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Leicester v Spurs, 11.02.23

Thanks to Declan Mulcahy for enduring and reporting on this game:-

PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 11TH FEBRUARY, 2023
(3:00pm)
LEICESTER CITY (3) 4 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (1) 1

Leicester scorers:-
Mendy, 23
Maddison, 25
Iheanacho, 45+4
Barnes 81

Spurs scorer:-
Bentancur 14

Attendance:- 32,184

Referee:- Michael Salisbury
Assistants:- Matthew Wilkes, Wade Smith
Fourth official:- Keith Stroud
VAR:- Mike Dean
Assistant VAR:- Richard West.

Teams:-
Leicester (4-2-3-1):- Ward; Castagne, Souttar, Faes, Kristiansen; Mendy (sub Ndidi, 69), Dewsbury-Hall; Tete (sub Praet,77), Maddison (Capt.) (sub Ricardo Pereira,88), Barnes; Iheanacho (sub Vardy, 77)

Subs not used:- Iversen; Soyuncu, Amartey. Thomas; Daka

Booked: Faes (12 foul on Kane), Maddison (40 blocked free kick), Dewsbury-Hall (59 foul on Bentancur), Barnes (66 foul on Tanganga), Souttar (74 foul on Son)

Spurs (3-4-3):- Forster; Tanganga (sub Sanchez, 76), Dier, Davies; Pedro Porro (sub Emerson Royal, 75), Hojbjerg, Bentancur (sub Sarr, 65), Perisic (sub Richarlison, 75); Kulusevski (sub Danjuma, 79), Kane (Capt.), Son

Subs not used:- Austin; Lenglet; Skipp; Lucas Moura

Booked: Bentancur (4 foul on Barnes), Dier (55 foul on Maddison)

Inconsistency and Ineptitude

Leicester v Spurs, 11.02.23

My thanks go to Jane Sparrow for this picture.

Spursí last three matches had been encouraging, three wins without conceding a goal. The last game was outstanding. A 1-0 win against Manchester City, perhaps the best team in the country, with a display of sound defensive capability.

Prior to today, Leicesterís home record in the Premier league this season had been poor. They had gained only nine points from ten home games (W2 D3 L5). On the basis of Spursí recent record and Leicesterís home form it appeared like this could be an opportunity to gain some points to challenge for the top four.

However, it wasnít to be. This was a very poor display with the usual defensive frailties. Leicester could well have scored five goals, having had one ruled out for a very marginal offside decision.

Antonio Conte returned to the touchline having missed the Manchester City game following a gall bladder operation. He made three changes to the team which impressed against Manchester City. Fraser Forster replaced the injured Hugo Lloris. Japhet Tanganga came in for the suspended Cristian Romero. Pedro Porro made his club debut replacing Emerson Royal notwithstanding the latterís impressive display last week. Tangangaís selection before Sanchez was unexpected. For Leicester, Mendy replaced the injured Tielemans.

Both teams wore black armbands in memory of the victims of the earthquake tragedy in Turkey and Syria. Leicesterís Turkish international Caglar SŲyŁncŁ was among the substitutes looking appropriately sombre.

The opening minutes gave grounds for optimism.

In the first minute Bentancur had an opening, but his shot was high. A couple of minutes later he was in action at the other end fouling Barnes just outside the box for which he was booked. Maddison hit his free kick wide.

After ten minutes Son set Perisic up for a run down the left wing, but he pulled his shot wide of the far post. Shortly afterwards, Kane (near the edge of the box) was fouled by Faes who was booked. Ward was forced to tip Perisicís free kick over the bar.

Two corners followed taken by Perisic. From the first, the ball appeared goal bound but Kristiansen somehow diverted it over the bar. The same player played a major role following the second corner. His attempted clearance bobbled along the ground to the right side of the goal before being diverted into the net by Bentancur. There was a lengthy pause while VAR assessed whether or not Bentancur had been offside, but the goal was allowed.

Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for Spurs.

As the half went on Leicester started to dominate in midfield. Around the half-way point of the first half Leicester took a corner which Bentancur headed towards the right touchline. It was picked up by Nampalys Mendy who unleashed a shot which rocketed into the net. Mendy is a defensive midfielder who had scored only one goal in his previous 250+ senior games way back in the 2015-16 season for Nice.

Within two minutes Leicester had doubled their lead. Spurs went forward with the ball in their own half and Dier moved forward. However, Leicester won the ball and quickly countered. The ball was fed to Iheanacho and with Dier out of position he had lots of space to set up a chance for Maddison on the left side of the box who made no mistake with his shot.

Just after half-an-hour Spurs almost equalised in bizarre circumstances. A loose ball rolled towards the left of the Leicester box. Under no pressure from any Spurs player Castagne and the goalkeeper Ward confused their signals and the ball went past both players. With the goal open Castagneís desperate clearance just missed entering the net for what would have been one of the strangest goals of the season.

With a few minutes left in the half Porro made his only contribution of the day setting up Kulusevski whose shot was blocked. In time added on before the interval Iheanacho made his way towards the Spurs box. Dier was in front of him but stood off enough for Iheanacho to pick his spot and score. It was fairly evident at this point given Spurs performance for most of the first half that there would be no way back.

Leicester perhaps eased off a little in the second half knowing they had won. Ten minutes into the half Dier was booked for a crude tackle on Maddison. Ten minutes later a coming together between Bentancur and Mendy resulted in a hard clash of knees. Bentancur went down in considerable pain and a stoppage occurred. A stretcher was brought on, but Bentancur limped off without it to be replaced by Sarr.

Barnes on the left produced a nice cross that Iheanacho headed narrowly wide. Iheanacho on the left returned the favour setting up Barnes who put the ball in the net towards the far post. After another lengthy pause VAR disallowed the goal for what must have been a marginal offside.

Barnes wouldnít be denied and with nine minutes remaining he scored with a shot from twenty-five yards to give Leicester a comprehensive victory.

This was a very disappointing day for Spurs all round. Bentancur was the only player who played well. However, he went off with a potentially significant knee injury. If he doesnít recover in time with Bissouma also injured and Hojbjerg suspended Spurs may have to field the inexperienced pairing of Skipp and Sarr at the San Siro against AC Milan on Tuesday.

Spurs fielded three of the best attacking players in the Premier League Kane; Son and Kulusevski, two of them for the entire game. They also brought on Richarlison (15 minutes) and Danjuma (11 minutes) but between them, these five attacking players didnít create one meaningful chance throughout the game.

Spurs were defensively frail. Dier was out of position when the second goal was scored. For the third and fourth goals he could have intervened with the two goal scorers but instead stood off without making a tackle. The debutant Porro was dominated by Barnes and replaced with 15 minutes remaining.

Although Forster conceded four goals, he wasnít to blame for any of them

This is a very poor result just before an important Champions League fixture and the possibility of having to field two young inexperienced midfielders is also a concern.

This was Leicesterís first win against Spurs in five games. Their last win over us by a three-goal margin was at Filbert Street in September, 1997. We have conceded four goals in our last two away games.

Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
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