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” Heartbreak for Tottenham Women: Unbelievable Drama as Leicester Holds Them to a 1-1 Draw”

Later in the season, Spurs might regret these wasted points.

In the end, Tottenham Hotspur Women’s WSL match versus Leicester City at King Power Stadium proved to be the superior side despite a few close calls. Again, though, dominate possession spells failed to result into many goals. Janice Cayman, a Belgium international, gave Leicester the lead halfway through the first half. Celin Bizet got Spurs back on track, but Spurs missed a lot of other chances. Spurs had lost their third straight game with a score of 1-1, and the match concluded in a painful tie.

Following the MCL injury sustained by Finnish midfielder Olga Ahtinen in Spurs’ most recent game, which sidelined him until January, we anticipated alterations to the starting lineup. In her place, Kiwi international Ria Percival, who plays with Eveliina Summanen, who inked a new deal with the team last week, was chosen by Spurs manager Robert Vilahamn. In addition, Luana Bühler was judged well enough to start the game in the back line with Molly Bartrip, who wore the captain’s armband, and Jessica Naz preceded Kit Graham in the starting lineup.

Josie Green, a former captain of Tottenham, started the game at midfield for the Foxes.

Initial Half

Leicester got off to a fast start in the game, pressing high and forcing several worrying errors in Spurs’ half. Jutta Rantala of Leicester forced a nice save from Becky Spencer in the fifth minute, putting Spurs’ defense to the test early. The rebound appeared headed for goal, but Ash Neville miraculously got a leg to it and produced a remarkable goal-line clearance.

The 18th minute saw a great break and an even more precise finish from Janice Cayman with the outside of her right boot, thanks to Leicester’s heavy press and quick assault. Leicester opened up the midfield for Spurs, found Cayman in a position of space inside the box, and she tapped past Becky Spencer with ease to give Leicester the lead. Shortly after, Martha Thomas forced a save from the Leicester keeper with a looping header after an Angharad James ball.

At the half-hour mark, Spurs had their greatest chance of the game, forcing Janina Leitzig into three saves. Grace Clinton backheeled a pass to Thomas, who then squared the ball to Jess Naz in the box. Leitzig was able to prevent a goal even though Naz was clearly open. James attempted a long-range shot, but Leitzig made another excellent save, then Ashleigh Neville saved another.

Just before halfway, the match official dismissed a penalty request for Spurs on Martha Thomas, even though the Leicester player appeared to shove her in the back. Late in the game, Bizet and Green engaged in a knee-to-knee challenge that needed extensive care from both sets of physiotherapists, although ultimately neither player suffered any injuries. The score was 1-0 at the half.

The second phase
Vilahamn did not make any changes at halfway, but Spurs came out of the gate with more purpose and intensity, particularly in the midfield, and they appeared to be much more efficient going forward for the duration of the half.

Two minutes into the half, Naz dribbled into the area and lofted a shot at goal that caused Leitzig to make a fingertip stop, almost giving Spurs the ideal start. A few minutes later, Thomas and Bizet connected in the box for a shot that Celin scuffed straight at the goalie.

In the 56th minute, Spurs made their breakthrough at last. About thirty yards from goal, Naz squared the ball to Martha Thomas, who twisted, released herself, and sent a stunning through ball into the box to start the move. To tie the score, Bizet raced to get the ball and blasted past Leitzig.

In the 58th minute, Spurs made a double substitution: James moved into midfield and Ria Percival replaced Asmita Ale. Rosella Ayane replaced Naz as another speedster.

At the hour mark, Sam Tierney hit a long shot that smacked against the crossbar and almost put Leicester back up. Midway through the second half, Spurs began to exert more pressure. James and Ayane both came close, and they were consistently able to find space in and around Leicester’s box. In an attempt to get a winner, Vilahamn decided to substitute Ellie Brazil for Clinton in the 72nd minute and add another attacker.

While Leicester backed off their intense pressure in the second half, Spurs dominated the game and the Foxes had many good chances to score on the break. Both Molly Bartrip and Luana Bühler performed admirably, cutting down on opportunities with their positioning and playing well enough out of the back that Becky Spencer was rarely called upon to make a save.

Spurs had a last-gasp opportunity to win the game—Bizet sent a ball into Brazil, but Brazil was unable to direct it at goal, and Martha Thomas forced a late save from Leitzig—but Spurs were unable to find a winner and the game ended in a frustrating, hard-fought 1-1 draw around Leicester’s area.

Notes on Matches
Early on, Leicester truly controlled the middle. Although Olga Ahtinen and Drew Spence’s aggression seemed to be missed by the Spurs, things began to calm down after fifteen minutes. It is that physicality they will need to deal with.
In the first half, Spurs also appeared to be having a lot of trouble with Leicester’s intense press. Every time Spurs’ midfielders touched the ball, Leicester swarmed all over them, making it impossible for them to recover and cover during breaks. Spurs’ ability to play rapid, progressive passes was also hindered by that push, which reduced their efficacy moving forward.

I’m not sure how Naz missed an open look from ten yards out, but regardless of how skilled the keeper is, that felt like a shot she should have buried. When Leicester did have space to run, Naz really stretched their defense, but even though she occasionally vexed the goalkeeper with her last pass, she also forced a couple of saves.
Up to the goal, Bizet had been largely inconspicuous and unproductive in this game! Though Ashleigh Neville was also there, she deserves credit for anticipating Thomas’ pass and running into the box.

Despite having fewer shots than usual, Big Marf was still fairly efficient in other aspects of the game, playing others into the contest and dropping deep in a role reminiscent to Harry Kane.
When James broke free in the box, I honestly believed Spurs would score, but she strangely chose to try a cut-back to Ros rather than take the shot. I believe she could have defeated the keeper if she had a pop.

Ellie Brazil seemed rather ineffective as a late striker, and it’s difficult to avoid thinking that she will be benched the moment Beth England returns, so I’m not really sure what she contributes to the table. Though maybe Bob believed Ellie’s height may have an impact in the box, I believe I would have like to see Zhang as a late sub instead.

Although the outcome seems reasonable, it seems like two lost points. In the second half, Spurs outperformed Leicester; with a little more clinical finishing, Spurs prevail.

Spurs have only lost once this season (against Chelsea in the first week), who appear to be a strong contender for the championship once more. However, they have now suffered three straight 1-1 draws that they should have won with a bit more effort. They have a murderer’s row of league games coming up, including games at Manchester City and at home against Manchester United and Arsenal, so those lost points might come back to bother them.
The first game, though, is a Wednesday cup encounter against Bristol City, which kicks off at 2:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. GMT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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