Spurs 5-4 Leicester
Report from Wembley
Sun 13 May 2018, 17:15|Tottenham Hotspur
A crazy nine-goal thriller brought the curtain down on our 2017-18 season at Wembley Stadium and ensured a third-placed finish in the Premier League.
Harry Kane and Erik Lamela both scored twice, with Christian Fuchs putting through his own net for us, as we came from 3-1 down at one stage – Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Kelechi Iheanacho on target for Leicester – to lead 4-3.
Vardy then levelled things up in the final quarter, but three minutes later Kane fittingly scored the winner – his 30th Premier League goal and 41st in all competitions this season.
It was a frantic opening to the game with two goals inside the opening seven minutes. The visitors went ahead with four minutes gone when Vardy glanced Mahrez’s free-kick past Hugo Lloris, but we wasted no time levelling the game up soon after, Kane racing through to convert with a neat left-foot finish.
After 16 minutes, the Foxes regained their advantage when Mahrez struck with a well-placed shot from the edge of the area and we needed a smart save from Lloris to ensure we didn’t fall further behind 10 minutes later, as he denied Demarai Gray’s angled drive.
The visitors did extend their two minutes after the restart when Iheanacho hit a wonderful shot past Lloris before we struck three times in 11 minutes to turn the game on its head. The first came on 49 minutes when Lamela converted a Kyle Walker-Peters cross, while we were level four minutes later when Danny Rose this time crossed for Lucas Moura, who set up Lamela – his shot cannoning off Harry Maguire, hitting Lamela and then touching Fuchs on its way into the net.
The action was relentless and the atmosphere inside the stadium lifted up a few levels when we took the lead for the first time in the game on the hour mark, Lamela again tucking home a Walker-Peters cross. The job wasn’t done though and Leicester levelled it at 4-4 when Mahrez set up Vardy and he fired high into the net with 73 minutes on the clock.
We weren’t to be denied though and just three minutes later, Kane produced a moment of magic to put us back in front. Collecting the ball on the left edge of the box, he cut onto his right foot and curled a delightful shot past the diving Eldin Jakupovic to cap a quite memorable match.
Mauricio Pochettino made six changes to the team that played against Newcastle in midweek. Young full-back Walker-Peters, who made his first league start on the opening day of the season, completed the circle with his second top-flight start on the last day, replacing Kieran Trippier. Toby Alderweireld and Rose came in for Davinson Sanchez and Ben Davies at the back, Eric Dier replaced Victor Wanyama in midfield and Lamela and Lucas took the places of Dele Alli and Heung-Min Son further forward. There was a late change to the team, as Jan Vertonghen picked up an injury in the warm up and was replaced by Wanyama, with Sanchez taking the Kenyan’s place on the bench.
Goal: Spurs 0-1 Leicester – Jamie Vardy – 4mins
The game kicked-off in glorious sunshine, but there was a dampener from our perspective after just four minutes. Walker-Peters was adjudged to have fouled Gray out wide on the left, Mahrez floated over the free-kick and Vardy glanced a header into the far corner with Lloris rooted to the spot.
Goal: Spurs 1-1 Leicester – Harry Kane – 7mins
We weren’t behind for long though. Just three minutes later, Lucas won possession midway inside the Leicester half and the ball broke straight to Kane, who burst forwards and placed a delightful left-footed shot out of the reach of Jakupovic to level the scores.
Goal: Spurs 1-2 Leicester – Riyad Mahrez – 16mins
It was a very open game and we were enjoying some good possession, creating another effort on goal when Lucas’ pass in-field found Alderweireld, but his right foot shot was gathered by Jakupovic. Instead it was the Foxes who struck next after Wanyama lost possession 40 yards from goal. The ball was worked from Gray to Adrien Silva to Vardy and then it came to the feet of Mahrez, who drilled past Lloris from just inside the area.
Above: Danny Rose in action.
Save: Lloris tips over Gray effort – 26mins
The chances kept coming for both sides, Jakupovic saving Dier’s near-post flicked header before Lloris made a fine stop on 26 minutes to keep the score at 2-1. Iheanacho clipped a ball over the top which Vardy played into the path of Gray with a lovely cushioned touch, but our skipper denied the Leicester winger with a fine save, tipping his shot over the bar. Maguire then climbed above Alderweireld but his header was easy for Lloris, while at the other end Lamela and Kane just failed to get on the end of an Eriksen cross and we went in behind at the break.
