Leicester City 2-4 Tottenham Hotspur: Bale brace
prompts Foxes to throw away UCL spot
Tottenham Hotspur's Welsh midfielder Gareth Bale (C) scores their fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on May 23, 2021. (Photo by Shaun Botterill / POOL / AFP)

A feisty King Power Stadium welcomed Tottenham Hotspur with the hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League, but the seventh-placed visitors did all they could to prevent that from happening and finally succeeded in pushing Leicester City to settle for a Europa League spot for the second consecutive season.

The Foxes failed to capitalize on Chelsea’s 2-1 loss at Aston Villa and ended up in the 5th position, after spending more days (242) in the Premier League top four than any other side this season.

  • Story of the match

On the back of a disappointing loss to Chelsea in the league, Leicester looked to strike back with added firepower and settle their spot once and for all. Clashes against Spurs have garnered the second highest number of head-to-head goals scored (54) since the 2014/15 season – only Arsenal vs Liverpool has witnessed more with 58 – and this season’s final matchday did not disappoint with a six goal thriller.

Leicester began on the front-foot, winning a penalty just after quarter of an hour, when Jamie Vardy was challenged in the 18-yard-box by Toby Alderweireld. The No.9 sent Hugo Lloris the wrong way and slotted home the opener. Few minutes later, youngster Wesley Fofana saw his season come to an end with an untimely injury, that may well affect his Euro 2020 slot with France.

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Tottenham however, gained pace and found their way back into the game with repeated attacks. Their moment of breakthrough arrived in the 40th minute when Harry Kane thumped in the equalizer from close range with true poacher instinct to take advantage of the defensive confusion within the Leicester penalty box

The second-half began just as the first. Vardy once again winning a penalty after he was tugged just inside the box by Davinson Sanchez. He slotted his second in the exact manner as he did with the first, in the bottom right corner.

Both the teams got their substitutes on, with match-winner Gareth Bale coming on in the 69th minute.

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An unfortunate punch in the 76th minute saw Kasper Schmeichel bundle the ball into his own net after Heung-Min Son curled in a corner, helping Spurs draw level once more and colouring doubts on a possible top four finish.

Ten minutes later, Real Madrid loanee Bale broke the Foxes’ hearts with a thumping finish into an empty Leicester net after Kane supposedly handled the ball in the build-up to the goal. The goal was nonetheless given after a VAR check.

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Bale netted his brace in the dying minute of the five additional minutes after Çağlar Söyüncü miskicked the ball, prompting the Welsh wizard to gain possession and dribble from the centre of the pitch through a discouraged Foxes backline. He toe-poked his first attempt, only to see it rebound back to his feet.

After two Vardy penalties seemed to have put them on the front foot, the Foxes fell at the mercy of counterattacking play – victims to a pacey Gareth Bale. An evening to forget for Schmeichel and co. as they look to ply their trade in the second tier of European football next season.