Harry Kane & Gareth Bale were on target as Tottenham crush Leicester City’s Champions League hopes with a 4-2 win on Sunday.
Tottenham Hotspur make a mighty comeback to seal a 4-2 win over Leicester City on the final matchday of the 2020/21 Premier League campaign. Their win was consequential on many departments as it left their opponents out of the top four while the Lilywhites secure their place in next season’s newly implemented UEFA Conference League, pipping Arsenal and Everton in the process.
Leicester City were the better side during the initial phases of the game. Although they weren’t dominating possession, they did looked threatening with long balls being played out to their central strikers. Tottenham, in contrast, had very little creativity in their game, so the 18th-minute goal from Jamie Vardy from the penalty spot was hardly a surprise.
The Foxes, though, conceded a shocking goal just before half-time, as Harry Kane’s lethal strike found the target, with the two teams drawing 1-1 at half-time. Leicester once again came back strongly after the restart, restoring their lead through another penalty for Vardy.
For the majority of the second half, it seemed as if Brendan Rodgers’ men were cruising to a victory. However, a couple of substitutes from Ryan Mason changed the complexion of the game, though it was a defensive error from Kasper Schmeichel that led to the equaliser for Spurs.
😰 NIGHTMARE FOR LEICESTER!
Kasper Schmeichel punches the ball in to his own net, which sends Leicester City out of the top 4!
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 23, 2021
The goal broke Leicester City hearts, giving their opposition the opportunity to further pounce on their defensive frailties. They did just that as Gareth Bale scored a quick brace to seal all three points for his team. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a closer look at both these sides in this highly entertaining final day affair at the King Power Stadium.
Kasper Schmeichel: 6/10
Kasper Schmeichel looked solid in between the sticks for the most part of the game, even making a couple of smart saves. The goalkeeper led the side brilliantly as well, before making an error in judgement that led to the second-half equaliser for Tottenham.
Timothy Castagne: 7/10
Filling in at centre-back in the absence of Jonny Evans, Timothy Castagne deserves a lot of credit for his defensive work. He complimented his defensive partners well, though was overrun by the opposition in late stages.
Wesley Fofana: N/A
Wesley Fofana was highly impressive in the early stages of the game, making a couple of vital blocks. Unfortunately, his evening was cut short due to an injury that forced him off in the 21st minute.
Caglar Soyuncu: 8/10
Caglar Soyuncu was an absolute rock at the back for Leicester City, using his giant figure to repel almost every Tottenham attack in the second half. Looked disjointed after the second equaliser, which was understandable.
Marc Albrighton: 6.5/10
Marc Albrighton covered a lot of ground, as you would expect from the Leicester wide player. He worked hard to keep his marker occupied, but the creativity was certainly lacking in his game.
Youri Tielemans: 6.5/10
Youri Tielemans was impressive after Leicester City scored the opener and even for the large parts of the second half. The midfielder, though, lacked that dominance about him in the middle of the park.
Wilfred Ndidi: 6/10
Wilfred Ndidi started the game well, making life difficult for the opposition ball carriers due to his tenacity. However, the Nigerian international didn’t look good after shifting to a central defensive role following the injury to Fofana.
Luke Thomas: 7.5/10
Luke Thomas had a brilliant game, especially up against his marker Steven Bergwijn. The youngster was always up for the challenge, showing impressive determination and work ethic. Struggled against Bale, though.
James Maddison: 6/10
James Maddison could not influence the game too much other than trying to thread out long balls for the two central strikers. The Englishman would have hoped for set-piece opportunities.
Kelechi Iheanacho: 5/10
Kelechi Iheanacho had a poor game throughout the ninety minutes. He looked sloppy in possession, lacking the sharpness or consistency to truly cause problems for the Spurs backline. Very slow in moving the game forward.
Jamie Vardy: 8/10
Jamie Vardy may not have done much with the ball, but his off the ball movements were all that broke the Tottenham defence – twice. Showed incredible composure to score the two goals for his club.
