Spurs say farewell to Wembley with 5-4 win over Leicester
Goalfest sees Lamela claim a hat-trick and Kane strike twice
13 May, 2018 — By Dan Carrier at Wembley
FA Premier League
SPURS 5 (Kane 6, 76 Lamela 49, 52, 60)
LEICESTER CITY 4 (Vardy 3, 72 Mahrez 15 Ineanacho 47)
TOTTENHAM confirmed a third placed finish today (Sunday) when they took all three points in a hugely entertaining encounter against Leicester City.
Spurs had to come from 3-1 down at Wembley to win 5-4 via an Erik Lamela hat trick and a double for Harry Kane.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino was full of praise for his side, who fell behind early on but never looked disheartened and traded end-of-season, punch-drunk blows with the Foxes in a match that will be remembered for a very long time.
Pochettino said: “It was such an exciting game, a crazy game. There were a lot of emotions but in the end we achieved the victory and 3rd place.”
The manager shrugged off questions about whether he would still be at Spurs next season, revealing he was due to speak with chairman Daniel Levy in the coming days to plot how the team can be improved. He hinted at the tantalising prospect of a couple of marquee signings.
Saying the club and fans needed to bed in to the new White Hart Lane, he added that this summer could be the time to take a “risk” to push on.
He said: “We will talk again this week to create the new project and what we need to do to improve. After four years, we need to see what we want to do and how to really contend for the big, big trophies. We need to review many things and create different ideas to help the club move on and be closer to winning titles.”
As the finishing touches are applied to the £800 million new stadium back in Tottenham – the club say they have 3,000 people working round the clock to be ready in August – Pochettino said it would be both a challenge and opportunity as the side settles in.
He said: “The new stadium means we will be closer to competing for trophies. It’s an important way to show our ambition. We have to work and operate in a different way to other clubs. The fans need to know what we are going to do and know the reality of the club. We need to create the expectations that we can achieve and make dreams. The ambition of the club is to win trophies. We are close, and that is the first step. We need to challenge the teams that invest more than us. We will not invest crazy money, and we need to feel that we are special club doing it our own way, but Daniel agrees with me – the club can take risks.”
Spurs have only conceded four once before this term, when champions Manchester City turned them over at the Ethiad, but there was a makeshift feeling about Pochettino’s defence today and from the start Leicester looked dangerous.
Jan Vertonghen had been named on the team sheet and was due to start alongside Toby Alderwerield, possibly making his last start in a Spurs shirt, but during the warm up he was seen was clutching his calf. Instead Eric Dier dropped back and Victor Wanyama came in to the midfield.
Alderweireld and Dier had not started a game together as centre backs all season and it looked like it – Jamie Vardy’s pace was a worry and it felt rather disjointed.
And it was Vardy who gave Leicester an early lead with three gone when he met a free kick on the angle by the near post and guided a header home.
It was a smart finish, but the advantage was to last all of another three minutes. Lucas Moura reacted to a sloppy ball from Foxes captain Wes Morgan and his decent interception allowed Kane to set off on one of his trademark, bustling runs. He covered a good 40 yards and then smashed a low shot home from just inside the area.
The game looked like it would never to settle: chances came and went. On 15 Riyad Mahrez made it 2-1 when he shot home after picking up a loose ball again after some confused defending.
As the second half commenced, Tottenham’s attempts to seal the third spot looked further away when Kelechi Ineanacho moved forward into space. Tottenham’s midfield backed off and the Leicester winger was invited to unleash. He did – and Hugo Lloris couldn’t get across to stop it.
But this game had more to come. Moments from the re-start, Spurs attacked down the right and Kyle Walker-Peters’ cute, low ball was tapped home by the on rushing Lamela to close the gap again.
Then Lamela struck his second three minutes later: this time Moura created the chance by combining with Danny Rose. The Argentine got on the end of Rose’s ball and thrashed it home.
His hat trick, on 60, came after the excellent Walker-Peters chased down a Moura pass behind the full backs. He laid a cross on a plate for Lamela, whose well timed run brought him into the box and free to swish his shot past Leicester keeper Eldin Jakupovic.
But the visitors were not going to let anyone relax. On 72, after Rose and Kane both had massive penalty shouts in the space of a minute, Vardy broke clear and brought Leicester even again.
There were still more to come. Spurs regained the lead once more on 76. Kane dummied his way into space and picked his spot from the edge of the box. His curler gave Jakupovic no chance.
So Spurs confirmed their third place finish and now it’s time to head back to N17 and the spectacular new Lane. Goodbye, Wembley – it’s certainly had its moments and as Pochettino stated, he will be plotting how to create more for the 2018 / 19 season.
SPURS: Lloris, Rose, Alderweireld, Wanyama, Kane, Lamela (Sanchez, 78) Dier, Sissoko ( Son, 83) Eriksen, Moura (Alli, 73) Walker-Peters
Subs not used: Vorm, Llorente,, Foyth, Davies
LEICESTER CITY: Jakupovic, Simpson (Choudhury, 55) Morgan, Gray, Ineanacho (Barnes,84), Vardy, Silva, Maguire, Iborra, Mahrez, Fuchs.
Subs not used: Hamer, Benalouane, Diabete, Ndukwu,, Hughes.