Leicester stun Tottenham, seal dramatic comeback win
Leicester City beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, as Harry Kane’s moment of magic was cancelled out by Ricardo Pereira and James Maddison amid plenty of VAR drama.
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Both teams had goals disallowed by video technology and Spurs’ Heung-min Son was called off by a millimeter after Serge Aurier thought he had put them 2-0 up. Moments later the equalizer arrived as Leicester battled back well and Maddison delivered a fine late winner to hand Brendan Rodgers’ men a magnificent win.
As for Spurs, Mauricio Pochettino’s side are without an away win in the Premier League since January as they once again coughed up a lead.
With the win Leicester momentarily move up to second place in the table on 11 points from their opening six games of the Premier League season, while Spurs have eight points.
3 things we learned
1. Kane’s wizardy overshadowed: It was a goal worthy of winning any game, but it didn’t. And that’s a real shame. Harry Kane somehow scored from lying on the floor to put Tottenham 1-0 up. It was a thing of beauty, and Kane’s composure was supreme. He meant to do it. The way he knocked the ball into the ground was deliberate and although it may not be the most beautiful goal he has scored, it was surely the most impressive.
2. VAR momentum swings: Spurs had the stuffing knocked out of them when Aurier’s goal was ruled out by an extremely marginal offside decision. The momentum swings that VAR provides are brutal, and Leicester suffered from it in the first half. Spurs suffered from it badly in the second half, and maybe because Son was so close to being level it hit them harder. That second Spurs goal being disallowed gave Leicester a huge boost and my word did they make the most of it.
3. Tottenham fade, once again: Spurs haven’t won away in the PL since a last-gasp victory at Fulham in January. Let that sink in. Pochettino’s men have problems away from home, but they have issues wherever they play right now as they continue to cough up leads (see the NLD at Arsenal and the UCL draw at Olympiakos) and put in sloppy second half displays. They should have wrapped up the three points fairly easily in this one, but a sloppy defensive display let Leicester back in the game and they were beaten by a moment of magic. As Kane said in midweek, right now Spurs are making the same mistakes they did when Pochettino first took charge. They aren’t learning, and that is a real worry.
Man of the Match: James Maddison - The difference maker in attack for Leicester, as he created several chances and scored a stunning winning goal. The Englishman is coming of age this season and his decision making in the final third is improving all the time.
Spurs took control of the game early on but failed to carve out clear-cut chances, as Leicester were dangerous on the break as Vardy led the way.
Maddison then got going and curled one effort just wide after a wonderful run and moments later he again danced into the box but was denied. From the resulting corner Leicester thought they had taken the lead, as a shot from distance was spilled by Gazzaniga and Wilfried Ndidi eventually bundled the ball home.
However, VAR was used correctly as Ayoze Perez was in an offside position. A huge let-off for Spurs.
Moussa Sissoko was then booked after a lunging tackle on Maddison, while Spurs wanted a penalty kick as Danny Rose went down in the box but nothing was given.
Soon after Spurs went ahead in incredible fashion, as Heung-min Son played in Kane with a wonderful flick but then the Spurs captain somehow scored after being pushed in the box and falling flat on his face, as he improvized to chop the ball past Kasper Schmeichel.
An amazing moment of genius from Kane gave Tottenham the lead.
Gazzaniga beat away a deflected shot from Perez as Leicester pushed hard to try and go in level at the break, but Spurs had the advantage thanks to Kane’s wizardry.
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In the second half Spurs sat back and were happy to possess the ball, while Leicester looked for Vardy as early and often as possible on the break.
Gazzaniga denied Vardy after the Leicester star raced free of Jan Vertonghen but the Spurs defender did enough to get a nick on the ball which allowed his goalkeeper to keep Vardy out. Son was then played in but dragged his shot wide of the target as the game opened up in the closing stages.
But just as Tottenham thought they had sealed the win as Aurier’s low drive hit the back of the net, VAR decided Son was offside by the finest of margins. Moments later Leicester were level as Vardy played the ball to the back post and Pereira arrived to slot home the equalizer.
Buoyed by that leveller, Leicester looked more likely to grab a winner as Vardy smashed just wide and then Maddison struck from outside the box to seal all three points for the Foxes to send them second in the table.