Leicester City 2
Tottenham Hotspur 3
Antonio Conte’s mood has been dark in recent weeks, but this was an amazing, dramatic climax to ensure his Premier League record remains unblemished since returning to English football.
Two goals in injury-time from substitute Steven Bergwijn sparked scenes of delirium in the away end, with Conte still unbeaten after nine league matches.
Bergwijn was introduced 11 minutes from the end and had an eventful evening, receiving a booking for a petulant shove on Leicester defender Caglar Soyuncu before adding two fine goals in the space of 80 seconds.
Leicester were on course for a fourth home victory in a row, with James Maddison seemingly producing the killer blow 14 minutes from the end. The playmaker has been involved in eight goals in his past seven Premier League appearances, scoring five and setting up three, and his goal was fully deserved.
But with Tottenham pressing late on, Leicester’s defence again appeared vulnerable under pressure – and, against all odds, it then became the Bergwijn show.
Conte was jumping around with joy at the final whistle and this will be a really welcome respite for the Tottenham head coach.
From Tottenham’s transfer policy to the controversial postponement of the North London derby against Arsenal last weekend, Conte’s recent press conferences have been tense affairs.
Harry Kane was a constant menace, always involved and pulling Leicester’s defence all over the final third. He must always look forward to these matches, after an unsuccessful loan spell in 2013, and almost produced the opening goal in the ninth minute, finding space and then seeing his shot cleared off the line by left-back Luke Thomas.
Kasper Schmeichel then had to produce a fine save from Lucas Moura, with Tottenham appearing in control.
Out of nowhere, Leicester were ahead after 24 minutes with their first serious raid into Tottenham territory.
Ademola Lookman burst into the penalty area from Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s pass and then the ball was diverted into the path of Patson Daka after a deflection, with the Zambian forward finding the corner.
Leicester were briefly inspired, with Youri Tielemans and Maddison growing in influence. This season has been difficult due to injuries to key players, with Jamie Vardy, Jonny Evans and Wesley Fofana absent and defender Timothy Castagne now expected to miss two months after an operation.
Kane provided the Spurs’ equaliser in the 38th minute, running from near the halfway line into the Leicester penalty area to evade Caglar Soyuncu and then curl a shot in off the post.
The second half was end to end, with both teams committed to attacking. Maddison was denied by Lloris from close range, while Japhet Tanganga also tested Schmeichel with a dipping effort from 20 yards.
But Maddison finally found the goal his performance deserved 14 minutes from the end, exchanging passes with substitute Harvey Barnes before crashing in a shot at the near post.
Bergwijn was introduced to swing the momentum. His first goal was a predatory finish, stabbing home from close range, and as the final whistle loomed, he found space to round Schmeichel and squeak the ball into the corner.
Leicester have endured agony against Spurs in recent times, losing on the final day of last season to finish outside the Champions League places.
That defeat left Rodgers feeling “numb”, so one can only imagine how he felt after this one.
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