By George Overhill

26th Feb, 2022 | 1:12pm

BT Sport commentators stunned by Pascal Struijk in nightmare Leeds United start

Glenn Hoddle and Darren Fletcher could not believe that Pascal Struijk failed to give Leeds United the perfect start with a goal against Tottenham.

Inside three minutes Raphinha swung in a dangerous cross to give the 22-year-old defender had a wonderful opportunity to head the Whites into an instant lead but missed the target with his glancing header.

Three quick fire goals from Matt Doherty, Dejan Kulusevski and Harry Kane quickly made them regret passing up the opportunity to give Marcelo Bielsa’s side another mountain to climb.

Speaking live on the BT Sport match broadcast, the former England manager said: “It’s a beautifully flighted ball with a bit of spin on. He should score. He’s above it. He’s gotta hit the target there.”

Commentator Fletcher agreed: “That was a glorious opportunity for the home side to go 1-0 up in the early stages.”

“He’s got away from [Christian] Romero and he’s on his own really. He’s tried to flick it in that bottom corner,” added Hoddle.

Punished

The recent form made today’s game all the more crucial, with the club just three points clear of the relegation zone ahead of kick-off.

16 goals conceded in the previous four matches and without a clean sheet since November, the defence has been particularly concerning.

The pressure on the manager had grown significantly since the 6-0 defeat at Anfield and the Argentine would have been wishing for an early boost.

But the missed opportunity at one end followed by the all too familiar sight of Illan Meslier repeatedly picking the ball out of his net quickly changed the mood at Elland Road.

When the third went in thanks to England captain Harry Kane, the prospect of another thrashing was already on the cards.

Just like Anfield where Dan James could have had an early goal or penalty with the scores at 0-0, things could have been so different.

But on neither occasion were United able to take their chances and were then ruthlessly punished.

Fans will already be fearing the final scoreline and the team’s prospects for the rest of the season.

In other Leeds United news, Martin Keown tore apart Bielsa’s tactics after recent results.