Wilfred Ndidi

City Edged By Spurs On Final Day

A brace of Jamie Vardy penalties were not enough for Leicester City, who were beaten 4-2 on the final day of the 2020/21 Premier League campaign by Tottenham Hotspur.
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Playing in front of the Blue Army on Filbert Way for the first time since March 2020, the Foxes had already secured their second-largest Premier League points tally, and were guaranteed to equal their second-highest finish in the division, regardless of the result.

For the season finale, manager Brendan Rodgers made one change to his XI, with striker Kelechi Iheanacho, who came off the bench to score against Chelsea on Tuesday, returning, while Youri Tielemans made his 100th start for the Club in all competitions.

The Foxes donned their all-new 2021/22 adidas home shirt following its launch on the morning of matchday, and for the first time in their history will compete in Europe in consecutive seasons. The encounter with Spurs, as well as results for Chelsea and Liverpool elsewhere, would determine exactly which competition it would be.

After only three minutes, there was an important interception from Çağlar Söyüncü to prevent Dele Alli's pass finding former Fox Harry Kane, while at the other end, Matt Doherty did well to nod Tielemans' cross away at the back post with Luke Thomas arriving to challenge.

There was a signal of clear intent from City as Tielemans - the Club's Player and Players' Player of the Season - next delivered a corner into Söyüncü, whose header back across goal was claimed by Hugo Lloris on nine minutes. Toby Alderweireld then had to nod away a curling effort from James Maddison, who looked to bend a strike into the far corner from 25 yards out.

On the quarter-hour mark, the Foxes initially had a penalty shout turned down when Jamie Vardy darted into the box and went to ground, however replays showed that he was clearly tripped by Alderweireld and a spot-kick was awarded by VAR. It was the No.9 who stepped up, and confidently side-footed past Lloris for 1-0, much to the delight of the Blue Army.

Rodgers was forced into his first change of the afternoon not long after, though, as France Under-21s defender Wesley Fofana made way in place of Papy Mendy, who moved into midfield as Wilfred Ndidi dropped into a centre-back position.

An even affair ensued during a period in which both defended well, and the only real sight of goal for Leicester proved to be a long-range drive from winger Marc Albrighton on 36 minutes that Lloris was equal to.

Then came a huge challenge from Söyüncü, who prevented Kane from firing in at the far post after the striker took up an advantageous position as Heung-min Son looked to locate his Tottenham team-mate.

But Spurs were soon level when Kane converted from inside the box, capitalising on a fortunate deflection before slamming home with four minutes of the first half to play.

Roars echoed around King Power Stadium at the news that Aston Villa had scored against Chelsea, who were also vying to finish in the top four. City, who headed into the break at 1-1, knew a win would secure Champions League football as it stood.

Five minutes into the interval, a well-struck drive from Mendy was collected by Lloris, however the France stopper was soon tasked with saving another penalty as Davinson Sánchez tripped Vardy in the box. The decision was confirmed by VAR, and it was Vardy again who dispatched from 12 yards to regain the Foxes' lead.

Chants of Leicester rippled through the air as the Foxes faithful urged City's on-pitch stars. The sound was elevated when news trickled through that Villa had doubled their advantage over the Blues.

Just moments later, a left-footed attempt from Kane sailed into the north stand, while Nigeria forward Iheanacho had a low attempt saved by Lloris as the match approached the hour mark.

On 62 minutes, City's second substitution of the afternoon arrived as Maddison made way and on came Portugal full-back Ricardo Pereira. Shortly after Lucas Moura and Gareth Bale entered the action for Spurs.

Leicester set about defending their lead, with Söyüncü making two important clearances, the second of which saw him head away Son's dangerous free-kick with 14 minutes to play.

However Spurs drew level for the second time in the game as the ball was bundled into the net, with the last touch coming off Kasper Schmeichel, meaning Leicester needed to find a winner with just over 10 minutes remaining. 

A good save from Kasper Schmeichel to deny Son with his legs followed, and then City's final change of the afternoon saw Albrighton come off in place of Spaniard Ayoze Pérez.

As City searched for an all-important winning goal, Iheanacho lifted a strike over from the edge of the area, but it was Spurs who would find go on to find the net as Bale converted from range - a goal confirmed by VAR after suspicions of handball from Kane in the build-up.

Just before the fourth official's board went up to signal five added minutes, Iheanacho had an attempt cleared on the line, although it would not have counted after the Nigerian was later flagged offside.

But as City pushed for a leveller, Bale struck at the other end to seal three Premier League points for the visitors.

The Foxes returned to the pitch for their annual lap of appreciation, which, led by Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, saw the Emirates FA Cup paraded around King Power Stadium as the Blue Army were able to celebrate the Club's first-ever triumph in the competition.

Special presentations also went to Wes Morgan and Christian Fuchs, who will both call time on their City careers this summer, while Tielemans received his Players and Players' Player of the Season awards from Khun Top.

Major moment

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Jamie Vardy

The City No.9 dispatches one of two penalties on Filbert Way.

Having twice gone ahead thanks to two Jamie Vardy penalties, the Foxes were pegged back on both occasions, and when Gareth Bale fired home from range, ultimately leaving City needing to score two goals to win the match.

However, as Leicester committed players forward, Spurs found a fourth, with Bale netting again in injury time.

Who impressed?

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Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy scored two penalties for Leicester City on Sunday.

Speaking on LCFC Radio’s Matchday Live, legend Matt Elliott said: “I'll give it to Jamie Vardy. They were the two goals and I thought he was bright. He was a threat and the main source of inspiration today. There were two or three other good performances, but Vardy never gave up the ghost."

Where do we stand?

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Marc Albrighton

Marc Albrighton strides forward for Leicester City during their 4-2 loss to Spurs.

City finish fifth for the second time in as many seasons, having accumulated 66 points from 38 outings.

The 2020/21 campaign can be regarded as one of the best in the Club's history, having won the Emirates FA Cup for the first time, as well as registering their second-highest Premier League points tally.

Leicester City Crest