Stevie wonder! Unbelievable late turnaround at Leicester - report and reaction
Leicester City 2-3 Spurs
Wed 19 January 2022, 21:39|Tottenham Hotspur
Steven Bergwijn scored twice within seconds, deep in stoppage time to steal all three points in the most dramatic of circumstances against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Despite an impressive performance at times, we found ourselves trailing 2-1 after James Maddison had fired Leicester into a 75th-minute lead, only for our Dutch forward to step off the bench and turn the game on its head right at the very end.
Bergwijn levelled it up at 2-2 in the 95th minute, Matt Doherty controlling Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s superb pass and the ball landed at Bergwijn’s feet for him to smash home from close range. Our celebrations had barely died down before Leicester gave the ball away straight from kick-off, Hojbjerg finding Harry Kane who threaded a pass in for Bergwijn and he rounded Kasper Schmeichel before sliding home off the far post to spark the wildest of scenes in the away end!
Before the late drama, Patson Daka had given Leicester a 24th minute lead which Kane cancelled out in the 38th minute – his 18th goal in 17 games against the Foxes. We were on top for much of the game but looked to be heading for defeat after Maddison’s goal – until Bergwijn rewrote the script.
Bergwijn’s brace seals crazy game
Ourselves and Leicester have been involved in plenty of high-scoring, entertaining games lately – and you can certainly add this one to the list! Right from the start, it was a wonderfully open game, one for the neutrals no doubt but the late drama ensured it will be a night Spurs fans will remember for some time. Not only did Bergwijn’s brace win the match, but it moved us up to fifth in the table, one point behind West Ham with three games in hand and stretched Antonio Conte’s unbeaten run in the Premier League to nine matches since his appointment.
Kane almost fired us ahead on nine minutes, wriggling past a couple of defenders inside the area to work a yard of space and then hit left-footed across Schmeichel but Luke Thomas was back to clear it off the line. He then powered a Harry Winks corner against the crossbar on 18 minutes, while the Foxes’ goalkeeper kept us out shortly after when he parried away a Lucas Moura drive from the edge of the box after good work down the left flank from Ben Davies. We kept possession, won a corner which we took short and Sergio Reguilon’s deep cross was headed into the side-netting by Davinson Sanchez.
But then we were hit with a sucker-punch in the 24th minute, the hosts scoring with their first shot on target. It came after a counter-attack, Ademola Lookman picking up the ball in the area and as he looked to make space, he was tackled by Reguilon only for the ball to fall at the feet of Daka six yards out, left of goal, and he fired high into the net.
We were indebted to Hugo Lloris for keeping it at 1-0 10 minutes later as he dived full length to push away Maddison’s 25-yard right-foot curler before we took control and finished the half well. We were denied by another goal-line clearance on 36 minutes as Oliver Skipp played a superb ball in behind the City defence for Lucas, who got there first but Schmeichel had rushed off his line and blocked the shot although the ball fell to Hojbjerg and he got a shot away only for Marc Albrighton to clear off the line.
But we were deservedly level moments later when Caglar Soyuncu’s pass out from defence was intercepted by Skipp, Winks picked up the ball and slipped a lovely pass down the inside left channel for Kane, who raced into the area, shaped to shoot with his right and cut onto his left to deceive Soyuncu and then slid a shot in off the far post. And Kane should have put us in front four minutes before half-time, this time latching onto Lucas’ perfect pass and he was in again but, under pressure from Jannik Vestergaard, he blasted well over from 12 yards out.
There was no let-up after the interval, both teams continuing to attack with early chances at each end, half-time substitute Doherty curling wide with his left foot before another Leicester counter ended with Lloris again denying Maddison. We even had Japhet Tanganga trying his luck from 25 yards, Schmeichel parrying his effort away.
Leicester regained the lead with 15 minutes remaining when Maddison and Harvey Barnes combined with a neat interchange of passes just inside our area, the former receiving Barnes’ backheel and his shot deflected off Tanganga and went in off the post. In fact, the home side could have gone 3-1 up in the 90th minute when Barnes skipped between Sanchez and Tanganga and found himself with just Lloris to beat, only for Hojbjerg to come from nowhere and block his shot.
It was to prove a pivotal moment in the game. With the home fans thinking the points were in the bag, we equalised five minutes into stoppage time thanks to Bergwijn’s first goal. Kane rushed into the net to grab the ball to ensure a quick restart to the match, although it felt like a forlorn hope with the game almost over. It wasn’t though – and our number 23 then produced such a composed finish to score the winner.
A dramatic return in another Foxes thriller
Antonio Conte made three changes to the team that started against Chelsea last time out in the Carabao Cup. Lloris returned in goal for Pierluigi Gollini and captained the team with Reguilon and Skipp back in for Doherty and Giovani Lo Celso. Bergwijn returned from a calf injury to take his place on the bench before his dramatic intervention to the game.
Since Leicester returned to the Premier League in 2014, our 15 meetings with them have now produced 59 goals – only Arsenal vs Liverpool (62) has seen more goals scored in the competition in that time.
Reaction on Spurs TV
'At the end, we must be very happy'
Antonio told Spurs TV after the dramatic scenes at the end: "For sure, we deserved to win. Honestly, to lose this game... I couldn’t accept to lose this game after the chances we created, for the game we played. At the end, we must be very happy, because the players know our philosophy, don’t give up, never, until the end, we have to fight. Every ball, we have to try to get the best possible result. Tonight, to fight until the end wasn’t easy, but we must be very happy. Next time when we create so many chances, we have to score, we have to score and not suffer in the way we did tonight."
Highlights on Spurs TV
Leicester City 2-3 Spurs
Leicester (5-3-2): Schmeichel (c), Albrighton, Choudhury, Soyuncu, Vestergaard, Thomas (Justin 53), Maddison, Tielemans, Dewsbury-Hall (Soumare 88), Lookman, Daka (Barnes 75). Substitutes: Ward, Jakupovic, Perez, Daley-Campbell, McAteer, Brunt.
Spurs (3-5-2): Lloris (c), Tanganga, Sanchez, Davies, Royal (Doherty 46), Skipp, Winks (Lo Celso 74), Hojbjerg, Reguilon (Bergwijn 79), Lucas, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gollini, Sessegnon, Rodon, Dele, Bryan, Scarlett.
Goals: Leicester – Daka 24, Maddison 75; Spurs – Kane 38, Bergwijn 90+5, 90+7.
Yellow cards: Leicester – Choudhury; Spurs – Sanchez, Bergwijn.
Referee: Jon Moss.
Venue: King Power Stadium, Leicester.
Weather: Clear skies, light wind, four degrees.