Tottenham Ripped Apart By Leicester City

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James Maddison’s superb late drive clinched a 2-1 comeback victory for Leicester City in a drama-filled clash with Tottenham Hotspur.

The attacking midfielder struck from 25 yards with five minutes to play in the final act of a terrifically entertaining tie, in which two goals were ruled out by VAR.

City thought they had taken a first-half lead through Wilfred Ndidi, only for the video referee to intervene, Spurs instead ahead at the interval thanks to Harry Kane’s improvised finish.

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But after Serge Aurier had a goal chalked off for a tight offside call, the momentum swung City’s way, Ricardo Pereira grabbing the equaliser before Maddison hit the winner.

 

City had looked short of creativity in their first defeat of the season at Manchester United last week and Rodgers made changes accordingly.

Maddison was moved back into his favoured central role, with Harvey Barnes and Ayoze Perez brought in on the flanks, Hamza Choudhury and Demarai Gray dropping out.

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The change worked almost immediately. With 60 seconds played, Barnes dummied Perez’s pass and then Maddison fed the the young winger in the box, but he could not bring the ball under control.

In the minute that followed, Son Heung-min flashed a shot across goal and Kane tried his luck from distance. It was a lively start and indicative of what would be an action-packed half.

With England manager Gareth Southgate in the stands, Maddison impressed. He curled a shot just wide of the post, then showed dazzling feet to dance into the box and force a low save from Paulo Gazzaniga.

From the corner, City scored. Youri Tielemans fired in a shot, Gazzaniga spilled, Perez followed up and as the Spaniard was tripped, Ndidi bundled the ball in under pressure from Toby Alderweireld.

But a VAR check commenced and it showed Perez, plus three other City players, were offside when Tielemans had the original shot.

The decision to rule out the goal fired up the crowd, and that translated to the pitch, where tackles were flying in. Moussa Sissoko was perhaps lucky to only receive yellow for a lunge on Maddison.

But City could count themselves lucky five minutes later, when Jonny Evans appeared to trip Danny Rose in the box.

The line-up changes continued to help City in attack. Perez tiptoed around a defender then played a one-two with Jamie Vardy, almost poking the ball in.

But without the extra protection of Choudhury, City were more exposed, and it was Spurs who took the lead. Erik Lamela played in Son, he backheeled into Kane’s path and despite the England striker receiving a shove in the back from Caglar Soyuncu, he showed his composure, finishing beyond Kasper Schmeichel as he fell to the ground. It was his 12th goal in nine Premier League fixtures against City.

City were not disheartened though and chances continued to fall their way, Ricardo shooting just wide from distance before Perez saw a shot on the angle palmed wide by Gazzaniga.

Kane was still proving dangerous too, and he tested Schmeichel once more before the half was out.

The second period did not start quite at the same speed, but 10 minutes in and it was all systems go again.

Tielemans won the ball high up the pitch and threaded Vardy through, but he took the ball too wide and Gazzaniga was able to tip away his deflected shot. On the break, Son dragged an effort wide.

Barnes mis-timed a free header from Ricardo’s floated cross, then the young winger drilled a ball across goal that was begging for a touch.

Then came the controversy. Soyuncu denied Son with an expertly-timed tackle but the ball fell to Kane, who crossed for Aurier to finish in the bottom corner. Another VAR check came and Son was deemed to have been offside, by the slightest of margins, in the build-up.

Six minutes later, City were level. Vardy escaped down the left, his cross missing Barnes but not Ricardo, who slammed home the ball at the back post.

City were keen to find a winner and were straight back onto the attack. Maddison freed Vardy but the striker hit the side-netting.

With Spurs building pressure, Rodgers looked to shut up shop, bringing on Choudhury for Tielemans. But rather than defend the draw, the academy graduate ended up assisting the winner.

He laid the ball to Maddison, who took two touches then cracked a shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards.

The final five minutes of regular time, and the six added minutes, was seen out without worry for City, the three points taking them up to second in the table.

 

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