant he was moving towards his own goal as he tried to make the save. He pushed the ball away when he was in his own net, but technology confirmed it had just crossed the line.

1.37pm GMT

The respite was brief for Leeds.

1.36pm GMT

50 min Ndombele hits a vicious shot from 15 yards that is really well saved by the falling Meslier. He couldn’t hold it but managed to shovel it behind for a corner.

1.34pm GMT

48 min “Wondering if the one of the main difference between the two teams is the difference in quality between Kane and Bamford,” says Paul Fitzgerald. “Both teams will get decent chances to score but after watching Bamford against Man Utd recently, I don’t know if he has that killer instinct against top sides.”

Fair point. Imagine Leeds with Harry Kane! In fact, Spurs should loan him to Leeds for the rest of the season in the interests of the nation’s morale.

1.33pm GMT

47 min “A soft pen can still be a clear pen,” says Phil Beattie. “I agree with your general sentiment on pens, but think you’re picking the wrong example. The challenge on Bergwijn is a silly challenge to make but it’s a clear foul and always would have been seen as a foul. He’s entitled to let the ball run across his body, and Paul Johnson’s accusation of cheating is frankly a little ridiculous.”

I agree that it was a foul, albeit just outside the area IMEHO. I don’t think Bergwijn cheated but he did know what he was doing. That’s his right, and defenders need to be much less impetuous in a VAR world, but all these penalties don’t sit comfortably at all.

1.32pm GMT

46 min Peep peep! Spurs begin the second half.

1.30pm GMT

“Gary Naylor is, of course, correct about Bale,” says Matt Dony. “He’s even got the regulation Leeds Topknot.”

1.27pm GMT

Pop quiz “Vinny Samways,” says Conor Clarke, simply and correctly.

1.26pm GMT

The more you see that Spurs penalty, the dodgier it looks. The contact looks fractionally outside the area, and you could also argue that Bergwijn made the foul by stepping across Alioski. I think it was a foul, in truth, but I don’t think it was in the penalty area.

1.22pm GMT

“Barry Davies would love this Leeds side,” says Gary Naylor. “There’s a ‘uses him by not using him’ in every attack.”

Quiz question (no cheating; it’s 2021 and we’re going to do this life properly): who was used by not being used in the Barry Davies commentary mentioned by Gary?

1.18pm GMT

Half-time reading

Related: January transfer window: a guide to every Premier League club's plans

1.18pm GMT

Peep peep! Spurs have done a fairly predictable number on Leeds. They had less than 40 per cent of the ball but looked very dangerous on the break, particularly after Harry Kane’s soft penalty gave them the lead. Kane made the second for his football friend Son, a beautiful goal just before half-time that leaves Leeds with plenty to do.

1.16pm GMT

45+2 min “Another soft penalty,” says Paul Johnson. “Just manoeuvre trailing leg into path of defender, wait for slight touch, fall over and penalty ‘won’. ‘Winning’ a penalty and ‘entitled to go down’ should be expunged from dictionary. If you’ve ‘won’ a penalty, you’ve cheated.”

I think it’s slightly subtler than that, but essentially I agree with you. Now that VAR is here to stay, I think Ifab need an urgent review of what constitutes a penalty.

1.16pm GMT

45+1 min Kane plays a good pass into the area for Son, who is unusually indecisive and loses the ball. That was another chance. This could easily be 5-3 to Spurs, in a game that Leeds have dominated.

1.15pm GMT

45 min Spurs could have had four or five in this half. Ndombele’s cross on the turn is intercepted by Ayling. The ball runs towards Davies, who spanks a first-time shot over the bar from a tight angle.

1.14pm GMT

Hojbjerg won a loose ball 40 yards from goal and gave it to his superior, Harold Kane. He moved away from Struijk, down the right wing, and curled a delicious ball around the defence towards the near post. Son got away from Dallas, waited for the ball to bounce and swept it deftly past Meslier at the near post. That’s a lovely goal, Son’s 100th for Spurs.

