Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey FA Cup Rd 4 Match Report - Spurs v Leicester, 24.01.15
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Spurs v Leicester (FA Cup rd 4), 24.01.15

( 3pm )

Spurs scorer:-
Townsend (pen), 19

Leicester scorers:-
Ulloa, 83
Schlupp, 90 (+2)

Attendance:- 35,548

Referee:- Robert Madley Assistants:- Ian Hussin & Richard West Fourth official:- Andy Davies

Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Vorm; Chiriches, Fazio, Kaboul (Capt.), Rose; Dembele (sub Kane, 87), Capoue; Townsend (sub Eriksen, 64), Paulinho, Lamela; Soldado (sub Adebayor, 70)

Subs not used:- Friedel; Dier, Davies; Stambouli

No bookings

Leicester (4-2-3-1):- Schwarzer; Simpson, Moore (sub Wasilewski, 26), Morgan, De Laet; King, Drinkwater (Capt.); Vardy (sub Nugent 73), Kramaric (sub Albrighton, 73), Schlupp; Ulloa

Subs not used:- Hamer; Konchesky; Cambiasso, Knockaert

Booked:- Moore (foul on Soldado), Kramaric (simulation), Wasilewski (foul on Soldado), Ulloa (foul on Capoue)

We'll go to Wembley once then (hopefully)

Ever since childhood, I have hated going out of the FA Cup, and that feeling of despondency is no less today than it has ever been. We have to now face the fact that it will be a minimum of 25 years between FA Cup Finals for Spurs, who last graced Wembley for the prestigious domestic Cup Final in 1991. That is the longest period of absence for Spurs in my lifetime.

What does not help the depression is the fact that we squandered our 1-0 lead in the last 10 minutes of the game. Goalkeeper Michel Vorm had been our hero in the first half, with two saves worthy of any goalkeeper, including Hugo Lloris, rested for the second consecutive game. However, Vorm was the villain in added time, as he let Schlupp's shot squirm beneath his body. Vorm might even have helped the ball onto its way into the net at The Park Lane End, in front of some 4,000 delirious Leicester fans. It was too late for Spurs to try and earn themselves a replay. They can now look forward to a free midweek (in 10 days time), and a couple of free week-ends over the next two months.

Another factor that only deepens my despondency is the astounding results at Chelsea and Manchester City today. Both these money-laden teams fielded strong teams. Both lost to lower league opposition. In Chelsea's case the loss was sensationally to lowly Bradford, who somehow came back from 2-0 down to win 4-2. My local BBC news programme (Look North) will be full of this story in the week to come. My point is that the field for the last 16 will be missing two prime contenders, and our chance, had we gone through, would have been greater as a result.

Domestic Cup glory for Spurs this year will have to come from the Capital One Cup, but our semi-final opponents, Sheffield United will only take confidence from our result today.

Many will criticise (with hindsight) Pochettino's team selection today, which had no less than 9 changes from that which started the semi-final on Wednesday night. Personally, I felt that the team chosen had the ability to beat Leicester on the day, although it has to be said that Leicester's team more closely resembled the team we beat on Boxing Day, and in that sense was stronger than our comparative line-up.

There was a good crowd, with Leicester taking close to a full Cup allocation. The winter sun took half an hour to set beneath the West Stand, but the pitch was in shade.

Lamela was operating on the left of midfield, and touched the ball to Dembele, who in turn fed Paulinho. Paulinho tried a dipping shot, which dipped well over the target. I personally felt that Paulinho was impressive for us, with plenty of energy, skill and accurate passing displayed. However, the early indications in the Spurs Odyssey survey are that a negative bias about Paulinho exists, and affects his standing.

Vorm made the first of two great saves after 9 minutes. Following a Leicester corner, the ball was fed to Schlupp on the left hand side, and his cross reached Ulloa, whose close range effort was well saved by Vorm.

A Spurs corner, taken from the right by Townsend, was half cleared to Paulinho, who fired over the bar.

