OPPONENTS Leicester City at the King Power Stadium
COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Saturday 21st September 2019

Leicester City await Spurs as they return to Premier League action after the 2-2 draw in Greece in the Champions League. The Foxes were having a good start to the season until they tamely surrendered 0-1 at Old Trafford leaving them on the same points as Spurs, but thanks to the margin of our victory over Crystal Palace, we sit above them on goal difference.

Brendan Rodgers has had to contend with Harry Maguire being sold, but they completed the permanent signing of Youri Tielemens from AS Monaco as well as Newcastle United striker Ayoze Perez, Sampdoria midfielder Dennis Praet and Luton full back James Justin. It had fleshed out the squad a bit, but with Okazaki leaving and a few players out on loan, it is in quality rather than numbers that the squad has been bolstered.

With Tielemens and Maddison in midfield, there should be enough creativity for Jamie Vardy to start scoring again and for the up and coming Harvey Barnes to start making a name for himself. The young squad contains a number of players we have been linked with, including Demarai Gray and Ben Chilwell, but there is still the experience of Morgan, Evans, Albrighton and Fuchs. The problem comes when the addition of the more experienced players brings the average pace of the age down in direct correlation with the rise in average age of the team.

The likes of Daniel Amartey, Nampalys Mendy and Wilfred Ndidi are a little hit and miss in midfield, with them being the sort of players to hurt you on a good day, but more often, they do not look as effective as they should, with Kelechi Iheanacho being a talented striker who showed much promise a Manchester City, but has lost his way somewhere along the line. Hamza Choudhury is a player who Leicester have great hopes of, but he comes with a rashness that may undermine any kudos he gains. Some dangerous tackles have tainted his progress of late.

The defence looks a little vulnerable, but the midfield is there strongest area of the team. For Tottenham, the return of Danny Rose and Serge Aurier should give some balance to the side, with players used to performing in those positions, but it will be interesting to see who Pochettino plumps for in midfield. With Christian Eriksen off the boil in Pireaus, will it see Son chosen in his place, with his good goal-scoring record against Leicester ? Dele also has a good history against the Foxes, but he looks as though he is still feeling his way back from his injuries and without Sessegnon and Lo Celso, the dynamism in midfield seems a little missing.

Both sides are happy to be where they are after the opening few games, so, despite Spurs having the sign over Leicester in recent matches, the relative results might result in a draw.

PREDICTION Leicester City    1        Tottenham Hotspur    1
Spurs will be without Giovani Lo Celso (hip) and Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring) for this match.



BT Sport - (live coverage)
Match of the Day BBC 1  (Highlights) Saturday 22.30; Sunday 07.30
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TalkSport (DAB or 1089 MW)

Premier League Kick off 12:30
Leicester City  2 (0)  
Tottenham Hotspur  1 (1)

Pereira  68m 57s
Maddison  84m 46s


Kane 28m 43s

Crowd :   32,129 Weather :  Warm; Sunny
Referee : Paul Tierney (Wigan) Assistant Referees :  Mr. Matthew Wilkes; Mr. Scott Ledger
Fourth Official :  Robert Jones  
VAR Official :  Chris Kavanagh VAR Assistant :  Andy Halliday
Spurs kicked off and played towards the South Stand end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 6 minutes.
Gray (foul on Rose)  83 


Sissoko  (foul on Maddison)   19
Wanyama  (foul on Pereira)  71

Leicester City : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Kasper SCHMEICHEL  (c)

21  Ricardo PEREIRA 
  4  Caglar SOYUNCU
  Jonny EVANS

17  Ayoze PEREZ  (26  Dennis PRAET  67)
10  James MADDISON 
  Youri TIELEMENS  (20  Hamza CHOUDHURY  84)
25  Wilfred NDIDI

15  Harvey BARNES  (  7  Demarai GRAY  82     )
  9  Jamie VARDY

Unused subs: 
  Danny WARD
  2  James JUSTIN



24  Serge AURIER
  3  Danny ROSE

11  Erik LAMELA  (23  Christian ERIKSEN  79)
  Tanguy NDOMBELE  (27  Lucas MOURA  86)

  8  Harry WINKS
7  Moussa SISSOKO       (12  Victor WANYAMA  67     )

  7  Heung-Min SON
10  Harry KANE  (c) 

Unused subs: 
41  Alfie WHITEMAN
33  Ben DAVIES
  Oliver SKIPP


Manager :  Brendan Rodgers Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   King Power Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  adidas Kit Supplier :   Nike
Match report

Spurs had perhaps been lucky to be 1-0 ahead in this game at Leicester, unlucky not to go 2-0 ahead, but ended up losing out 1-2 to the home side in a topsy-turvy game that brought more VAR controversy.