1.13pm GMT

Leeds have been mugged, and we all saw it coming.

1.12pm GMT

43 min Bamford shoots straight at Lloris from the edge of the area. That was a decent chance.

1.11pm GMT

41 min Harrison wanders infield, receives a square pass from Klich on the edge of the D and whips an excellent shot just over the bar.

1.10pm GMT

40 min Raphinha’s cross is headed away to Alioski on the edge of the area. His volley goes out for a throw-in.

1.09pm GMT

39 min “How many world-class strikers of Kane’s quality would agree to fall back and become more of a feeder to Son and the other Spurs attackers?” says Mary Waltz. “Kane’s self-sacrificing buy-in to Jose’s tactics is admirable to say the least.”

Whatever happened to Gary Cooper? He’s right there, up top for Spurs.

1.09pm GMT

38 min Alioski’s low cross towards the near post finds Bamford, whose first-time poke is blocked by Dier. Bamford’s movement in front of Dier was excellent but he didn’t connect with the shot as well as he would have liked.

1.07pm GMT

37 min Kane and Son are both down. Kane is holding his right knee, which is a particular concern; he landed awkwardly after a struggle for possession with Ayling. Both are going to continue for now.

1.06pm GMT

35 min: Bergwijn misses an excellent chance! A poor header from Raphinha went to Davies on the left wing. He lost the recovering Raphinha and picked out Bergwijn with a good low cross. Bergwijn turned beautifully but then spanked his shot into orbit from 10 yards.

1.05pm GMT

35 min More good play from Leeds. Raphinha’s pass infield is flicked behind his standing leg by Klich on the edge of the area. Rodrigo runs onto it but slices a tame shot through to Lloris with the outside of the right foot.

1.04pm GMT

34 min “Bergwijn creates the contract by jumping into Alioski,” says Drew Lundgren.

In VAR football, almost any contact - however it comes about - is a penalty. It’s a mess.

1.03pm GMT

33 min Klich pokes a short pass towards Rodrigo on the edge of the area. He lets it run through his legs towards Bamford, and Davies comes across to make a vital tackle.

1.01pm GMT

32 min Almost a second goal for Spurs. Alderweireld, still up from an earlier set piece, has a shot blocked. Kane, on the half turn, curls the rebound well wide of the far post. That was a surprisingly tame effort.

12.59pm GMT

Kane puts the penalty straight down the middle. That’s his 205th goal for Tottenham!

12.58pm GMT

Penalty given!

12.58pm GMT

VAR check It’s a soft penalty but I doubt it will be overturned.

12.57pm GMT

27 min: PENALTY TO SPURS! Alioski has been penalised for a clumsy challenge on Bergwijn. It came from a loose pass out by the keeper Meslier, which was intercepted by Winks and fed forward to Bergwijn. Alioski made a needless challenge from the wrong side, right on the edge of the area, and Bergwijn went over.

12.56pm GMT

26 min At the other end Phillips plays in the overlapping Dallas, whose dangerous cross is kicked away at the near post by Hojbjerg. Good defending.

12.55pm GMT

25 min Kane wriggles away from Klich and Dallas in the area before cutting the ball back sharply towards the near post. Alioski heads it clear.

12.53pm GMT

It’s still 0-0 in the Old Firm derby - but Celtic are battering the leaders Rangers.

Related: Rangers v Celtic: Old Firm derby – live!

12.52pm GMT

22 min: Chance for Bamford! Raphinha cuts inside from the right and curls an inswinging cross towards Bamford, who gets under the ball and heads over from six yards. At first I thought it was a bad miss but on reflection the ball was a fraction too high.

12.52pm GMT

22 min “I am feeling old today,” says Ruth Purdue, referring to the below.

Maxi Rodriguez had his countrymen celebrating wildly when his unbelievable winner sent @Argentina into the #WorldCup quarter-finals. They'll be raising a toast to the Newell's Old Boys winger as he turns 40 today

#HBD | @MR11ok |

12.50pm GMT

21 min Son’s free-kick from the left is kept alive by Spurs. Eventually Hojbjerg hits a crisp first-time shot from 15 yards that goes straight at Meslier.

