Steven Bergwijn entered Tottenham Hotspur’s match against Leicester City on Wednesday in the 79th minute. Spurs had been pushing and pushing, but found themselves down 2-1. They needed more firepower. And it looked as though it was going to go to the hosts at the King Power Stadium.
Then something absolutely unthinkable happened. The fourth referee had raised his electronic sign to show that five minutes were added to the half. And at exactly 94:54, Steven Bergwijn found the back of the net, seemingly salvaging a point for Spurs in a game that they truly were the more dominant force. The celebration was brief, as Spurs players went for the ball and tried to get Leicester to kick off in hopes there may be a bit more magic left.
At the 95:56 mark, Leicester kicked off. Youri Tielemans, who likely had the worst game of his Premier League career, lost the ball after six seconds. The ball got played forward to Harry Kane in traffic. Kane turned and played a perfectly weighted ball toward the box. And who was at the other end? Steven Bergwijn get around his defender, rounded Kasper Schmeichel, and used the post to his advantage. The game winner crossed the goal line at the 96:13 mark. In a matter of a minute and 20 seconds, Leicester went from winning to losing. And Tottenham found themselves leaping to sixth in the Premier League table.
For me, it felt like Ajax in the Champions League semifinal all over again. Sure, the stakes don’t take us to the Champions League Final. But there’s something about this win that could be the shift needed in Tottenham’s season.
This season has been a weird one.
Due to COVID, and some wild weather, Spurs have games in hand that sneakily could see them go as high as third. After a defensive implosion that saw them crash out of the semi finals of the Carabao Cup, Tottenham needed a bit of good juju.
Since Antonio Conte has taken over in N17, Tottenham has been kicked out of the Europa Conference League and been dropped by Chelsea on a 3-0 in the league cup. But, in the Premier League? Conte’s boys are unbeaten in nine. They have won six and drawn three.
And this match against Leicester might just show more than the scoreline lets on.
Spurs may have only found the back of the net three times, but they amassed a staggering 27 shots. The hit the post, had shots immaculately cleared off the line by Leicester defenders, and narrowly missed on a number of occasions. Not to mention how many times they rocketed off Kasper Schmeichel’s gloves.
They went down 1-0. Then clawed back. They went down 2-1. Lethargy seemed to set in for a brief period, but then they started pouring it on again.
NBC’s Tim Howard said that Tottenham were lucky to win the game. And yes, of course they were. But he tried to make us feel like Spurs hadn’t been completely dominant throughout.
What I saw here, aside from Steven Bergwijn solidifying Spurs climbing the table, was a team that did not lack effort. They pushed. It got hard, and that didn’t stop them from continuing to pour it on.
Tottenham showed grit and determination, even when the chips were down. Now imagine what could happen if Daniel Levy keeps his word to Conte and brings in some new players before the January 31st deadline. I’m specifically thinking of an oiled up winger who could play as a right wingback.
Maybe this season isn’t the lost cause that it once was. With only the Premier League and FA Cup to play for, maybe there’s something here.
Let me have this one. I’m flying high.
- / 11 months ago
To me, Rachel Nichols is the personification of posting a black square on Instagram.