LEEDS, England (AP) — Leeds’ three-season stay in the Premier League is over after a 4-1 home defeat to Tottenham confirmed the team’s relegation on Sunday.
Harry Kane and Pedro Porro scored early in each half to put Spurs 2-0 ahead and, although Jack Harrison reduced the deficit, Kane struck a game-clinching second in what could be his last game for the London club.
Tottenham substitute Lucas Moura sliced through a porous defense in stoppage time to complete the misery for Leeds, which ultimately would have gone down even with a win at Elland Road.
Leeds went into the final day needing not only victory but for relegation rivals Everton and Leicester to drop points. Since they both won, Leeds’ 21st league defeat of the season was immaterial and home fans vented their frustration and anger after the final whistle sounded.
Sam Allardyce, who was brought in as interim manager with four games left in the season, doesn’t know if he’ll be hanging around.
“I can only come to that decision if they want me and also on what is the outlook of the club going to look like … What is the staffing going to look like on and off the field? Which direction do you want to go? That is a pretty big strategy to put in place.”
“It has been a saga for the club,” Allardyce added. “I am sad the club is getting relegated after working so hard to get back up. The rebuild has to be something that is particularly well planned by everybody at the club for next season.”
Tottenham finished in eighth place and missed out on qualification for European competition next season.
Leeds has not kept a clean sheet since February and its hopes of doing so on Sunday were extinguished in just the second minute.
The ease with which Porro and Son Heung-min combined to carve open the defense typified Leeds’ season, with Kane finding space to provide a finish.
Leeds fans responded to Kane’s 29th league goal of the season with raucous defiance, chanting “We’re going down.”
Leeds’ players rallied and did their best to give something back to the Elland Road faithful, with Robin Koch spurning their best chance when heading wayward from in front of goal from Rodrigo’s cross before Pascal Struijk’s shot was deflected for a corner.
Allardyce cut a forlorn figure in the dugout and saw his side waste further first-half chances as Rodrigo headed Adam Forshaw’s cross off target and Rasmus Kristensen volleyed over.
Spurs continually threatened on the break without creating any more first-half scoring chances, but they soon remedied that. Just as they had done in the first half, Leeds conceded inside the opening two minutes of the second as Kane brilliantly set up Porro, who arrowed a low shot into the far corner from a narrow angle.
Leeds gamely searched for a goal of its own and was rewarded when Harrison made space on the edge of the area to drill a low shot into the far corner.
But within two minutes, Tottenham restored its two-goal advantage. Sanchez’s simple long clearance caught out the Leeds defense and Kane curled a neat finish inside the far post.
As Leeds fans showed their ire at their club’s plight in the closing stages, Moura — in his last appearance for the club — completed the scoring after a mazy run from halfway before chants of “Sack the board” rang out through the home terraces.
Kane has one year left on his contract and the England captain refused to discuss his Tottenham future after the match.
“It is part and parcel of being a footballer,” Kane said of the speculation, “especially when you are at the top of your game.
“I have focused on this season and helping the team as much as possible. I am just looking forward to a nice break and some games with England.”
Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.