12.49pm GMT

19 min It’s been an enjoyable game, even if there haven’t been any clear chances yet.

12.48pm GMT

18 min “You know who would look good in this Leeds team, who needs a bit of footballing fun and who can afford to play for a much reduced wage?” says Gary Naylor. “Gareth Bale, that’s who.”

As I rode the crescendo of that first sentence, I honestly thought you were going to say yourself.

12.47pm GMT

17 min A loose ball falls nicely for Kane, who bullets it over the bar with his left foot. That was a chance, even though he was at a fairly tight angle on the left side of the area.

12.44pm GMT

13 min Leeds break three on two, with Klich finding Bamford on the edge of the area. He cushions a nice pass into Rodrigo, who can’t make room for a shot as the Spurs defenders get back. Instead he plays it back to Bamford, whose tame shot from the edge of the area is easily saved by Lloris. Rodrigo’s return pass wasn’t great, hit with too much pace and onto Bamford’s weaker foot.

12.42pm GMT

12 min Davies’s corner is claimed confidently by Meslier.

12.41pm GMT

12 min Son tries a one-two with Bergwijn, and Dallas comes across to make an important interception on the edge of the area. Corner to Spurs...

12.40pm GMT

10 min Alioski surges forward and slides a lovely ball through to Harrison in the area. Doherty does well to block his cross-shot but Harrison picks up the loose ball and lobs it into Klich, who smacks it over the bar on the bounce. The ball didn’t come down quickly enough for him.

12.39pm GMT

9 min Harrison’s dangerous cross just evades the leaping Raphinha at the near post and flashes across the face of goal.

12.38pm GMT

8 min The game has started exactly as we expected, with Spurs sitting deep and watching Leeds play the ball around. No counter-attacking yet for Son and Kane, but they will surely come.

12.36pm GMT

6 min Lots of early possession for Leeds, who look busy and relaxed.

12.35pm GMT

5 min “Don’t forget the Cockerels v the Peacock on your movie poster,” says Justin Kavanagh. “Not exactly two birds of a feather but both with preening pretensions to reaching the heights of former glories.”

12.34pm GMT

4 min A half chance for Leeds. Harrison fires a pass into Leeds, who controls it well on the edge of the area and plays in the marauding Alioski. He rattles a shot into the side netting from a tight angle.

12.33pm GMT

3 min A quiet start. Leeds were 2-0 down at this stage of their last big away game.

12.31pm GMT

2 min “Why does a neutral get up at 4am California time to watch this match?” asks Mary Waltz. “Because absolutely anything can happen. Leeds could destroy Jose’s back four or Kane and Son could counter-attack Leeds to death Either way I will not have to watch a match like yesterday’s Everton sleepwalking football.”

12.30pm GMT

1 min Peep peep! Leeds, in their maroon away strip, kick off from left to right.

12.12pm GMT

“Why is Reguilon on the bench,” says Ruth Purdue, “if he’s been ‘strongly condemned’?”

Football and moral principles have a complicated relationship.

11.50am GMT

Now, Spurs v Leeds should be a cracker, but it’s not the most mouth-watering game this lunchtime. If I were you, I’d bugger off over here.

Related: Rangers v Celtic: Old Firm derby – live!

11.50am GMT

Here’s more on the Three Unwise Men of Tottenham Hotspur

Related: Tottenham condemn three players for Christmas party Covid rules breach

11.43am GMT

Pre-match reading

All work and no play makes Jose a dull boy. He’ll love the fact Burnley have just been 24 hours’ notice as well.

Related: 'Like the under-13s': Mourinho criticises Premier League over postponement

11.42am GMT

“Covid this, Covid that, why don’t you f*****g play for them?!”

Yep, more Covid news I’m afraid: tomorrow’s match between Burnley and Fulham is off after more positive tests at Craven Cottage.

