Leicester stun Spurs with late comeback in FA Cup shock
17:09 24 January 2015
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Tottenham were stunned by a late comeback as Premier League basement boys Leicester City struck twice in the final six minutes to knock them out of the FA Cup at White Hart Lane.
Andros Townsend gave Spurs the lead with a 19th-minute penalty and it seemed that that would be enough – just like in Wednesday’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg against Sheffield United.
However, Leonardo Ulloa levelled from a corner in the 83rd minute and Jeff Schlupp struck an injury-time winner, with his weak volley creeping past Michel Vorm, who had had an eventful game, making two superb saves early on before escaping a probable penalty and red card before the break.
Mauricio Pochettino made nine changes from the side that had faced Sheffield United in the first leg of the Capital One Cup in midweek.
Vorm and Townsend were the only players to start both matches, while Erik Lamela returned from injury and was immediately given a place in the line-up. Jan Vertonghen was given a rest after previously playing 11 successive games in all competitions.
Meanwhile, Leicester boss Nigel Pearson made five changes, with goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer making his debut, while Andrej Kramaric got his first start.
Spurs started the game slowly, with little urgency, pace or movement, and it took two fine saves from Vorm to keep the scores level in the opening period.
The dangerous Schlupp beat Vlad Chiriches on Leicester’s left side and crossed for Kramaric, who was denied at close range by the Dutchman.
At the other end, Schwarzer flapped at a corner and Paulinho volleyed over – but the Foxes had another golden opportunity soon after as Schlupp made his way into the box and unleashed a powerful effort which seemed destined for the net, only for Vorm to react again and palm the ball over.
Instead, it was Spurs who took the lead. Lamela turned in the middle of the pitch and fed Roberto Soldado, who turned inside and was felled by an ill-advised sliding tackle from Liam Moore.
Referee Robert Madley pointed to the spot and Townsend stepped up to score his second penalty in two games – and his fifth of the season, maintaining his 100 per cent record.
The breakthrough lifted Spurs, who grew in confidence and took control. Shortly after the half-hour mark captain Younes Kaboul stepped in to win the ball on the halfway line, and Lamela found Paulinho, who freed Soldado. The striker took a touch and unleashed a low strike which drew a save from Schwarzer.
Paulinho also found some room on the edge of the box before toe-poking his shot wastefully at Schwarzer - but Tottenham got a big let-off at the other end.
Kaboul lost the ball and, when Kramaric was played through on goal, Vorm came out and appeared to bring the Leicester man down with his outstretched leg. It seemed that referee Madley was going to give a penalty and a red card, but instead he booked Kramaric for diving – must to the dismay of the visiting fans.
Soldado shot wide from 25 yards after the break, and Lamela fired over before Soldado’s attempt from the edge of the box was deflected behind. But Spurs escaped when Leicester broke from a corner and found themselves three on one – only for Kramaric to play the ball straight to Tottenham’s last man, Chiriches.
The Foxes gradually increased the pressure though and Ritchie De Laet sped into the box before taking a heavy touch that allowed Federico Fazio to put the ball behind. And, after the ensuing corner, Andy King headed over.
Lamela cut inside and forced a good save from Schwarzer, and Paulinho then headed wide as the game entered the final 10 minutes, with Tottenham seemingly on their way to another victory.
But, in the 83rd minute, a half-cleared Leicester corner fell to Schlupp, whose strike deflected to Ulloah, and the Argentine fired past Vorm.
Pochettino introduced Harry Kane in a bid to avoid another cup replay and an unwanted extra fixture in an already busy schedule – but in the end Spurs didn’t even get that.
With injury-time ticking away, Danny Simpson crossed from the right and Schlupp managed to connect with a volley which headed weakly at Vorm, but somehow crept past the Dutchman and over the line.
Tottenham: Vorm, Chiriches, Fazio, Kaboul, Rose, Capoue, Dembele (Kane 87), Lamela, Paulinho, Townsend (Eriksen 64), Soldado (Adebayor 70)
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