Tottenham Hotspur 2:2 Leicester City
A late and dubious penalty denied City a win in the FA Cup 3rd round tie at White Hart Lane on Sunday…
Claudio Ranieri made eight changes to his starting line-up with Gray making his debut and only Ulloa, Kanté and Schmeichel retaining their places.
City, adopting a 4-3-3 formation with Gray and Dyer supporting Ulloa, had the first chance when Gray cut inside and sent a low shot narrowly wide, but it was Spurs who took a 9th minute lead.
Chadli, in on the left, forced Schmeichel into a parry, which fell for Eriksen, who had time to line up a precise shot just inside the left hand post.
City had to weather the storm for a spell after that, with Wasilewski being booked for a foul on Rose and Schmeichel blocking Eriksen’s subsequent free kick, but they were soon back in the game.
Gray delivered a tempting corner in from the right and Wasilewski evaded his marker with a run across the area to divert it past Vorm with a fine header.
City were content to let Spurs have the lion’s share of possession for the rest of the half and Schmeichel made saves from Chadli and Dier, while at the other end a King shot took a looping deflection, but was caught by Vorm on his line.
1-1 at the break was a fair reflection of the game.
Claudio Ranieri reshuffled his formation for the second half, bringing Okazaki on for Kanté and the Japanese international made an immediate impact. Just two minutes into the second half Okazaki danced through the Spurs defence, beating Carroll and Alderweireld, before seeing his shot saved by Vorm. For the third time this season his persistence saw him score on the follow up, finishing from close in off the left hand post to put City ahead.
Spurs probed City’s back-line but couldn’t find a way through, and there remained a threat on the break. Gray cut in from the left and curled a shot that was deflected inches wide of the far post.
Soon after that Gray was replaced by Albrighton, having made a highly promising debut.
Tottenham, with Kane, Bentaleb and Alli introduced to the action continued to struggle to find a way through with lots of shots being blocked by a solid blue wall. Bentaleb then saw his curving 25 yarder well saved by Schmeichel.
With two minutes to go Spurs finally found a way through, after a highly contentious decision from referee Rob Madley.
Rose cut outside Dyer as he entered the penalty area and the ball struck the City man’s heel and jumped up so that Dyer touched it with his hand as he span round. It wasn’t deliberate and it is doubtful that Madley could see it from where he was, but he pointed immediately to the spot.
Kane’s penalty was struck hard enough to beat Schmeichel, even though he guessed right, and the two sides would have to meet again at the King Power Stadium to see who was going into the fourth round.
It was a great shame after a tremendous effort from City’s fringe players.
Claudio Ranieri appluaded his ‘B’ team: “It is is good for them and me to watch again because they didn’t play since the last match we played in the League Cup. Eight new players, but I didn’t see a big difference. They played very, very well.”
Tottenham: Vorm, Rose, Alderweireld, Son, Dier (Bentaleb 67), Trippier, Chadli, (Alli 72) Eriksen, Onomah, Wimmer, Carroll (Kane 67). Subs Not Used: Lloris, Lamela, Winks, Davies.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Wasilewski, Benalouane, Chilwell, Inler, Kanté (Okazaki 46), King, Dyer, Ulloa, Gray (Albrighton 65). Subs Not Used: Drinkwater, Morgan, Simpson, Mahrez, Schwarzer.
Referee: Robert Madley Attendance: 35.805.
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