With changes in the Spurs team including the restoration of Danny Rose and Serge Aurier at full back, the omission of Eriksen and Dele from midfield and Son replacing Moura, the side was shaken up after the midweek draw in Greece.  Pochettino had not been happy with the way we played, but there has been a disjointed look to Tottenham this season and this game proved not a lot different.

After a start to the game that saw Leicester pressing hard, but the game going end to end, Son and Kane's early shots were countered by Leicester passing that got them into the Spurs area all too easily.  Luckily, they were unable to finish any of the chances they made in this phase of the game.  Tottenham had a couple of breaks that came to nothing and Maddison curled a shot wide from 18 yards, before the same player jinked into the box from the left and Paulo Gazzaniga, in for the absent Lloris away with his wife delivering their child, had to be strong at his near post to keep the ball out.  Maddison was in the game a lot at this stage, challenging for a ball coming out of defence that Sissoko went in hard and won cleanly, before Maddison going over his leg that brought Moussa a yellow card.  It was a weak decision and left the Spurs man walking a tightrope every time he went into a tackle, with Leicester making the most of them to try and earn him a second booking.  As it was, the child-like home crowd booed every decision against them, making the referee a pantomime villain, ably assisted by Vardy throwing himself to the ground in the box, as he tried to con a penalty.

In the 18th minute, Gazzaniga fumbled a low shot from Tielemens, with Perez seizing on it, but unable to force it home himself.  Alderweireld got back, but couldn't keep it out on the line, where Ndidi knocked it in from.  It looked as though the goal had been given, but, as always, it was checked by VAR and Perez was coming back from an offside position when the ball went in and had that not been enough, he might have been the last player to touch the ball before the goal was scored by Ndidi, with only Toby between them and the goal.  Anyway, it was rubbed out and Tielemens had another crack from 20 yards out, but it went wide.  Then the onus on decision making turned at the other end, when Danny Rose cut into the box from the left and Jonny Evans made little effort to get the ball as he threw himself at the left back.  No penalty and when you have seen these given, this one looked like he was nowhere near the ball, but Danny might have ran into the Leicester defender.

Spurs were not really threatening the Leicester goal, even though they were getting forward, but Leicester looked a bit more incisive, with Vardy's left wing run pulling the ball across and Perez somehow missing at the near post in the 28th minute.  A minute later, Tottenham were in the lead in the most unusual circumstance.  Lamela led the charge forward and looked to have picked the wrong pass, when he played it to Son, with Kane free outside him on the right.  However, Sonny back-heeled the ball into the path of Harry Kane as he ran in behind him.  Soyuncu pushed Kane in the back, throwing his weight forward and cries for a penalty went up from the Spurs crowd, but Kane stumbled the ball forward with his left foot and as he hit the ground, had the presence of mind to hook his right foot around and squeeze the ball into the ground, so that it shot up over the advancing Schmeichel, leaving the keeper unable to adjust to try and save it.  The ball hit the net to the astonishment of all there and it was a real striker's finish.  Thinking that quickly and not intent just to win the penalty, which is not bad for a player labelled a "diver" !

So, once more Tottenham were ahead against the run of play to a certain extent.  The Foxes kept moving forward and Pereira struck a 25 yard effort that fizzed wide of Gazzaniga's right hand post, then the keeper had to make a low save from the same player to maintain the lead.  A move similar to the Spurs goal saw Lamela opt to pass the ball to Kane, when perhaps he could have had a shot, but Harry could only curl the ball into Schmeichel's midriff.

Holding the lead until half-time was a good start as the concession of a goal just before the break had not gone well for Spurs in the last few games.  It was important to keep it tight at the start of the second half and the first eight minutes was nip and tuck ,with both sides trying to progress without much luck.  Corners were won at both ends, but the closest to a goal came in the 54th minute, when Sissoko, Kane and Son linked with the Korean playing the ball across the face of goal, with Erik Lamela not able to get the vital finishing touch.  Erik did get an effort away a couple of minutes later, but after being set up by Sonny again, he fired it way too high.  Leicester stepped up a gear and won the ball off Sissoko in central midfield, freeing Vardy to run left and his shot required Paulo to get down to save, with Rose mopping up the loose ball at the expense of a corner. 

