Match Report: Spurs vs Leicester
Harry Kane & Erik Lamela bag a brace in this nine-goal final game thriller at Wembley. Spurs had already secured their top-four position and Leicester were compelled to finish mid-table – and as a result, both teams played end to end football. A great day for the fans, who were kept on the edge of their seats right until the last moments.
The first goal came early, and it was English international Jamie Vardy to open the scoring for the Foxes. Mahrez whipped a ball in near post from a free-kick. With the pace on the ball, all Vardy had to do was just glance the ball across goal and Hugo Lloris was beaten.
Spurs scored literally a minute later. From the kickoff, Lucas Moura intercepted a pass and got the ball through to Harry Kane. With acres of space, Kane took his time, looked up, and struck with his left foot to equal the scoreline.
Leicester scored again in the 16th minute. A real shocking display of defending from Spurs led to Mahrez striking hard past Hugo Lloris. Spurs were offered ample opportunities to clear their lines but they wanted to walk it out. The Spurs men were left watching as the ball fell nicely to Mahrez – who was as clinical as ever.
The remainder of the half was surprisingly goalless. The storm had settled somewhat with both teams keeping possession for slightly longer spells than before. After the stroke of half-time, Iheanacho scored a screamer that no keeper could have stopped. After picking up the ball from an awful header by Eric Dier, Iheanacho carried the ball forward and drilled it, with immense power, into the top left-hand corner. Lloris was excellently position but the strike couldn’t have been any more top corner than it was.
The goals in this game seemed to be paired together in short bursts of time – just three minutes later Spurs had the ball in the net again. This goal pattern really is a reflection of the lax defending from both teams. Danny Rose offloaded the ball to Erik Lamela. Lamela turned and found Harry Kane. Kane sent the ball right to Moura and it eventually came back into Lamela for the tap in. A really nice passage of play from the Tottenham frontmen.
In the 53rd minute, Danny Rose found space down the left flank again. Rose squared it to Moura in the middle who back-heeled the ball to Lamela. Lamela’s shot ricocheted off Fuchs and the keeper is wrong-footed: Spurs levelled the score.
The third goal galvanised Spurs further and by the 60th minute, they had scored again. Lucas Moura found Kyle Walker-Peters on the counter-attack. The lofted ball was not dealt with at all by Gray, and the young fullback squared it to Lamela. The Argentine claimed his second goal of the afternoon. Seven goals had now been scored within an hour in this thrilling tit-for-tat.
Leicester once again scored, in the 73rd minute. After a penalty claim at the other end, Leicester went on the counter-attack and Vardy blasted his shot near post to beat Hugo Lloris. Finally, the last goal of the afternoon was scored by Harry Kane with 15 minutes left on the clock. And it was a sensational goal. Kane picked the ball up on the edge of the area and gave Hamza Choudhury the slip, then all Kane had to do was curl the ball into the back post.
One thing the scoreline had not reflected was the goalkeeper performances. The defensive back lines had been questionable, but the majority of the nine goals scored were clinical finishes – both keepers have had a relatively good game considering the scoreline. It is safe to say our prediction, along with probably everyone else’s, was drastically inaccurate. A fantastic spectacle for the fans for their final game at Wembley. Despite temporarily moving outside of North London, the fans have been fantastic all season in their trips to the National Stadium. They have often been the twelfth man – making deafening roars of encouragement at a Stadium where it is notoriously hard to do so.
Spurs vs Leicester Attendance
Wembley Stadium: 77,841
Starting Line-ups: Spurs vs Leicester
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Dier, Rose, Sissoko, Wanyama, Lamela, Eriksen, Moura, Kane
Leicester City: Jakupovic, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Silva, Iborra, Mahrez, Iheanacho, Gray, Vardy
“it was an exciting game , but this is something that always happens at the end of the season, teams play with more freedom. Finishing third is a fantastic achievement for us, it means a lot to the players, the club and the fans. We’ve had 38 games away from home…
From the beginning, it was tough to move to Wembley, it was difficult for the players. But we did create that feeling that Wembley was our home, we felt, and we still feel, that we have fantastic emotion here”
Man of the Match
Jamie Vardy was awarded the Man of the Match award. Despite scoring two goals, his work ethos and energy shone through as it so often does. The game caps off a great season for Jamie, who finishes on 22 league goals for the season. His counterpart, Harry Kane, finished on 30. The two will no doubt be selected for the 23 man England squad announced on Wednesday – and both look in fine form ahead of the 2018 Russia World Cup.
What’s next for Tottenham Hotspur?
As the 2017/18 Premier League season has drawn to a close, the club will officially take part in pre-season friendlies in July and August. THe club trip is to the USA again. Of course, those international players whose nations qualified for the World Cup will be off representing their countries in Russia this June. Good Luck to all Spurs who are competing in Russia!