|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 6 (2)||LEICESTER CITY 2 (2)|
|Date : – Saturday 17th September 2022||Kick off : – 17.30|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
|Crowd : – 61,450|
|Referee : – Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)||Linesmen : – Mr. Adrian Holmes; Mr. Mark Scholes|
|Fourth official : – Jarrad Gillett|
|VAR official : – Andre Marriner||VAR Assistant : – Eddie Smart|
|Weather : – Warm, dry|
|Leicester City kicked off the first half attacking the Park Lane end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 8 minutes
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||LEICESTER CITY|
|Kane 07m 58s||Tielemans (p) 05m 50s|
|Dier 20m 58s||Maddison 40m 09s|
|Bentancur 46m 46s|
|Son 72m 20s|
|Son 83m 08s|
|Son 85m 41s|
|Perisic (entering the field of play to celebrate goal) 73||Ndidi (foul on Hojbjerg) 49|
|Daka (handball) 60|
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||LEICESTER CITY|
|1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)||1.||Danny WARD|
|6.||Davinson SANCHEZ ( 17. Cristian ROMERO 59)||27.||Timohty CASTAGNE|
|15.||Eric DIER||3.||Wout FAES|
|34.||Clement LENGLET||6.||Jonny EVANS|
|14.||Ivan PERISIC ( 12. Emerson ROYAL 55)|
|5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG||25.||Wilfried NDIDI ( 42. Boubakary SOUMARE 85)|
|19.||Ryan SESSEGNON||10.||James MADDISON|
|22.||Kiernan DEWSBURY-HALL ( 14. Kelechi IHEANACHO 74)|
|21.||Dejan KULUSEVSKI ( 38. Yves BISSOUMA 70)||8.||Youri TIELEMANS (p)|
|10.||Harry KANE||7.||Harvey BARNES|
|9.||RICHARLISON ( 7. Heung-Min SON 59 )|
|20.||Patson DAKA ( 9. Jamie VARDY 74)|
|20.||Fraser FORSTER||31.||Daniel IVERSEN|
|2.||Matt DOHERTY||33.||Luke THOMAS|
|25.||Japhet TANGANGA||26.||Dennis PRAET|
|4.||Oliver SKIPP||18.||Daniel AMARTEY|
|11.||BRYAN Gil||11.||Mark ALBRIGHTON|
= Assist = Goal scored = Own goal scored
|Manager : – Antonio Conte||Manager : – Brendan Rodgers|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – adidas|
|Shirt Sponsor : – AIA||Shirt Sponsor : – FBS
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – Bia Siagon
|Colours : –
Shirts : – White with Navy blue and Volt yellow collar and cuffs
Shorts : – Navy blue
Socks : – White with volt yellow line between two navy blue bands around shin
|Colours : –
Shirts : – Blue with three white adidas stripes on shoulder, white neck and collar
Shorts : – Blue with three white adidas stripes on side
Socks : – Blue with three white adidas stripes around turnover
|After a see-saw first half, with lots of chances at both ends, Spurs were grateful to the agile Hugo Lloris and a 13 minute Heung-Min Son hat-trick to seal a 6-2 win over Leicester City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
With Ben Davies side-lined with a hairline fracture in his leg, Antonio Conte brought in Clement Lenglet to replace him as the left of the three centre backs, while he moved Ivan Perisic to right wing back, selected Ryan Sessegnon on the opposite side and Dejan Kulusevski started in Heung-Min Son’s place. While Tottenham moved forward in an encouraging start, four minutes in and Perisic dived into two tackles, winning neither, allowing Leicester to free Justin on the left wing. As he ran past Sanchez, the defender went down and the referee pointed to the spot. From the seats it looked like he had dived over Sanchez’s foot and that it was outside the box, but replays showed that it was right on the side-line of the penalty area and that Davinson had clipped his heel. It wasn’t the start that Spurs had hoped for and Tielemens stepped up to take the kick which he put to Hugo Lloris’ right. In great form, the Spurs skipper dived that way and pushed the ball wide. The stadium erupted, but before the corner was taken, VAR spotted he had moved off his line, so Tielemans had a second chance, which he took by putting the ball the same side, but a bit higher and with more power to beat Lloris and give Leicester a 1-0 lead with six minutes on the clock.
It was an early blow and it was interesting to see how we responded to it, as Conte had wanted a reaction to losing in midweek. Perisic did well to win a corner on our right and Kulusevski played it to the Croatian, who had run short from the near post. Knocking the ball towards the corner of the penalty box, the Swedish winger delivered a deep cross to the far post, where Harry Kane powered in a header from very close range that hit Ward on its way into the net. It was appalling defending from Leicester, who left Kane, Richarlison and Sanchez all free in the area the ball was played to and with Kane’s record against Leicester, you would have thought that someone was detailed to stick with him.