Son had a shooting chance and knowing his liking for a goal against the Foxes, it was surprising to see him pull it wide and then Barnes headed one off-target from Periera's cross.  63 minutes into the match, reviewing a goal caused a fair bit of controversy at the time and after the match.  Son ran into the box on the left side, but was tackled by Soyuncu.  This took the ball wide to Kane, who swept it across the box and Serge Aurier ran onto it and struck the ball firmly in the direction that Schmeichel had just moved from and into the keeper's right hand bottom corner.  While the game had been even in terms of chances, this one was cruelly disallowed, with Son initially being millimetres offside.  Obviously, this constitutes a clear and obvious error, where it is even hard to determine offside using a number of replay angles.  We can't complain, as it will equal itself out over the course of the season ... won't it ?

The review saw a substitution for each side with Wanyama replacing Sissoko and a minute later Leicester were level.  Vardy went down the left after the ball had been taken from Wanyama and it was then pulled back across the box, with Pereira running in at the far post to shoot past Gazzaniga, with the aid of a deflection off Danny Rose.  The goal came in the 69th minute and two minutes later Wanyama was booked for a foul on the goal-scorer.  Not an auspicious entry to the game.  The momentum of the game had swung Leicester's way and Spurs could not stop that.  Vardy went for power instead of accuracy and shot wide, but on a rare foray forward, Rose put the ball across the box to Aurier and his low ball powerfully hit across goal didn't find a white shirt there to put it in.  With eight minutes left, Son played Kane in for a shot from just inside the box, but his left foot drive was straight at Schmeichel. 

Then, following another Leicester substitution, they scored what turned out to be the winner.  Choudhury, who had just come on, played the ball from the inside left channel to Maddison, 25 yards out just left of centre.  He drove a low skidding shot to Gazzaniga's right and the ball beat him into the bottom corner of the goal.  It was a blow when we could have been ahead and reasonably comfortable (for a 2-0 lead) and now it had turned the opposite way.

Poch threw on Moura, but the last few minutes were all about Christian Erisken, with the opportunity to put the ball into the box on four occasions, all of which failed to produce a chance.  And with that the points were staying in the East Midlands and Spurs found themselves in a deepening crisis ... if you believe what you hear on the radio, TV and Internet.  Whatever you think, this match showed that they are being decided on ever decreasingly narrow margins.  But for where someone decided to draw a line, Spurs could have been coming home with a 2-0 win instead of nothing.  Maybe what it shows is that teams will have to score more goals than they think to win a game, with Leicester's disadvantageous decision being a little more clear cut, but this being the first ever game for two goals to be disallowed by VAR.  It will only get worse, but when it comes down to it, it is still about someone's decision, albeit not within a hundred miles of the pitch.

Looking at it objectively (well as objectively as I can as a Spurs fan), Spurs were fortunate to go ahead on the balance of play, but had enough chances to take all the points, while the home team could also have scored more, with a draw probably being the fairest outcome.

But who said life was fair ?.

Burton Bradstock

Match facts

Mauricio Pochettino took charge of the Spurs team for the 250th time.

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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Southampton 1 Bournemouth 3 Friday
Burnley 2 Norwich City 0 Saturday
Everton 0 Sheffield United 2 Saturday
Manchester City 8 Watford 0 Saturday
Newcastle United 0 Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Saturday
West Ham United London 2 Manchester United 0 Sunday
Crystal Palace 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Sunday
Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 2 Sunday
Chelsea 1 Liverpool 2 Sunday



League Table  2019-20
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Liverpool 6 6 0 0 17 5 18 +12
2 Manchester City 6 4 1 1 24 6 13 +18
3 Leicester City 6 3 2 1 9 5 11 +4
4 Woolwich Wanderers 6 3 2 1 11 10 11 +1
5 West Ham United London 6 3 2 1 8 7 11 +1
6 Bournemouth 6 3 1 2 11 10 10 +1
7 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 6 2 2 2 12 8 8 +4
8 Manchester United 6 2 2 2 8 6 8 +2
9 Burnley 6 2 2 2 8 7 8 +1
10 Sheffield United 6 2 2 2 7 6 8 +1
11 Frank Lampard's Chelsea 6 2 2 2 12 13 8 -1
12 Crystal Palace 6 2 2 2 4 7 8 -3
13 Southampton 6 2 1 3 6 9 7 -3
14 Everton 6 2 1 3 5 9 7 -4
15 Brighton & Hove Albion 6 1 3 2 5 8 6 -3
16 Norwich City 6 2 0 4 9 14 6 -5
17 Newcastle United 6 1 2 3 4 8 5 -4
18 Aston Villa 6 1 1 4 6 9 4 -3
19 Wolverhampton Wanderers 6 0 4 2 7 11 4 -4
20 Watford 8 0 2 4 4 18 2 -14


Position before match :  4th
Position after match :  5th
Position after the weekend :  7th


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