Most penalties scored in the Premier League this season:
◎ Bruno Fernandes (9)
◉ Jamie Vardy (8)
◎ Jorginho (7)
More than 50% of Vardy's 2020/21 total have been from the spot. 👀 pic.twitter.com/Lj5AYYn2wN
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 23, 2021
Nampalys Mendy: 6/10
Nampalys Mendy couldn’t take over the midfield as efficiently as Mendy after coming on for the injured Fofana. It played a key role in the overall outcome of the game.
Ricardo Pereira: 6/10
Ricardo Pereira made some decent offensive runs after coming on for Maddison. Should have probably started the game ahead of Albrighton, due to his creativity.
Ayoze Perez: N/A
A late replacement for Albrighton. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Hugo Lloris: 6/10
Hugo Lloris had to remain alert at all times, particularly with Leicester City spraying long balls at will. The Frenchman, unfortunately, saw his team concede two penalties so a clean sheet was out of the question.
Matt Doherty: 5/10
Filling in for the injured Serge Aurier and Japhet Tanganga, it is clear why Matt Doherty is the third choice right-back for Ryan Mason, as the former Wolves star did not offer anything offensively or defensively.
Davinson Sanchez: 7/10
Davinson Sanchez actually looked very good in his tackles and man-marking, as he made a few important interceptions to keep his team in the contest. A foul on Vardy to concede the second penalty, though, marred an otherwise decent defensive performance.
Davinson Sanchez & Jamie Vardy talking about that penalty decision 🤣 pic.twitter.com/Ac6F9CZ3LI
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) May 23, 2021
Toby Alderweireld: 7/10
Toby Alderweireld committed the first foul on Vardy to concede the penalty and it was a very silly one. The Belgian, though, recovered from that episode brilliantly, using his experience to repel any long balls forward for the Foxes.
Sergio Reguilon: 5/10
Sergio Reguilon lost possession in a key area to concede an excellent opportunity for Iheanacho in the first half. He also did not provide anything going forward, and is extremely lucky to have Ben Davies injured.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: 7/10
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had an excellent game in the middle of the park and a much-needed one too, after a run of few disappointing performances. The Dane dealt well with the pressure of Tielemans and Mendy, creating important turnovers to launch Spurs attacks.
Harry Winks: 6/10
Harry Winks technically did not provide anything to the proceedings, but his presence was vital in competing with the Leicester City midfield. Nothing extraordinary from the central midfielder.
Steven Bergwijn: 4/10
Steven Bergwijn had a disastrous game as he failed to get the better of his marker Luke Thomas. It was rather embarrassing for a player with a considerable international experience.
Dele Alli: 5/10
Dele Alli had a mixed game against Leicester City, as he did create a couple of excellent chances for his team. At the same time, though, the Englishman was often horrendous, especially with lack of involvement.
Son Heung-Min: 7/10
Son Heung-Min was anonymous for the most part of the game, offering very few ideas going forward. However, the South Korean international had a very crucial impact last 15 minutes, notably playing a vital role in the equaliser.
Harry Kane: 8/10
Harry Kane looked sloppy and lacked involvement, but overall, it was yet another impressive display from the Tottenham forward, who netted the all-important first equaliser as well as providing the assist for Bale’s first. A good return in a game that could well be his final for the club.
Harry Kane wins the Premier League Golden Boot and Playmaker award.
But he's still missing the main prize 🏆 pic.twitter.com/uJJBESoFOC
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 23, 2021
Gareth Bale: 9/10
Another player most likely making his last appearance for Spurs, Gareth Bale capped off his loan spell on a positive note, scoring a late brace to steal all three points for his side.
Gareth Bale on his #thfc return season:
👕 34 matches
⚽️ 16 goals
🅰️ 3 assists pic.twitter.com/XUWSoH2DKA
— Hotspur Related (@HotspurRelated) May 23, 2021
Lucas Moura: 6.5/10
Lucas Moura offered the missing energy in the final third, after coming on for Alli midway through the second half. Always a useful option on the bench for any team.
Joe Rodon: N/A
A late replacement for Son. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.