Bentancur’s late brace eases pressure on Spurs coach Conte
LONDON (AP) — Rodrigo Bentancur struck twice late on as Tottenham came back from behind three times to beat Leeds on Saturday.
A thrilling 4-3 win in the Premier League may have seen Spurs manager Antonio Conte avoid uncomfortable questions heading into the World Cup — but it required a late rescue act from Bentancur.
The Uruguay midfielder leveled to make it 3-3 in the 81st minute before hitting the winner two minutes later.
It meant Rodrigo’s double and Crysencio Summerville’s opener for Leeds counted for nothing after Spurs’ fightback.
Conte has endured a difficult period as the World Cup has approached, with recent home losses for Tottenham to Liverpool and Newcastle, and exiting the League Cup in midweek at the hands of Nottingham Forest.
It didn’t look like getting any better for the Italian as Summerville put Leeds ahead in the 10th minute.
Tottenham equalized 15 minutes later when Ivan Perisic’s cross was punched by Illan Meslier to Harry Kane, who fired home his 13th goal of the season.
Rodrigo put Leeds ahead again two minutes before halftime when volleying Rasmus Kristensen’s header past Hugo Lloris.
Tottenham was level six minutes after the break.
Dejan Kulusevski got in behind the Leeds defense and found Kane, who saw a shot blocked by Kristensen. Ben Davies was first to follow up and, while Kristensen got in front of his effort, he could only divert the ball onto Meslier and it rolled over the line.
Rodrigo fired in his second in the 76th after controlling Marc Roca’s pass and drilling into the corner beyond Lloris to make it 3-2.
Spurs responded quickly with Bentancur chested down on the edge of the area and firing through a number of players into the back of the net.
The winner came when Kulusevski dribbled past Robin Koch and was able to draw Meslier out of his goal. He then squared for Bentancur to slot home his fifth goal of the campaign.
Leeds’ Tyler Adams was sent off for a second yellow card late on to round off a dramatic clash.
AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.