Bale the hero
Ryan Mason knew he had to make a change with just over 20 minutes remaining with his Tottenham side on the verge of missing out on a European place altogether.
Trailing 2-1 to Leicester City courtesy of Jamie Vardy’s two penalties, the interim head coach introduced Gareth Bale and Lucas Moura in a double substitution.
Unable to make an impact from the bench on Wednesday in the 2-1 defeat against Aston Villa, the Welshman was this time the hero as his late double helped the Lilywhites seal a 4-2 win and clinch a place in the Europa Conference League in the process.
At a very nervy King Power Stadium after Kasper Schmeichel’s own goal had levelled the scores and knocked the Foxes out of the Champions League places with 15 minutes to go, Bale inflicted even more misery on the hosts as he finished off some superb play from Son Heung-min and Harry Kane to give Spurs the lead.
Running past the fans behind the goal with his mouth wide open to clearly wind up those in attendance, the home supporters weren’t very pleased by his celebration at all and made their feelings known.
The 31-year-old then celebrated with the rest of his teammates by the corner flag and the jeers only got louder as he appeared to cup his ear at those in the corner.
Bale would have the last laugh in stoppage time as he finished at the second attempt after his initial effort hit the post and fell kindly into his path to seal a European place for Spurs.
Sanchez’s Vardy conversation
Having conceded an early penalty after Toby Alderweireld had fouled Vardy in the box, the Leicester man won another seven minutes after half-time after going down under Davinson Sanchez’s challenge.
Anthony Taylor pointed straight to the penalty spot but the Foxes had to nervously wait with VAR taking a look at the foul in question.
Getting beyond Sanchez to get on the end of James Maddison’s pass, on first view it looked a certain penalty with the Colombian appearing to tug at the striker’s arm.
However, the ex-Ajax man was adamant it wasn’t a foul and made it clear that Vardy had actually hooked his arm and then gone to ground as a result.
Vardy did end up scoring from the spot but the conversation between the pair continued after the final whistle.
With the Leicester man putting his arm out to make his case, Sanchez then hooked his arm around Vardy’s to make his own point and the striker started laughing.
The defender did have a smile on his face at that point but it could have been oh so different had Spurs not turned the game around in the closing 15 minutes.
Dele Alli was handed his fifth Premier League start on the trot for Tottenham as Mason again gave him the nod against Leicester.
Giving Spurs a glimpse of what he can offer in the past few weeks, the attacking midfielder tried his best to open Leicester up with some clever through balls but they just didn’t come off for him.
One attempt did work towards the end of the first half as he picked out Son, who subsequently lost his balance in front of goal and his attempted pass to Kane was cut out by Caglar Soyuncu.
Alli just couldn’t work his magic in his remaining time on the pitch and he was hooked on 68 minutes with Lucas taking his place.
Taking to social media after the game, the 25-year-old gave an honest view of his season and made a promise as he looks to come back “fitter and stronger” next campaign.
“It goes without saying this season has been the most difficult in my career so far,” he wrote. “There have been some incredibly low moments and tough challenges I’ve had to face but I’m grateful to always have the opportunity to do what I love.
“This season has taught me I can’t take anything for granted and I’m more determined than ever to come back fitter and stronger.
“Thanks to the fans for the great support as always and look forward to seeing you all back in the stadiums next season.”
All Tottenham fans will be hoping that is the case as they look to see the attacker with a smile on his face next season and at the top of his game again.
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What Kane, Son and Alli did at the end of the game
All the talk ahead of Tottenham’s game against Leicester was regarding Kane’s long-term future in N17.
Amid reports one week ago that the England captain has made it clear to Spurs that he wants to depart this summer, all eyes were on the striker in what could be his final outing for the club he joined as an 11-year-old.
Keen to end the season in style by helping Spurs to a European place and also by getting his hands on the Premier League Golden Boot ahead of Mohamed Salah, he did manage to do both on a tense afternoon in Leicester.
Celebrating a place in Europe after the game after coming from behind, many Spurs fans noticed that the 27-year-old hugged both Son and Alli in the middle of the pitch.
Embracing each other for a good ten seconds, it became quite a talking point on social media with many claiming it was the trio celebrating another Golden Boot and some believing it was a farewell hug after such a successful few years together in attack for the club.
All will be hoping the latter is not the case in what is a huge summer coming up for Daniel Levy and Tottenham.