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Leicester 2-1 Tottenham: Spurs drop another lead, fall at the King Power

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VAR giveth and VAR taketh away.

Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Well, it’s not going to be fun online for the next week. Tottenham Hotspur were on the road today at the King Power Stadium against a Leicester side that very much wants to gate-crash the top six. Harry Kane made an incredible first half goal Spurs thought they were up 2-0 in the second half, but Serge Aurier’s strike was called back after VAR found Son Heung-Min offside by millimeters. Leicester got goals from Ricardo Pereira and a beauty of a strike from James Maddison to take all three points today, winning 2-1.

Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris missed the match, but for a very good reason — he rushed back to London from Leicester to be with his wife, who was giving birth to their third child! Paulo Gazzaniga stepped between the sticks in Hugo’s place. Serge Aurier and Danny Rose returned to the starting lineup alongside Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. Mauricio Pochettino opted for what looked on paper like a three man midfield of Harry Winks, Tanguy Ndombele, and Moussa Sissoko. Erik Lamela and Son Heung-Min started up top alongside Harry Kane.

First Half

KICKOFF! — We’re underway at the King Power Stadium!

2’ — Spurs get their first shot in a very high-tempo opening as Son flashes a ball across the face of goal that goes just wide. Harry Kane has a pop from distance just afterwards.

16’ — James Maddison has had a couple of open looks at goal for the hosts but he flashes it high in one and Gazzaniga goes low to stop the second. This has been a very open, evenly matched game thus far. Both teams are going for it.

17’ — Goal to Leicester as they bundle it over the line... but VAR calls it back as Liverpool was offside after the initial shot. Spurs dodge a bullet, and VAR is back in the Good Column.™

18’ — Yellow card for Moussa Sissoko after he goes in two-footed on James Maddison in a challenge by Leicester’s box... it looked like a bad challenge in real time but he got the ball! Probably the right call, though.

29’ — GOAL TOTTENHAM! IT’S HARRY KANE and it’s one of the weirdest and most awesome goals you’ll see. Kane was shoved in the back in the box and is falling over but still manages to get on the leg on the ball AS HE’S FALLING OVER and puts it past Schmeichel! What a goal! Spurs lead 1-0!

33’ — Ricardo Pereira has been quiet in this match due to Danny Rose’s defense, but he has a shot from the top of the box that goes just left of the post.

39’ — Good save from Gazzaniga! Ayoze Perez gets free on the right side of the box and tries to fire one to the near post, but Gazinga had it well covered and parries it out for a corner.

41’ — Kane has another effort on goal but it’s a soft one and saved by Schmeichel. Four shots in the half for Kane and counting.

HALFTIME! — Harry Kane’s falling-over-and-somehow-still-scores goal is the difference between the two sides in what’s been a pretty even match.

Second Half

No changes for either side at the the break as the second half gets underway.

52’ — Leicester have spent the opening minutes of the second half passing straight through Tottenham’s midfield. Thankfully it hasn’t led to a serious chance, but it’s not great!

55’ — Lamela with a shot from the top of the D but it’s a couple feet high of the bar. He’s had a really nice match thus far.

57’ — What a save from Gazinga! Jamie Vardy got a shot away on a break, but Gazzaniga got a palm on his shot and Rose was there to hoof it away.

58’ — Agonizingly close from Son! Sonny gets the counterattack started with a nice pass to a rushing Lamela and gets it back in the box, but his shot just misses the back post.

60’ — The chances are coming quickly now. This time it’s Leicester as Pereira chips a ball into the box, but Maddison’s header is over the bar.

65’ — IT’S IN THE NET! It’s Serge Aurier!!!! Son has the ball in the box and is dispossessed, but Kane gets the loose ball, passes to an open Aurier in the box, and he fires home past Schmeichel!

BUT NO. After the VAR check the goal is called back... somehow. Sonny looked to be right on the line between on and offside, but VAR says he was off by, IDK, millimeters? That’s crap, but the goal doesn’t stand and it remains 1-0. Absolute horsesh—t.

Meanwhile, there’s a sub for Spurs — Victor Wanyama on for Moussa Sissoko. Denis Praet also is on for Leicester.

70’ — And predictably, Leicester scores to level the game. Ricardo Pereira puts it past Gazinga. Football is terrible.

71’ — Yellow card for Victor Wanyama as he clatters a Leicester player in midfield.

73 — Leicester have a spring on their step now. Harvey Barnes feeds Vardy who’s close effort goes just over the bar. Spurs really under the cosh now.

78’ — Spurs’ second sub of the match as Christian Eriksen comes on for Lamela. Game on, let’s do this.

82’ — Another chance from Serge Aurier as he puts a ball across the goal towards the back post. Nice ball, but no Spurs players were making the run to meet it. Harry Kane has another rip just afterwards but it’s straight at Schmeichel.

86’ — Goal Leicester. And there it is. A very nice goal from James Maddison past Gazzaniga and Leicester lead 2-1.

88’ — Spurs make their final sub with Lucas coming on for Ndombele. Pochettino is rolling the dice for an equalizer. Meanwhile, Maddison is down receiving treatment for Leicester. The Foxes are out of subs so they’re down to 10 men for now as Maddison limps off.

91’ — We’re into extra time at the King Power with six minutes to play.

FULL TIME — Ugh. Spurs drop another match, falling 2-1. Spurs haven’t won an away game in the league since January, and this one really hurts.

Reactions

  • VAR giveth and VAR taketh away. Like it or not (and I really, really hate it) under the current use of VAR, “level” is no longer onside, it’s now more likely to be given as offside... by millimeters. It sucks and it cost Spurs points today. Kyle Martino made an especially salient point about the “lines on the screen” being a subjective thing made by a man, and how is that different than NOT having VAR?
  • Look, Leicester are a good team, especially at home. It was basically an even match all the way through and Spurs played pretty well. A point would’ve been fair, a loss is super harsh.
  • Harry Winks was very poor today — he got dribbled past by Maddison three times just outside Spurs’ box in the first half, all of which led to chances or half-chances for Leicester, and misplayed a number of progressive balls. He was a sieve in midfield and should’ve come off for Wanyama.
  • A good match from Moussa Sissoko who looked comfortable in his role in a midfield three. He was holding the midfield together and passing well. I’ve been hard on him this season but credit where due.
  • Spurs’ center backs were both very good today — Vertonghen in particular had some excellent tackles and touches when Leicester were pushing forward. Without him and Jan, Spurs lose by a lot more.
  • I know we’ve been worrying about Kane on this website but he was fine today, with six shots and a goal.
  • Lots of hate on Wanyama online after this match, but playing with a true DM improved Spurs’ midfield by a lot. He’s not at fault for Maddison’s goal, which was a cracker. The problem was we should’ve brought Vic in for Winks, not Sissoko.
  • The #narrative is going to be Spurs continuing to drop leads and not win on the road, but Spurs should be more upset with VAR than they way they played today. Now the starting XI gets a rest for the League Cup. Onward to Colchester, and then Southampton.
  • Go outside, take a walk, enjoy the beginning of fall weather. Football is terrible, so think about something else for a while.