better than expected.
Spurs ended their season long stay at Wembley with a “nine goal thriller” against Leicester to finish third and in the end not suffer too badly from playing away from home all season.
It didn’t start too well at Wembley for Spurs with a loss and two draws in the first three games they played at their temporary home. But in their next sixteen “home” games they only lost the same amount of points with a matching loss and two draws.
Which only made for the fifth best home record in the league but for a team that couldn’t win at the new Wembley it was not bad and good enough for third place along with the second best away record in the league.
Not many of those previous 18 home games though were quite like the final day shootout with Leicester.
Last game syndrome, visitors with nothing to play for while Spurs had a third place to blow. Pochettino was left fielding a somewhat unfamiliar defence. Trippier and Aurier out injured meant Kyle Walker-Peters would start the first and last games on the season while featuring for a whole 8 minutes in between. Toby was back which this season seems unfamiliar while he was to be partnered with his old mucker Jan but ended up with Dier as Vertonghen injured himself in the warm up. Sanchez wasn’t in the squad to begin with but this brought him on to the bench, it was only the fourth game in the league he didn’t start when available. While Rose, another unfamiliar this season, made up the back four.
Dier dropping back meant it was the same midfield pairing as midweek, which didn’t bode well. And up from there was no Dele or Son, rather Lamela and finally Moura. The little Brazilian, along with KWP were the best players for Spurs on the afternoon. I do like the way Moura rides challenges and just doesn’t go down at the slightest touch, while also setting off forward when he’s passed the ball off rather than standing their admiring his handiwork as some do.
Neither did the start that saw sloppy play lead up to the opening goal just three minutes in. Vardy glancing header from a free-kick given away by KWP, which was about the latter’s only wrong note on the day. The lead didn’t last that long, sloppy play from Leicester as they passed the ball straight at the pressing Moura the ball rebounding to Harry, just on the centre circle, and he was off, into the box and a lovely finish.
The level situation didn’t last long either, with some awful defending from Spurs see the ball drop to Marhez on his left foot and he wasn’t going to miss.
At that time the commentator said he didn’t think this would be the end of the scoring, which immediately made you think this would be the end of the scoring. But it was end to end and neither team were covering themselves in glory defence wise. But no more scoring came in the half, thanks to Hugo.
It didn’t take that long after the break though for Leicester to pull further ahead. More poor defending with a slack clearing header, Wanyama didn’t really bother trying to get a tackle in and Iheanacho fired in a screamer.
The visitors couldn’t celebrate long though as the deficit was cut to one, finally some good football. Nice build up saw Lamela onto Kane onto Moura who laid on the perfect ball for KWP to put across the goal and Lamela to tap in. His first goal in living memory.
Things were level, again shortly after, with a hump up from Hugo, nodded on by Moura to Rose who put a cross into the box for Moura, facing away from goal his back-heel to Lamela was eventually put in the net for an own goal.
Yet again it wasn’t long before the next one went in as Spurs finally took the lead. Moura’s lovely ball to KWP was messed up by the defender and the fullback again laid it on a plate for Lamela to tap in. So far after an hour the Argentinian had two and a half goals and no yellow card. Unbelievable.
A whole 13 minutes then passed without any more scoring. Unfortunately what came was the equaliser. Kane had a chance to play someone in, in the Leicester area but ended up turning himself in knots, though probably fouled he was getting nowt from the ref and before you knew it, Wanyama had let Vardy go, Mahrez played him in and the England striker had slammed in their fourth.
You’ll be surprised to learn that shortly after the final of the nine goals came, thankfully for Spurs. As Kane shimmied and what looks like the Crab Man from My “Name is Earl”, bought the dummy, Kane curled in the winner for his 30th goal of the season.
It didn’t get him the Golden Boot for a third straight season, that went to a temporary Liverpool player whose 32 goals helped them retain fourth spot in the league.
Never in doubt. Now Spurs can return to White Hart Lane, if they retain that away form and just slip back into the old White Hart Lane home form well, if Poch can get Levy to “take risks” and maybe we can keep hold of Toby while offloading Sissoko, who knows…