20 minutes in, Richarlison’s determination won a header against Castagne, with the ball going loose and he got ahead of the defender to win a corner off his leg. Perisic swung it in from the left and Dier got up above the crowd of players at the near post to glance it across into the opposite side of the goal, much like the one conceded on Tuesday in Lisbon. Two goals scored from corner routines, so perhaps Gianni Vio’s set-piece coaching is working, although Leicester are particularly vulnerable at dead ball plays. For Dier it marked his recall to the England squad and his joy at scoring was clear to be seen.
Leicester had been pressing Tottenham when we tried to play out from the back and some poor choices in passes to players under pressure had led to the ball not being able to be moved up the pitch, but the visitors passing wasn’t great either and they were restricted to a few chances. It was Spurs who were more clinical, with a Kulusevski won corner on the right wing seeing Perisic play the ball into the centre of the goal, where Ward failed to get anywhere near it and with Justin having lost Dier for the second goal, he netted what looked to be the third as the ball bounced off him across the goal-line. The referee seemed unsure of what to give, but he must have had the word from Andre Marriner in the VAR studio that Sanchez’s jump had impeded the keeper.
Davinson was soon in action at the other end, as Daka was sent clear through the middle of the pitch, but Sanchez was quick to get chase him down and it resulted in the striker’s shot being feeble and straight at Hugo. With half an hour gone, Sessegnon, who was doing well knocked a ball across the box where Richarlison tried an overhead kick, but it was blocked by a blue-shirted defender, but the former Fulham man didn’t do so well when the ball was played by Leicester from left to right and Castagne beat him in the air. The Belgian reacted to where the ball landed the quicker and knocked the ball into the area from just outside the right. It found Maddison, who hooked a first time shot that went out of Lloris’ reach to his right to find the net and make it 2-2. It was a blow for Spurs, who had battled from a goal down to take the lead and coming four minutes before half-time, it was a good time for the Foxes to score.
What would have been a better time to score would have been two minutes before half-time, when a foul on Richarlison by the woeful Ndidi gave Perisic the opportunity to deliver it into the area, where Sanchez won the header that Ward dive up to his left to get a touch on and divert it onto the crossbar. That was close and in added time, Leicester worked space for Maddison on the right and he looked to score from a tight angle, but Hugo blocked the shot with his legs at the near post. That was it for an action packed first half, but there were boos from the Spurs sections, although on the balance of play, the score-line was probably about right.
Club Ambassador Gary Mabbutt was interviewed in the break and recounted meeting the Queen and the new King, while telling of his vigil in Stoke Mandeville at his Nan’s house to see the Queen when he was eight years old. Son and Romero came out to warm up on the pitch at half-time, which is not something that often happens, especially when they didn’t make the pitch for the start of the second half. Conte’s decision to persist with the same eleven paid off, as Leicester’s sloppy play was punished. Spotting Evans was going to play the ball forward from the edge of the box to Ndidi, halfway up their half, Rodrigo Bentancur started moving towards the Foxes midfielder and a loose touch allowed the Spurs midfielder to take the ball off him and move forward with it. With Maes and Evans moving towards him, rather than taking the early shot to catch Ward well out of position, Rodrigo got just inside the D before side-footing the ball past the keeper’s left hand to graze the inside of the post and in to make it 3-2. It was a goal that was richly deserved for his performances since he arrived and he was outstanding today, dictating play from midfield and he was the one who was the first to make a press on Leicester players in possession.
A couple of minutes after the goal, Ndidi was finally booked for his third bad foul as Tottenham pushed on towards the Leicester goal. Dejan was leaning back when he fired a shot over the bar and then Dier won another corner at the near post, but this time it went straight at Ward. Perisic had been holding his groin before half-time and he eventually made way for Emerson Royal ten minutes into the second half.
Hugo Lloris seems to be getting better with age, as he prevented the away side drawing level again. Sessegnon lost his bearings as a ball was played out to the Leicester right where it eluded the Spurs man and Castagne knocked it back for Maddison to play the ball into the middle of the box. Daka won the header and it was going in at the bottom far corner until Hugo stretched to his right and knocked the ball away with his right hand. It was a magnificent stop, similar in some ways to the memorable Gordon Banks save in the 1970 World Cup against Brazil and coming at a crucial point in the match, it was as good as scoring a goal for us.
With the play swinging from end to end, Conte brought off Richarlison and Sanchez to stiffen things up at the back with Romero coming on and to freshen things up front by the addition of Son. Leicester had another go at goal when Maddison’s cross from the right was going to be too far ahead of Daka, who threw out a hand to try to knock it into the goal, but the ball went wide. It may have been instinct, but with all the cameras around the ground and VAR, how he thought he was going to get away with it is beyond me. All he got for his troubles was a yellow card. Leicester had a few crosses into the Spurs area, but failed to get anything too much on them to worry the Tottenham defence, but it must have concerned Antonio, as he removed Kulusevski for Yves Bissouma to make his entrance into the game.
At the 70th minute of the game, applause rang around the ground to mark the length of the reign of the Queen, which was better than the minute’s silence before the match, which a few random idiots chose to disrespect by singing and shouting. It was a bit strange as the players started to clap, but the referee allowed play to continue, although at that point a free-kick had been awarded to Leicester, so he could have held play for 60 seconds, as the players didn’t seem to know whether to stop or play on.