Goal: Spurs 1-3 Leicester – Kelechi Iheanacho - 47mins
The visitors might only have taken four minutes to score in the first half, but they took even less in the second period. Only two minutes had been played when Silva played a ball down the right flank, Dier’s clearance was gathered by Iheanacho 40 yards out but he shrugged off the attentions of Wanyama and strode forward before hitting a screamer past Lloris.
Goal: Spurs 2-3 Leicester – Erik Lamela – 49mins
Once again, there was quick riposte from us, as we halved the deficit within two minutes of Leicester’s third. We worked the ball out to the right via Kane and Lamela to Walker-Peters, who sent in a first time cross which Lamela tucked home from close range.
Goal: Spurs 3-3 Leicester – Christian Fuchs (own goal) – 53mins
The goals just kept coming and we were level on 53 minutes courtesy of a somewhat fortunate effort. This time we broke down the left with Rose whose cross found Lucas. His back-heel fell to Lamela whose shot cannoned off Maguire, bounced off Lamela then hit Fuchs and flew past Jakupovic!
Goal: Spurs 4-3 Leicester – Erik Lamela – 60mins
We were well on top by this stage and looked like scoring with every attack, doing just that on the hour mark as Lamela netted his second of the game. The move was similar to his first two goals as well, with a break down the right from Walker-Peters and his centre once again tucked in by the Argentine midfielder to cap an incredible 15 minutes of football. We still had to be wary at the other end though, with Lloris again called upon to make a fine save to deny Iheanacho.
Goal: Spurs 4-4 Leicester – Jamie Vardy – 73mins
Claims for a penalty were waved away by referee Craig Pawson after Silva appeared to upend Rose in the area and Kane couldn’t get the better of Wes Morgan in the area after more good build-up play from our attacking players. But the Foxes broke straight after that moment, Mahrez slipping the perfect pass in behind our defence for Vardy, who lashed high past Lloris to level the scores again.
Goal: Spurs 5-4 Leicester – Harry Kane – 76mins
There was literally no let-up to the action and from the low of conceding again, just three minutes later we were on a high as we regained the lead. This time Kane picked up the ball on the left angle of the area, shaped to shoot with his right before cutting inside and curling a magnificent right-footed drive into the net. There was still drama at both ends and we had to be on guard as the Foxes were a danger on the break, but this time we held out, Vardy blasting high with the final shot of the game.
Mauricio Pochettino said
"It was a fantastic game. Football! It was exciting, 5-4 - a little disappointed we conceded four but I'm so happy to win. We showed real character. I'm very happy for the fans, it's been a massive effort for them as well and it's fantastic to finish the season with a place in the Champions League, a huge achievement."
Christian Eriksen said
"We showed that we wanted to finish third. We didn't want to lie down in the last game with all our supporters here. It wasn't ideal to go 1-0 down after three minutes but we picked it up in the second half, turned it around and thankfully secured third place. It was a good way to finish, a very exciting game for everyone - perhaps for us a little too exciting! Anyway, third looks much better than fourth and we all go away with a win."
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Dier, Rose, Wanyama, Sissoko (Son 84), Lucas (Dele 74), Eriksen, Lamela (Sanchez 79), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Davies, Foyth, Llorente.
Leicester (4-2-3-1): Jakupovic, Simpson (Choudhury 56), Morgan (c), Maguire, Fuchs, Silva, Iborra, Mahrez, Iheanacho (Barnes 85), Gray (Diabete 62), Vardy. Substitutes (not used): Hamer, Benalouane, Ndukwu, Hughes.
Goals: Spurs – Kane 7, 76, Lamela 49, 60, Fuchs (OG) 53; Leicester – Vardy 4, 73, Mahrez 16, Iheanacho 47.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Wanyama; Leicester – Choudhury, Silva.
Referee: Craig Pawson.
Man of the match
Erik Lamela was chosen as Man of the Match by our supporters on social media with 41 per cent of the votes.