TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR  3  (1)  LEICESTER CITY  1  (0)
Date : –  1st May 2022 Kick off : –  14.00
Competition : – Premier League Venue : –  Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Crowd : –  59,482
Referee : –  Jon Moss (Leeds) Linesmen : – Mr. Marc Perry; Mr. Timothy Wood
Fourth official : –  Graham Scott
VAR official : – Jarred Gillett VAR Assistant : – Gary Beswick
Weather : –  Light rain before the game; dry and mild during play
Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Paxton Road end
Playing time : –   90 + 4 minutes

 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR LEICESTER CITY
GOAL-SCORERS
    Kane  21m 47s   Iheanacho  90+0m 30s
    Son  59m 50s   
    Son  78m 08s   
CARDS
  Davies  (foul on Daka)  26   Albrighton  (foul on Bentancur)  48
  Bentancur  (persistent fouling)  58   Amartey  (foul on Kane)  63
       Thomas (attempted foul on Kulusevski)  66
 

 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR LEICESTER CITY
1.   Hugo LLORIS (c) 1.   Kasper SCHMEICHEL  (c)
     
4.   Cristian ROMERO 27.   Timothy CASTAGNE
15.   Eric DIER 18.   Daniel AMARTEY 
33.   Ben DAVIES  4.   Caglar SOYUNCU
    
12.   EMERSON Royal 11.   Marc ALBRIGHTON 
5.   Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG 42.   Boubakary SOUMARE  (  62.   Lewis BRUNT  67) 
30.   Rodrigo BENTACUR    (  8.   Harry WINKS  82)  24.   Nampalys MENDY
19.   Ryan SESSEGNON 17.   Ayoze PEREZ  (  8.   Youri TIELEMENS  76)  
33.   Luke THOMAS 
27.   Lucas MOURA  (  21.   Dejan KULUSEVSKI  55)       
10.   Harry KANE  14.   Kelechi IHEANACHO 
7.   Heung-Min SON      (  23.   Steven BERGWIJN  82)   29.   Patson DAKA  (  9.   Jamie VARDY  67)  
    
Substitutes Substitutes
22.   Pierluigi GOLLINI 12.   Danny WARD
14.   Joe RODON 2.   James JUSTIN
6.   Davinson SANCHEZ 3.   Wesley FOFANA
42.   Harvey WHITE 20.   Hazma CHOUDHURY
51.   Matthew CRAIG  37.   Ademola LOOKMAN
44.   Dane SCARLETT 7.   Harvey BARNES

 

Manager : – Antonio Conte Manager : –  Brendan Rodgers
Kit Supplier : – Nike Kit Supplier : – adidas
Shirt Sponsor : – AIA Better Lives Fund Shirt Sponsor : – FBS
Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – ThaiBev
Colours : –
Colours : –
Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website

 

MATCH REPORT
With the situation being nip and tuck for fourth place, each game has become a “must win” match, which is just what Tottenham did in beating Leicester City 3-1 at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium this afternoon.  The performance was more determined than the last two games and contained some memorable incidents that made it an afternoon to remember.

Spurs lined up without the injured Reguilon, with Sessegnon keeping his place as left wing back and Kulusevski was rested to be replaced by Moura.  So it was more or less as normal for Spurs, but Leicester made eight changes with this match coming in between the two legs of their first ever European semi-final against Roma.  out went a large number of their regular line-up with Maddison and Dewsbury-Hall not even on the bench.

As the match started, Tottenham looked sharper and played at a better tempo than against Brighton or Brentford.  An early corner was won and following that, Son found Eric Dier’s head, but there wasn’t the accuracy to trouble the Leicester goal.  Eric was then involved as he was up in the Foxes’ penalty area, where he passed to fellow defender Cristian Romero, but the Argentine’s back heel was behind the Spurs players who had made forward runs. 

Leicester then rallied a little with Perez hitting the side-netting from the left and then they broke on the right wing, with Soumare getting a low ball across the box that was behind all the retreating Spurs defenders, but fell to Daka in the middle of the area.  He scuffed his shot, but without Hugo Lloris getting a touch with his fingertips to it the ball might have hit the net rather than hitting the keeper’s left-hand post and bouncing out.  In the 16th minute, Spurs trying to play out from the back almost handed Leicester a goal.  Hojbjerg out on the left played the ball inside to Davies on the edge of the penalty area.  The Welshman’s control wasn’t great, but the pass, with two opponents closing in on him put Davies under pressure.  The ball was nicked off him by Iheanacho to Albrighton and his low ball looked for Daka at the back post, but Romero had read the situation and cleared it for a throw before it reached the Leicester forward.

