Tottenham Hotspur 5:4 Leicester City
City ended the season with defeat against Tottenham in a hugely entertaining nine-goal thriller at Wembley…
Claude Puel made two changes for his final starting XI of the season, with Gray and Iborra in for Diabate and Choudhury.
From early on this game had an end-of-term feel about it, and the goals soon started to fly in.
City took a fourth minute lead. Gray was fouled by Walker-Peters down the left, Mahrez swung the free-kick in, and Vardy’s delicate nod steered the ball beyond Lloris and into the far corner.
However, while the City fans were still celebrating, Tottenham were back on level terms. An attempted pass from Simpson struck Lucas and rebounded into the path of Kane, who charged up-field and beat Jakupovic low to his right.
Spurs had a good attacking spell following their goal: Eriksen sent a shot straight at Jakupovic, and then Simpson did well with a clearing header from a dangerous cross.
But it was City who next troubled the scoreboard. After winning the ball in midfield Mahrez found Iheanacho, who played a short ball to Silva, who nudged the ball onto Vardy. Vardy was blocked as he attempted to pull the trigger, but Mahrez was following up to blast the loose ball home.
City should have gone further ahead in the 25th minute. A sweeping upfield move involving Gray, Iheanacho and Vardy saw Gray in on goal, but his shot lacked venom and Lloris pulled off a fine save.
City then caused Spurs problems with a couple of corners, but Maguire couldn’t find the right touch at the far post.
Spurs had another good spell up to the break and Maguire put in a couple of vital challenges to deny Kane and then Sissoko, ensuring City went in at half time with the lead.
Just two minutes into the second half City extended their lead with a superb effort.
Iheanacho picked up a loose ball in midfield and shrugged off the challenge of Wanyama, before launching a rocket into the top right hand corner.
Sadly, City never got a chance to sit on the two goal lead, as Spurs hit back two minutes later. An intricate Spurs passing move through City’s defence provided a tap-in for Lamela, who looked offside, but the linesman was deaf to Leicester’s appeals.
Four minutes later Spurs levelled the game with a slice of fortune.
Lamela’s shot from close in was heading wide after a deflection off Maguire, but it then hit Fuchs’ knee and found the net.
At the other end, Maguire hit a shot narrowly wide, before Tottenham took the the lead for the first time on the hour.
It was another gift. Gray chested the ball down into the path of Walker-Peters, who crossed for Lamela, all on his own and he beat Jakupovic from 6 yards.
City rallied themselves after conceding three goals in 11 minutes.
After some good work down the right, Mahrez teed up Iheanacho whose hard and low shot forced a fine save from Lloris.
City then drew level in the 73rd minute. After a wrestling match in City’s area between Morgan and Kane, the ref waved play on and Jakupovic set the counter-attack in motion. City raced upfield, Man City style, and Mahrez threaded a ball through the defence for Vardy who smashed his 20th league goal of the season in the roof of the net from an acute angle.
But again, the City corner didn’t have long to celebrate as Tottenham came back with the winner three minutes later. Choudhury bought a Kane dummy hook, line and sinker on the edge of the area, allowing the England striker time to line up a shot into the top right hand corner.
City had one more chance to equalise, but Vardy lashed an effort over the bar, and the season ended as it had started, with a high scoring defeat in North London.
It was a strange feeling to come away from Wembley feeling disapointed but entertained, as opposed to the usual triumph or despair.
2017-18 was a funny old season, ninth place and two cup quarter-finals beats just about every campaign in the club’s history, but a sense of an opportunity missed pervades.
Big changes may be coming this summer and we are all hoping that the club’s owners can make decisions to match their ambitions.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Dier, Rose, Sissoko (Son Heung-min 84), Wanyama, Lamela (Sánchez 78), Eriksen, Lucas Moura (Alli 74), Kane.
Substitutes: Vorm, Llorente, Foyth, Davies.
Leicester: Jakupovic, Simpson (Choudhury 56), Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Silva, Iborra, Mahrez, Iheanacho (Barnes 85), Gray (Diabaté 61), Vardy.
Substitutes: Hamer, Benalouane, Ndukwu, Hughes.
Referee: C Pawson. Attendance: 77,841.
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