Leicester 2 - 4 Tottenham Hotspur | PL | 23.05.21

Tottenham Hotspur twice came from behind to kill off Leicester's hopes of competing in the Champions League next season. Despite Chelsea's defeat at Villa Park, Leicester came up short for the second season on the final day.

Leicester 2 - 4 Tottenham Hotspur | PL | 23.05.21

Tottenham Hotspur twice came from behind to kill off Leicester's hopes of competing in the Champions League next season. Despite Chelsea's defeat at Villa Park, Leicester came up short for the second season on the final day. Jamie Vardy rolled back the years, tormenting Sanchez all afternoon, but Kane and Bale were clinical in a terrific Spurs performance. The English striker claimed the golden boot in what could be his final Tottenham appearance.

Spurs, bruised from a chastening defeat in midweek, a chastening season in truth, started brightly. They controlled possession in the early stages, with Dele Alli smartly taking up illusive positions and attempting to find Son and Kane in behind. Leicester were able to exert some pressure of their own after five or so minutes;  Tielemans, the Foxes' player of the season, picked up some clever positions and combined well with Madison to threaten Tottenham.

The first period had a good tempo but produced few clear cut opportunities, but after 15 mins, Vardy showed his pace in behind and believed he was felled by Alderweireld when he cut inside. Anthony Taylor initially rejected the claims, but after consultation with VAR, he pointed to the spot. The Englishman made no mistake from the penalty, coolly slotting to the right of Lloris diving to his left, as Leicester took an early lead and made the first move in the top four race. Only his third in his last 27 appearances.

Not 2 minutes after their goal, the home side were dealt a blow with the departure of Fofana through injury. Ndidi moved into defence, and his absence was felt in the Leicester midfield throughout the rest of the game. The change helped to stretch the proceedings without either side finding a clear route to goal.

Just after the half-hour, Albrighton had a strike from range when the Tottenham defence had dropped deep before Son threatened in the Leicester box. After some neat play, Dele Alli curled a beautiful pass into the forward, penetrating the area. He controlled a spinning ball but could only try and find Kane; unfortunately, for Spurs, his attempt was cut out by Soyuncu recovering. Mason's men were not disappointed for long. Just before the break, Kane equalised. After an initial scramble and a deflected strike following a corner, Son crept in to play a pass into the congested box. Son's pass also took a deflection and required Kane to adjust his position expertly; the trajectory of the falling ball was just behind him as he crisply lashed the volley past Schmeichel on the goal line. The goal took the Englishman one past Salah in the golden boot race with his 23rd of the season.

As the halftime whistle rang at the King Power, the home team sat in the dreaded 5th place - Aston Villa were ahead against Chelsea, but Liverpool led against Palace at Anfield.

As in the first, Leicester got off to an energetic start in the second period, clearly energised by the scoreline at Villa Park. Madison and Vardy linked up well before a couple of early corners for the home side penned Spurs back. From the second, Mendy stung the palms of Lloris with a long-range strike before Vardy absolutely played Sanchez for a second time to win another penalty. The Englishman used his pace, a constant thorn in the side of the Spurs defender, to run in behind after a clever pass from Maddison and found himself 'tangled' with Sanchez in the area. Anthony Taylor did not hesitate this time and pointed to the spot. To Leicester's delight, the same result on this occasion. Vardy placed it past the stranded keeper for his 150th goal in club football and, for the time being at least, fired Leicester into a Champions League spot.

The Leicester faithful celebrated Vardy's second, just as much as they welcomed the news of Villa's second against Chelsea; without fans and games played simultaneously, we've been deprived this joyous footballing tradition for much of the campaign.

Half an hour to play and Leicester were in complete control, buoyed by the carnival atmosphere at the King Power, their progression and increasing status under Rodgers was on full display. Spurs responded by bringing on Bale and Moura for Bergwijn and Alli. Despite Leicester's dominance, you could feel a bit of tension creeping into the minds of Rodger's men. With only twenty minutes separating them from only their second champions league berth, there were a few more missed passes and a few more missed opportunities. The nerves of Leicester fans weren't helped by the news of a Chelsea goal against Villa  - still in the driving seat, but their position felt a lot more precarious than it did just minutes prior.

Then inside the last 15, their nerves turned to outright panic. Spurs equalised from a corner after Son's delivery was glanced in by Schmeichel under pressure from Sanchez. The Dane, focussed on Sanchez climbing, mistimed his punch and looked on in horror as his attempted clearance evaded his defenders on the goal line. Rodgers turned to Perez to drive his side forward; they needed a spark from somewhere with only ten minutes left.

The home side pushed after Tottenham's pressure; Iheanacho had a strike well wide, minutes after being scythed down by Winks when a devastating counterattack looked on. With Leicester on the front foot, Tottenham cruelly twisted the knife. Bale calmly slid a finish home from a Kane pass. Leicester hoped the goal would be disallowed as the ball appeared to hit Kane's hand in the build-up, but the misdemeanour was adjudged to have taken place too early in the move.

It was heartbreaking for the side that has occupied a top-four spot for the lengthiest period in the season. To miss out on the final day two year in a row is a merciless blow for this team, beloved by most football fans. Tottenham showed a steel and experience that has been missing for most of the season to produce a brilliant away victory, but this will be a difficult one to take to Rodgers and his Leicester side. In the final moments, Bale rubbed salt in the wounds, ghosting through the middle to stab his effort into an unguarded net after his initial strike came off the post.

Ultimately Leicester failed to keep up their end of the bargain, and despite winning the FA Cup, they finished 5th with this 4-2 defeat. There are plenty of positives in another great season, but they'll do well to keep their best performers next season! Tottenham will almost certainly be saying goodbye to Ryan Mason but will this also be the last dance for talisman Harry Kane? His third golden boot proves what everyone has already known - a player this good is too good to be messing around in the Europa Conference League, no offence.