Ayoze Perez went down under a tackle that the not-too-soon-to-retire Jon Moss gave as a free-kick, but the striker decided to stay on the ground for an inordinate length of time for the contact that was made on him and the break seem to affect Leicester’s momentum, as they were in the ascendancy at that point.  The free-kick was headed away by Royal and it allowed Spurs to start to change the flow of the game.  A free-kick on our right wing was played in and Leicester’s defence made a meal of trying to clear it when it fell in the middle of the penalty box, with the ball pinging about in the crowd until it came to Davies, who shot at goal, but a Soyuncu deflection took it over for a corner.  After the referee had to delay the corner to speak to Thomas for holding onto his opposite number, Son curled the ball into the area from our right, over three away defenders at the near post. With most of the Foxes players concentrating on manhandling those in white shirts, Harry Kane had snuck in to stoop low to head the ball past Schmeichel to the keeper’s left and into the bottom corner to register Tottenham’s first effort on target in two and a bit games and to give us a 22nd minute lead.  Harry loves scoring against Leicester, whose fans tried to claim him as one of their own, when they failed to back him when he was on loan there in his early career.

Daka turned Ben Davies just inside the Spurs half a few minutes after the goal, but was fouled after the ball had gone and the referee rightly produced a yellow card, but most of the play was in the visitors’ half.  Son’s cross was cut out by a Soyuncu header that stopped it reaching Lucas Moura and then a back-pass was played to Schmeichel by Soyuncu without looking and it fell between the keeper and Harry Kane.  When it looked like Harry might add to his ever-growing total against Leicester, the goalie got there just in time to block his toe-poke at goal and the ball was cleared upfield.  It was unforced errors that were creating chances with Moura’s header from just inside his own half back towards the Spurs defence creating an opening for the opposition.  Perez got the ball, lifted it over Hojbjerg before pulling his shot from the right of centre across goal where Patson Daka almost reached it with an outstretched leg, but fortunately for Tottenham, the ball was too far ahead of him.  At the other end, a left-wing cross to the far post found Schmeichel back-peddling to try and reach it, but Romero got above him to head the ball up in the air and with both of them on the floor, Kane set up Moura for a clear shot at goal until Castagne nicked the ball away from Lucas.  The Brazilian was close to getting on the end of Sessegnon’s ball in, but Soyuncu did enough to ensure his effort wasn’t on target. 

So we got to half-time with a one-goal lead, which you imagined wasn’t comfortable enough, so the second half would need to see Spurs maintaining the same intensity.  It started with Albrighton putting in a bad challenge on Bentancur that got a booking, but Romero’s aggression was more controlled and he was winning the ball all over the pitch.  Taking the ball off a Leicester player halfway inside their half, he played Pierre Hojbjerg in inside the box, but his pass intended to put Moura in with a shooting chance was probably not the best option, as he had time and space but he didn’t think he was in the best position to have a go at goal.

Five minutes into the half, Moura made way for Kulusevski and it was immediately clear that being benched was not something the Swede appreciated, as he set about ripping their defence apart, but not before Bentancur had been shown a yellow card for five fouls throughout the match.  With something to prove, Kulusevski tricked his way up the right wing, but he, like many other players on the day, slipped, just as he got to the dead-ball line in the Leicester box.  Not that it mattered in the long run, as Romero decided that it was time to take the game into his own hands and crashed through a tackle on Pata in the Spurs half and as the ball ran loose, he out in a fearsome, but fair, tackle on Soyuncu that left the Turk nursing his shin on the ground.  There was no hint of a foul, just an old-fashioned crunching tackle and Kulusevski picked up the ball on the right, cut inside to the corner of the area and picked out a pass to Son on the penalty spot.  Although it was slightly behind him, the forward controlled it with his right foot, back to goal and swivelled as it ran to his left to screw the ball back across Schmeichel, who was complaining about Cristian’s tackle before the ball had hit the net.  As always, the Leicester whingers were quickly surrounding the referee, with the keeper leading the way, but with Albrighton being upfront in the protestations, although he had to be shepherded away having already been booked.  Goals are always VAR checked and we were soon 2-0 up on the hour, as there was absolutely nothing wrong with the build-up.

Moss’s judgement was off today, with a number of poor decisions and the usual refereeing inconsistency on show.  His choice of yellow was highly debatable when Amartey hit Kane above the knee with his studs after the ball had been laid off.  For a moment it looked like it could have been a bad one for the England captain, but he managed to get up and carry on and brought a save, albeit and easy one, out of the keeper when he tried to beat him from a narrow angle inside the left side of the box.  Kulusevski was exhibiting why he will be an exciting signing when he took on the hopeless Thomas close to the touchline in front of the Spurs bench.  With seemingly no room to get past the defender, he lifted the ball around him and raced away.  All Thomas was able to do was try to hack him down, but he wasn’t even capable of that, missing the winger as he moved forward.  Perhaps it was just as well, otherwise he might have been seeing red rather than yellow when the ball eventually went out of play.  The move itself had ended with the ball being played to the left, where Hojbjerg looked on for a shot, but his touch took it wider than he had hoped, so his cross back in picked out Son, but his flicked header was straight at the keeper.

