Steven Bergwijn scored twice in 80 incredible stoppage time seconds to give Tottenham a barely-believable victory that extended manager Antonio Conte’s unbeaten record in the Premier League to nine matches.
Tottenham looked to be heading for defeat when James Maddison struck in the 76th minute before substitute Bergwijn’s double in added time – a close-range strike and a wonderfully composed run and finish – completed a remarkable turnaround. The winner came when the signalled five minutes added had been played.
Seconds earlier, Bergwijn – who Tottenham were thought to be willing to sell this month – had been only booked for pushing Caglar Soyuncu to the floor when he was not awarded a penalty. And when the Dutchman made the most of his let-off by referee Jon Moss, Conte danced wildly with delight on the touchline as the travelling fans chanted his name long after the final whistle.
Substitute Steven Bergwijn scored twice in stoppage time as Tottenham somehow defeated Leicester 3-2
The incredible ending has given Tottenham a massive boost in their hunt for a place in the top four of the Premier League
Holland international Bergwijn celebrated wildly with his team-mates as Tottenham somehow recorded a victory
Earlier, Patson Daka had put Leicester in front before Harry Kane ensured the scores were level at the interval. Maddison looked to have netted the winner and Spurs were running out of ideas when Leicester imploded at the back.
Spurs had the better side and created excellent chances, yet by the end of normal time somehow had only Kane’s 38th-minute strike to show for it. How that changed in the closing seconds.
Kane had hit the bar in the first half and seen a shot cleared off the line, while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was also denied by another goalline clearance.
Before this, Conte had won five and drawn three in the league. But Spurs’ displays in the Carabao Cup semi-final defeat by Chelsea were worrying and they scrambled past League One club Morecambe in the FA Cup after an almighty scare. Conte has called for Tottenham to show their hand in the transfer market this month and a group of supporters were in open revolt in the first half, calling for the departure of chairman Daniel Levy. Leicester were boosted by the return of James Justin as a second-half substitute. The defender has been absent since last February after damaging knee ligaments and made an encouraging return to action.
This was Leicester’s first Premier League game since they beat Liverpool 1-0 on December 28, while Spurs had not played in the competition since New Year’s Day.
Conte was angry that the north London derby had been postponed at Arsenal’s request and despite the absence of Heung-min Son, his team were comfortably the better side in the first half.
The original date for this fixture was December 16, only for it to be rescheduled at Leicester’s request. Brendan Rodgers’ men welcomed back four players who missed the FA Cup win over Watford and one of them, Daka, nearly applied the finish to fit-again Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s cross in the fifth minute.
Thereafter, it was Tottenham who created the better chances, with Sergio Reguilon causing particular problems on the left. A low shot from Kane produced an extraordinary clearance off the line from Luke Thomas, who backheeled the ball to safety with Kasper Schmeichel beaten.
Then Kane came closer still in the 18th minute when he headed Harry Winks’ corner against the bar, before Lucas Moura’s low drive drew a sharp stop from Schmeichel.
With England manager Gareth Southgate in the stands, it seemed a matter of time before Spurs took the lead – only for Leicester to seize it against the run of play, midway through the first half.
Dewsbury-Hall found Ademola Lookman, who drove towards the area and slipped the ball to Daka. When Lookman collected the ball again via Spurs defender Ben Davies, it took a lucky bounce off Reguilon and fell to Daka, who did the rest from close range.
Spurs were stunned and Leicester’s confidence grew. After a mix-up between Winks and Davinson Sanchez, the Colombian did well to cut out Lookman’s attempted pass to Daka, which would have sent the Zambian clean through. Hugo Lloris flew to his left to push Maddison’s swerving effort from 25 yards around the post.
At that point, a pocket of travelling fans directed their frustration at the chairman, chanting ‘We want Levy out’. Seconds later, Spurs were denied by a second goalline clearance, this time by Marc Albrighton from Hojbjerg after Schmeichel had fumbled under pressure from Kane.
Leicester’s luck did not last, however, and Kane levelled expertly in the 38th minute. Oliver Skipp intercepted Jannik Vestergaard’s pass and Kane strode away, turning inside Soyuncu before aiming his shot in off the post – his 18th goal in 17 games against the Foxes, his best tally against any opponent.
The England captain should have given his team the lead soon afterwards as Spurs lured Leicester into the trap again and launched a quick break, with Moura scampering forward before releasing Kane. This time he eased away from Vestergaard only to shoot wildly over the bar.
James Maddison looked to have handed Leicester an impressive victory against rivals Tottenham on Wednesday night
Maddison capped a bright display with an excellent goal, rounding off a smart attacking move from Leicester
Patson Daka converted from close range to fire Leicester into the lead against Tottenham at the King Power stadium
Justin made his first-team return as an early second-half substitute for Thomas yet it as Spurs who continued to look the likelier scorers. The visitors had also made a half-time change, with Matt Doherty replacing Emerson Royal, and the Irishman fired just wide shortly before the hour mark following poor work from Soyuncu.
Leicester could not handle Kane’s movement though they did produce a counter-attack soon after Doherty’s chance as Dewsbury-Hall squared for Maddison, who struck too close to Lloris. At the other end, Schmeichel parried a rising effort from Japhet Tanganga which seemed to deceive him in flight. And when Youri Tielemans slipped on the edge of the area, Schmeichel was again called into action as he clung on to Reguilon’s effort.
Rodgers sent on Harvey Barnes for Daka with 15 minutes remaining and he did the trick immediately with a sharp return pass to Maddison. The playmaker drove into the area and his shot deflected off Tanganga and flew in off the post, with Lloris helpless.
Kane urged his team forward and he nearly created the second equaliser for Doherty when his deflected shot fell perfectly for the substitute, forcing Schmeichel into another save.
Kane urged his team forward and he nearly created the second equaliser for Doherty when his deflected shot fell perfectly for the substitute, forcing Schmeichel into another save. Spurs nerves were frayed and sub Steven Bergwijn was booked in stoppage time for shoving Soyuncu after he was refused a penalty.
That seemed to be that, before Bergwijn took over. He slammed in a loose ball from close range in the fourth minute of the added five and then virtually from the kick-off, was sent clear and rounded Schmeichel before sliding the ball in off a post. Rarely will we see anything like it again.
Moments earlier, Tottenham forward Harry Kane had seen his towering header come crashing back off the crossbar
But when another chance fell into Kane’s path, he finished ruthlessly to haul his Tottenham side level against rivals Leicester
Striker Kane is greeted by his Tottenham team-mates after his magnificent finish put them level against Leicester