Vorm made a second great save, stopping a right foot shot by Schlupp.

At the other end, Spurs won what was a definite penalty, when Lamela put in Soldado in the box, and Liam Moore brought him down. Townsend against took on the responsibility. Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer (making his debut after signing from Chelsea) anticipated that Townsend would shoot to his left, but Andros fired powerfully the other way, and Spurs had the lead.

Moore then fouled Soldado, who had beaten the defender with a clever chip. Moore got a yellow card, and also got injured in the process, having to be replaced by Wasilewski.

A Spurs free kick from the left was cleared in the middle, before Spurs showed some good approach play, after intercepting the ball in midfield. Lamela fed Paulinho, who in turn passed to his right allowing Soldado to hit a low right footed angled shot, which Schwarzer held low down. More good passing play, and a final ball from Lamela to Paulinho gave the Brazilian a chance, but he could get no power in his shot.

A shot by Vardy was no problem for Vorm, as the ball passed outside his post. Vorm had more of a problem when recent Leicester signing Andrej Kramaric was into the box one-on-one against the keeper. I have to admit that when the Leicester player went down, I thought it was a penalty and that Vorm could see red, for being the last man. However, referee Robert Madley saw it differently and booked Kramaric for simulation.

Leicester fans were incensed, and protested even more soon after when Wasilewski was not only penalised for a foul on Soldado, but also booked.

Early in the second half, Soldado showed great skill in controlling and retaining the ball, before hitting a good effort from 25 yards which passed just outside the post.

A shocking pass inside by Danny Rose put Spurs under some pressure, and a free kick conceded about 20 yards out. Kramaric's effort was blocked by the wall.

Soldado could be seen holding his back for a few minutes, and I anticipated he would be the first player to be replaced. He managed to recover though.

After being fed the ball by Dembele, Lamela had a little run before unleashing a shot which passed well over the goal.

After a Leicester corner, Spurs countered quickly, with Vorm releasing the ball to Danny Rose, who found Soldado, whose powerful shot was deflected for a corner.

At the other end, Schlupp, in a central position, slipped the ball to Kramaric on his left, but the Croatian fired well over.

Andros Townsend was now replaced by Eriksen, and Lamela operated on the right, with Eriksen left of Paulinho. Lamela demonstrated great skill in getting deep into the box, before cutting the ball back with his right foot for Paulinho, whose attempt passed wide.

At this stage, Spurs seemed to be in control, but as usual, they were lacking the killer touch to put their opponents away.

Soldado was replaced by Adebayor. One was roundly cheered off. The other was just as vociferously booed on, which was surely not helpful.

Ulloa had a headed attempt go over after the ball was crossed from the left, before Nigel Pearson made a double substitution, with Albrighton and Nugent replacing Vardy and Kramaric respectively. After more good Spurs passing play, Lamela's low shot was quite comfortable for Schwarzer. Eriksen fed a ball to Adebayor on the right. His cross reached Lamela, whose shot was saved and fell to Paulinho, whose attempt was blocked.

Another good move started at the back, with Chiriches defending well and bringing the ball out. He passed to Lamela, who made a run, passing to Adebayor, who crossed, and again Paulinho had a shot blocked.

Then Spurs suffered the first of two fatal blows. After a Leicester corner on the right, Schlupp had a shot from outside the box, which fell to Ulloa, who fired home inside Vorm's left post.

Paulinho acted as the provider for Dembele, but his low shot was comfortable for Schwarzer. Dembele was replaced by Harry Kane, but there was no opportunity for heroics in the little time left.

Chiriches worked hard to get near the line and cross low for Adebayor, who tried but failed with an attempted flick towards goal. Lamela was fouled just outside the area, but wasted the free kick.

Two minutes into added time, Spurs were destroyed when Simpson's cross was met by Schlupp's first time effort which wriggled through Vorm.

Now we must recover our composure and some form for Wednesday night's semi-final second leg at Bramall Lane. At least we have a one goal lead to hold. Oh!

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