Although the Foxes won a corner, it was easily dealt with and soon Spurs were breaking up the pitch, but Royal’s cross was cut out for a corner that Dier headed at the keeper.  When Leicester looked to break, a ball aimed for Iheanacho into the Spurs penalty area was reached first by Hugo, who made a well-timed dash from his line to deny the Nigerian forward.  Within a couple of minutes, a throw-in down the line from Sessegnon to Kane on the left and was headed inside to Heung-Min Son ten yards inside the Spurs half.  He lifted the ball over the head of Amartey on the half-way line, played it to Royal on the right and he waited until Kulusevski had joined him to lay the ball wide to him.  Son had hung back just infield from the right hand corner of the area, receiving the pass from Dejan and taking two touches to set the ball, he sent a curling left-footed shot into the far top corner way out of the reach of the despairing dive by Schmeichel.  It was a fantastic hit and it left Hojbjerg, who was directly behind him and had the best view in the house of the shot, holding his head in amazement.

Conte decided it was time to make some changes and Bentancur, on a booking, was replaced by Harry Winks, while Son went off and Steven Bergwijn came on to send shivers down the Leicester spine after his two late goals at their ground earlier this season.  With a minute to go, Castagne’s ball into the box was won by substitute Vardy, but he only managed to glance it wide of the goal, but Leicester did get a slightly undeserved consolation into the first minute of added time, when the Spurs defence failed to close Iheanacho down and he hit a low shot to Lloris’ left that went in off the post after the keeper got the slightest touch to, but not enough as in the first half to knock it onto the post and out.  Although Kane struck a shot narrowly over the bar in the time remaining, it was disappointing to concede and even more disappointing that the Irons couldn’t put up more of a fight against the Gooners to prevent them popping back into fourth spot in the game after us.

The price of admission was worth it on it’s own for Romero’s performance.  Fearless in the tackle, cool in the heat of a crowded penalty area and keen to join the attack, while Son takes the spotlight for his goal, Cristian deserves great credit for driving the team forward.  It was interesting that Rodrigo Bentancur was also joining in with the thumping tackles and when Leicester tried to respond in kind, they were half-hearted in comparison.  Son’s forward play was exemplary today, but he also puts in a lot of work off the ball, which shouldn’t be ignored and Harry’s opener laid the foundations for a convincing win.  The cameo by Kulusevski looks like Paratici has unearthed a diamond, who is shining under Conte’s tutelage after falling out of favour at Juventus.  A few more finds like this in the summer and next season could prove very promising. 

All in all a good afternoon’s work and al the side can keep doing is trying to win our remaining games.  That will be tough, as we face a side challenging for the title, one vying with us four fourth place, one avoiding relegation and Norwich who will want to wave goodbye to the Premier League in front of their own fans on a high.  It’s going to be an interesting end to the season !

Pete Stachio

 

MATCH NOTES
This was Antonio Conte’s 100th Premier League match as a manager.

Heung-Min Son’s goals made him the highest scoring South Korean in a season in one of the top European leagues.

 

OTHER RESULTS
Newcash United 0 Liverpool 1
Leeds United 0 Manchester City 4
South Coast Big Club 1 Crystal Palace 2
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Brighton & Hove Albion 3
Watford 1 Burnley 2
Aston Villa 2 Norwich City 0
Everton 1 Chelsea 0
West Ham United London 1 Woolwich Wanderers 2
Manchester United 3 Brentford 0


Premier League Table 2021-22

Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Points Goal difference
1 Manchester City 34 26 5 3 84 21 83 +63
2 Liverpool 34 25 7 2 86 22 82 +64
3 Chelsea 34 19 9 6 68 29 66 +39
4 Woolwich Wanderers 34 20 3 11 54 41 63 +13
5 Tottenham Hotspur 34 19 4 11 59 39 61 +20
6 Manchester United 36 16 10 10 57 52 58 +5
7 West Ham United London 35 15 7 13 53 46
52 +7
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 34 15 4 15 33 32 49 +1
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 35 10 14 11 34 42 44 -8
10 Newcash United 35 11 10 14 40 56 43 -16
11 Leicester City 33 11 9 13 48 54 42 -6
12 Crystal Palace 34 9 14 11 45 42 41 +3
13 Aston Villa 33 12 4 17 44 46 40 -2
14 Brentford 35 11 7 17 41 52 40 -11
15 South Coast Big Club 35 9 13 13 41 58 40 -17
16 Burnley 34 7 13 14 31 46 34 -15
17 Leeds United 34 8 10 16 38 72 34 -34
18 Everton 33 9 5
19 35 55 32 -20
19 Watford 34 6 4 24 32 69 22 -37
20 Norwich City 34 5 6 23 22 71 21 -49