WHAT AN ENDING! Tottenham Hotspur looked dead and buried after Leicester City’s James Maddison (Father of Our Country) scored an ugly goal late in the second half of their Premier League match at the King Power Stadium.
Then Steven Bergwijn came on. The Dutch winger, tipped to leave Spurs sometime this month, scored goals in the 95th and 97th minute (assists by Harry Kane and Matt Doherty) to take Spurs from a 2-1 deficit to a 3-2 victory! Harry Kane scored Spurs’ other goal in the first half, a strike that canceled out Patson Daka’s 24th minute goal, in a game that was ludicrously open and certainly fun for the neutrals.
In truth, Spurs could have scored several more goals but were let down a bit by their finishing. Stevie didn’t have that problem, though.
Bah gawd, how to sum this match up? Here are some notes.
- Happy: the 3-5-2! Sad: the 3-5-2 without Gio Lo Celso...
- Leicester came out pressing extremely vigorously which discombobulated Spurs in the opening half hour, and meant they broke Spurs’ press pretty easily. It was frustrating, but Spurs were very good on the break.
- Interesting tactical wrinkle from Conte — Harry Winks played at the base of the midfield triangle and dropped into the back line to allow the wide CBs to break the press by carrying the ball forward. Tanganga and Davies both had mazy runs into midfield.
- I don’t know how Kane didn’t have a hat trick within 20 minutes. He had one very good chance saved by Schmeichel, another cleared off the line in the line, and then headed off the all within the first 20’. Even his first half goal went in off the post. Someone perform a cleansing ceremony so we can break this hoodoo. (But man, he was great. 7 shots and nearly 1.5 xG in that half)
- Leicester’s first half goal was annoying because Spurs were beating the brakes off of them up to that point. Unfortunate that Reguilon was the one who played the gorgeous through ball to Daka in the box.
- I don’t know how Spurs weren’t up 5-1 at halftime.
- The second half felt a lot like the first half — Spurs pretty much clobbered Leicester in possession and on xG. Spurs ran Leicester ragged in the second half on the counter, even Doherty looked competent (and he should’ve, this was exactly the kind of match he should excel in).
- Maddison’s second half goal was also annoying, and it feels somewhat fitting that the ball was deflected in off of Tanganga. That CB pairing of Japhet and Sanchez... whoof. At one point, Sanchez got dribbled around in the open field like he wasn’t even there. I thought a lot about what this match might have been like with Dier and Romero in there. We need another reserve CB.
- Look, this match didn’t have the significance of the Champions League semifinal, but the way that match ended reminded me so much of that game. Just incredible vision from everyone to run straight at a tired Leicester defense. I honestly thought we were gonna get football’d. And STEVIE! WOW! Let’s not just keep him, let’s build a statue of him (right beside Erik Lamela’s).
- Spurs still undefeated under Conte and they are still a good (if flawed) team.
- Look at this xG map. Just look at it.
xG map for Leicester - Tottenham— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) January 19, 2022
the shot map makes you feel almost as crazy as watching it live did pic.twitter.com/QEtDeNKcmD