11.38am GMT

Spurs return to a back four, with Toby Alderweireld and Steven Bergwijn replacing Davinson Sanchez and Sergio Reguilon. Erik Lamela is not even in the squad. He, Reguilon and Giovani Lo Celso were pictured breaking Covid rules with West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini and other less famous people on Christmas Day. Lo Celso is injured so he wouldn’t have been involved anyway.

Leeds are unchanged, but you knew that already.

Absolutely unacceptable mixing from Lo Celso, Reguilon and Lamela on Christmas Day. I guess they don’t understand the gravity of the situation but you do NOT fraternise with a West Ham player.

11.34am GMT

Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1) Lloris; Doherty, Alderweireld, Dier, Davies; Winks, Hojbjerg; Bergwijn, Ndombele, Son; Kane.
Substitutes: Hart, Reguilon, Rodon, Tanganga, Sissoko, Alli, Fernandes, Lucas Moura, Vinicius.

Leeds United (4-1-4-1) Meslier; Dallas, Ayling, Struijk, Alioski; Phillips; Raphinha, Rodrigo, Klich, Harrison; Bamford.
Substitutes: Casilla, Cresswell, Casey, Hernandez, Shackleton, Jenkins, Poveda-Ocampo, Costa, Huggins.

10.40am GMT

Hello, happy new year and welcome to one of the first treats of 2021. You could make a movie poster for this game, with taglines plastered from top to bottom in a font that oozes gravitas. Cynicism v optimism; pragmatism v idealism; Kane v Ayling; seventh v eleventh; counter-attack v attack-attack-attack; overt charisma v inscrutable charisma. Mourinho v Bielsa.

Yep, it’s Spurs v Leeds, the first meeting between two of world football’s most iconic coaches since April 2013. Jose Mourinho has a perfect record against Marcelo Bielsa - his Real Madrid won all four matches against Athletic Bilbao between 2011-13 - and he could really do with extending that today.

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Tottenham condemn three players for Christmas party Covid rules breach

lør, 02/01/2021 - 12:48
  • West Ham’s Lanzini seen with Lamela, Lo Celso and Reguilón
  • José Mourinho: ‘We are not happy, it was a negative surprise’

José Mourinho has made his disappointment clear to three of his Tottenham players after they attended a party over the Christmas period in clear breach of strict tier 4 coronavirus regulations.

A photograph that has circulated on social media shows Erik Lamela, Giovani Lo Celso and Sergio Reguilón – together with West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini – at the get-together. There are 15 adults in the shot, which is believed to have been taken on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Related: Harry Kane and Son Heung-min score as Tottenham beat Leeds to go third

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'Like the under-13s': Mourinho criticises Premier League over postponement

fre, 01/01/2021 - 23:37
  • Spurs-Fulham called off three hours before kick-off
  • Tottenham manager calls organisation ‘unprofessional’

José Mourinho has criticised the “unprofessional” organisation of the Premier League, saying the late postponement of Tottenham’s home game against Fulham on Wednesday reminded him of when he coached at under-13 level in Portugal.

The match was called off three hours before the scheduled 6pm kick‑off after Fulham reported a number of positive coronavirus cases. It has left Mourinho eyeing further fixture congestion but he has warned he will not tolerate a repeat of the ­scheduling that left Spurs playing four times in a week earlier in the season.

Related: January transfer window: a guide to every Premier League club's plans

Related: Closure of Covid-testing facility a factor in Championship match being called off

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Tottenham v Leeds: match preview

fre, 01/01/2021 - 17:15

“I don’t play against Mr Bielsa, never,” José Mourinho said. For the Tottenham manager, it is not him against Marcelo Bielsa, rather his team against Bielsa’s Leeds. Yet it is hard to overlook the contrasting styles of the managers; how they frame an intriguing game. Under Bielsa, Leeds might now be a favourite of the neutral (what a rebrand!) and they will look to rush men forward. But can they avoid damage by going one-v-one at the back against Harry Kane and Son Heung-min? David Hytner

Saturday 12.30pm BT Sport 1

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