LEEDS UNITED 2 vs TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1
SPURS boss Andre Villas-Boas believes his squad has sufficient depth, despite suffering an embarrassing FA Cup exit at the hands of Leeds United just days before the transfer window slams shut.
Attacking midfielder Clint Dempsey started up front for Tottenham at Elland Road yesterday, yet his glancing header on the hour mark was not enough to save the day after Leeds had taken a two-goal lead through Luke Varney and Ross McCormack.
Jermain Defoe – Spurs’ only experienced striker while Emmanuel Adebayor is away at the Africa Cup of Nations – was left out, with his manager citing a minor injury.
“We missed Defoe today, but we have him back for Norwich [on Wednesday]. I think we have strength in depth. It is a risk we’re willing to take,” Villas-Boas said, referring to his limited supply of centre forwards.
“[Today’s defeat] wasn’t because we missed a lot of chances. We lost because we could not create enough clear-cut chances.”
Spurs are offering German club Schalke 04 a fee if they allow wide midfielder Lewis Holtby to move to White Hart Lane before the transfer deadline this Thursday night, yet may not bring in another striker.
The north Londoners were caught out after a quarter of an hour of yesterday’s tie. A nice backheel from El Hadji Diouf set Varney free behind the back line, the ex-Charlton man cutting in and curling the ball past Brad Friedel.
And it was groundhog day five minutes after the break, as Diouf lobbed a ball over Spurs’ high defensive line. McCormack ran it into the penalty area, turned Steve Caulker and drove a left-footed shot inside the far post.
Eight minutes later a Gareth Bale cross was headed in by Dempsey, but despite the introduction of Mousa Dembele and Jon Obika the visitors were unable to find an equaliser.