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Spurs v Leicester (EPL2), 04.05.17
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


        Premier League 2, First Divison, 2016-17
            White Hart Lane, Tottenham, N17
              Thursday 4th May 2017, 7pm

               SPURS     v      LEICESTER
           (White/Blue)         (All Blue)
              4-2-3-1            4-2-3-1

                1(0)              4(1)

          Thomas Glover  1   Ben Hamer
        Japhet Tanganga  2   Darnell Johnson
            Jaden Brown  3   Conor Wood
              Luke Amos  4   Dean Hammond
      Christian Maghoma  5   Elliot Moore(C)
        Filip Lesniak(C) 6   Josh Knight
        Keanan Bennetts  7   Bartosz Kapustka
             Cy Goddard  8   Hamza Choudhury
          Shilow Tracey  9   Josh Gordon
         Marcus Edwards 10   Harvey Barnes
       Kazaiah Sterling 11   Liandro Martis

           George Marsh 12   Alex Pascanu
              (7)81Mins
         Alfie Whiteman 13   Daniel Iverson
             (11)78Mins
        Samuel Shashoua 14   Lamine Kaba Sherif
              (8)57Mins      (7)53Mins
             Jack Roles 15   Dylan Watts
                             (11)66Mins
                        16   Raul Uche Rubio
                             (4)79Mins

Scorers:-
 Edwards 88 (pen)     Barnes 22, 79
                             Gordon 75, 86

Booked:-
        Maghoma 74(Foul)
        Amos 81(Foul)

Sent Off:-
Glover 78(Handled outside area)

Coach:-
        John McDermott       Steve Beaglehole

Attendance: 2,226

Referee: Dean Treleaven
Assistants:- Graeme Ions & Bhupinder Gill
Fourth Official: Paul Forrester

It was a cool evening for the last PL2 home game of the season which was held at White Hart Lane. There were tributes to Ugo Ehiogu and a minute's applause in his memory before the game. The visitors were Leicester City who got off the bottom of the table with a draw at Reading in their last game and were only two points behind Spurs in seventh place. The table is tight with only three points seperating the bottom six clubs. Earlier in the season Spurs lost 2-0 at the King Power Stadium. Last season, when it was an U-21 league, Spurs beat Leicester 7-4 at Hotspur Way.

Spurs lined up with Glover in goal behind Lesniak and Maghoma with Tanganga at right back and Brown on the left. Amos anchored the midfield with Goddard alongside of him. Ahead of them Edwards was flanked by Bennetts on the right and Sterling on the left in support of Tracey up front. With the first team at West Ham on Friday and the U-18s at Villa's training ground on Saturday it was a short bench.

Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Paxton Road End and quickly lost the ball due to the"Foxes" high press which saw Kapustka fire over. Leicester employed the high press to force Spurs to hit the ball long knowing that their defence would win most of the ball. They would then play it quickly forward for the runs of the attackers. Gordon drew an early save having turned the Spurs defence. That set the pattern of the game with Spurs getting bogged down in midfield while the visitors did not use it favouring the more direct approach.

Sterling fired wide and Lesniak also drove wide from a half-cleared corner. Tracey got into the area only to see his effort saved by Hamer and Bennetts squared the ball for Goddard who drove wide as Spurs knocked at the door. With the defence pushing up in support, Leicester began to counter with their long balls which saw Martis cross to Kapustka to draw a save from Glover. Glover saved a free kick by Martis while Edwards won a free kick just outside the area which he took - firing wide.

Leicester pushed players forward at set pieces and Kapustka had a shot cleared off the line. A long throw into the area by Johnson found Barnes at the far post and his ball across the box went for a corner from which they scored when Barnes bundled the ball home. Kapustka fired wide when Glover pushed out a cross from Choudhury. Tracey played in Bennetts for an effort that was saved by Hamer. The ball was quickly sent up the other end for Barnes to fire over. Sterling played in Tracey but Hamer was out quickly to save. Brown played a one-two with Edwards but shot wide. Barnes won a corner from Glover's save and Gordon fired over as the half ended.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw Glover making an early save from Kapustka who went off injred soon after. Spurs made their first change with Shashoua replacing Goddard in a more advanced position. Edwards fired wide having received a crossfield ball from Bennetts who had moved to the left side. Tracey carried the ball out of the Spurs half before giving the ball to Edwards who played in Shashoua for a chance that was saved.

A turnover in the middle of the park saw Barnes cross for Gordon to head wide unmarked in the area. Maghoma was booked as he tried to stop Gordon getting away with Glover saving the resultant free kick by Barnes. Spurs were getting caught out by balls over the top as they pushed forward and Gordon got behind the defence to finish one to double the visitors lead. Another ball over the top saw Glover having to race out to stop Gordon getting the ball only to use his hands which saw him shown a red. The keeper knew it was coming and was halfway to the dressing room. Sterling made way for Whiteman who could only watch as Barnes curled the free kick round the wall for Leicester's third goal.

Amos got involved in an incident on the far side which saw him get a booking just before Spurs made their last change which saw Marsh replace Bennetts to try and shore up the defence. Wood was played in down the left and he crossed to an unmarked Gordon who scored at the near post for number four. Leicester had taken off Hammond who had been doing a bit of a man marking job on Edwards which gave the Spurs man space to make runs. One such run into the area from the right earned him a penalty when Choudhury caught him. Edwards stepped up himself to fire the ball into the top left corner giving the large crowd something to cheer. In added time Rubio ran onto a ball over the top but fired over.

This was a poor performance by Spurs who never got their passing game together. This was because Leicester came with the right tactics and personnel. They pressed high to stop Spurs from playing out of the back and won the resulting long balls. They also made sure that the Spurs midfield could not run with the ball and quickly sent the ball downfield making the defenders turn. Leicester move above Spurs into seventh place but Spurs can still finish above them if they can get a point from their last game. That game is against Manchester United at Old Trafford on the 15th May. With United distracted by the Europa League it is perhaps an opportunity for Spurs to take advantage.

Ray

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