It was a brief respite for Leicester, as they were soon 4-2 behind. Bentancur won the ball from the poorly performing Justin on the Spurs right and played the ball infield to Son, who was a few yards inside the Leicester half. He set off at speed and with Evans and Maes ahead of him ran left, before shifting right and hitting a perfect right-footed shot that hit the keeper’s top left hand corner with no chance of saving it. While Son stood stock still and bowed his head, the crowd erupted to celebrate his first goal of the season and show how much he means to the fans. It was a marvellous goal and one of class that never leaves a player of his quality. Perisic was also very pleased for Sonny and got booked for coming onto the pitch to celebrate it !
Leicester were still trying to get back into the match, working a shooting chance for Ndidi, but much like most of his work on the day, it was bad, missing the goal by about five yards, as he dragged it to the right of Lloris’ goal. Spurs were much more effective in their attacking play, with Kane and Sessegnon working the ball along the line with a series of flicks to keep the ball in play before Harry crossed it low into the penalty area, where Rodrigo met it but his shot lacked power and Ward saved before it was cleared. What should have been another ball in the net moment came when Son broke on the right and his low ball across the area found Romero, but from ten yards out and an open goal in front of him, he managed to knock the ball wide. Not that it was of any consequence, as Son had been flagged offside when the play had ended.
Again, it wasn’t long before Spurs got one that did count. Hojbjerg’s straight through ball to Kane was received in a few yards of space and with the Foxes defence thinking he was going to shoot, Harry played the ball right to Son. Two yards outside the box, he switched the ball to his left foot and curled a shot around Maes to find the net to the keeper’s right top corner this time. The number of times Heung-Min produces such finishes shows that practice does make perfect, as his finishing is deadly.
And like London buses, after none for ages, the goals were now coming in threes. In the 86th minute, Tielemans ball into the area was headed out by Dier, with Bissouma then dispossessing the Leicester midfielder when it came back to him. Hojbjerg picked up the ball ten yards outside the Spurs box and ran straight ahead, leaving Soumare in his wake, getting deep into the opposition half before slipping the ball to Son on his left to put him in on goal. From five yards inside the penalty area, he scored with a right foot shot that went under Ward, but the keeper did get a hand on it but couldn’t stop it going in at his near post. A long delay for the VAR team to study if the Korean was offside to rob him of his hat-trick followed (I must admit that I thought he was offside from my position level with play), but a borderline decision went our way this time and after 90 seconds, Sonny could celebrate his third goal. it was a masterful display of goal-scoring and showed that despite his lack of goals to this point, he can rank up there with the best of them when it comes to finding the net.
His three goals equalled the number that have been scored by West Ham and Wolves this season, but there was no such critical coverage of their goal drought !
The Leicester fans were as adept at disappearing as their defence and Spurs fans informed Brendan Rodgers that he was getting sacked in the morning, with this 6-2 score-line following being on the end of previous 5-2 and 4-2 beatings. They tried to grab some shred of dignity when Maddison hit a shot at goal in the last minute of added time, but Hugo saved it and the game ended with cheers from the home support. For the travelling support, the fantasy of winning the title must seem a long time ago, with any early ebullience dampened with each goal conceded until they could not be happy clapping their players at the end.
Hojbjerg and Bentancur ran the game for Tottenham in the second half, with Conte switching to a more traditional 5-3-2 formation when Son and Romero came off the bench. The win was helped by the visitors being so poor. Someone said to me before the match that Leicester are better than their bottom place in the Premier League, but that didn’t lie today, with it easy to see why they are where they are in the table. They had a fair share of the first half, but Rodgers had left Vardy and Iheanacho on the bench, opting to start Daka, who didn’t take his chances. Whether the other two might have done better, who knows, but Son did take his chances, although he might have scored six in his half-hour on the pitch. The Leicester defence looks shocking and that is not just down to Fofana leaving. Basic mistakes and lack of communication costs them soft goals and in this case six goals. They are too loose in their play and there is too much space for the other side to play in. With the attack Tottenham has, it was suicidal in the second period. Having drawn level before the break, it could have been a bit worrying if they had pushed on at the start of the second half, but Bentancur’s goal gave Spurs the upper hand and with Hugo performing excellently at the other end, they never looked back.
A very handy three points that puts us second on goal difference to Man City going into the international break, but when we return we have three away games at home and abroad, so a tough run in which I am sure Conte will rotate again. He even joked that he might repeat leaving Son on the bench, such was his impact coming off it !
|Aston Villa||1||South Coast Big Club||0|
|Newcash United||1||AFC Bournemouth||1|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||Mancashter City||3|
|Mancashter United||P||Leeds United||P|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||P||Crystal Palace||P|
|Everton||1||West Ham United London||0|
Premier League Table 2022-23
|4||Brighton & Hove Albion||6||4||1||1||11||5||13||+6|
|14||South Coast Big Club||7||2||1||4||7||11||7||-4|
|18||West Ham United London||7||1||1