James Maddison hits stunning winner as Leicester come from behind to beat Spurs after VAR rules out two goals

John Percy
Leicester City's Ricardo Pereira celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates as Tottenham Hotspur's Danny Rose  - Action Images via Reuters

With England manager Gareth Southgate sat in the stand, this was a perfectly timed moment of magic from James Maddison.

Picking the ball up 25 yards from the goal five minutes from time, the £21 million midfielder’s low drive arrowed into the bottom corner and finally ended Tottenham’s recent dominance over Leicester.

This was the statement victory Brendan Rodgers sorely needed to emphasise why Leicester are being tipped to gatecrash the established order of the top six, and Maddison delivered the crucial blow to finish off a fine individual performance.

He was called up to the last England squad and failed to appear, but that debut is surely not too far away now.

Spurs have not won a Premier League away game since January 20 and it was another excruciating afternoon for Mauricio Pochettino, days after the Greek giveaway against Olympiacos.

Leading after a moment of improvised brilliance from Harry Kane, Spurs were denied a second by the Video Assistant Referee after Son Heung-Min was ruled offside by the most miniscule of margins.

That let-off inspired Leicester, and Maddison’s winner secured the home team their first victory over Pochettino in four attempts.

Maddison hit a brilliant low shot from distance which beat Gazzaniga Credit: REUTERS

These encounters have taken on a harder edge in recent years, with a rivalry established between the two clubs during the season when Leicester won the league.

After drawing at Chelsea and losing at Manchester United already this season, this was a game Leicester surely needed to win in order to live up to the growing expectation.

Leicester did control most of the first half, with Maddison proving influential and Jamie Vardy pressing the Spurs back-four into a constant state of nervousness.

The home team thought they had scored in the 16th minute, only to be left frustrated by the latest weekly dose of VAR controversy, and the first incident of the afternoon. 

Wilfred Ndidi was clearly offside when he converted after Spurs goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga fumbled a shot from Youri Tielemans, so the decision made at Stockley Park was entirely correct.

Yet the delay over the decision took around a minute, with chaos and confusion taking hold. Both sets of players had lined up in preparation for Spurs to kick off from the centre-circle, so there was obviously a glaring lack of communication from referee Paul Tierney as he waited for instructions.

Spurs fans were celebrating just before the half hour, however, after a quite remarkable piece of ingenuity from Kane. Running into the area to a backheel from Son, Kane was caught by Caglar Soyuncu and as he was falling to the turf somehow managed to raise his leg to loop the ball over Kasper Schmeichel into the top corner.

Pride comes before a fall, unless you are the Spurs and England forward.

Leicester were never out of the game and Vardy was finally given a clearcut chance in the 57th minute when he was brilliantly sent clear by Tielemans, but his shot was pushed away by Gazzaniga. Harvey Barnes then headed wide after a sustained period of pressure.

Then in the 66th minute came the crucial VAR call. Serge Aurier’s deflected drive beat Schmeichel yet Son was adjudged offside by mere millimetres in the build-up to a move.

Credit: BT SPORT

That slice of fortune fired Leicester up, and they were level 20 minutes from time. Vardy’s low cross eluded the Spurs defence and Ricardo Pereira powered the ball home from eight yards.

Maddison then seized centre stage, with a goal that will only enhance his growing reputation.

Player ratings

Leicester (4-1-4-1):

Schmeichel 6; Ricardo 7, Soyuncu 7, Evans 7, Chilwell 7; Ndidi 6; Perez 4 (Praet 67 5), Tielemans 7 (Choudhury 85), Maddison 8, Barnes 6 (Gray 82); Vardy 7.

Substitutes Ward (g), Justin, Morgan, Albrighton.

Spurs (4-3-1-2):

Gazzaniga 5; Aurier 7, Alderweireld 7, Vertonghen 6, Rose 7; Sissoko 5 (Wanyama 67 5), Ndombele 6, Winks 6; Lamela 6 (Eriksen 79); Son 5, Kane 7.

Substitutes Whiteman (g), Dier, Moura, Skipp, Davies. Booked: Sissoko, Wanyama.

Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire)

2:46PM

Pochettino says

That is football and we need to accept. It's true that to concede two goals every game it's difficult to win like this. Until 80 minutes I think we were the best team on the pitch.

I think in both sides affected in that situation. After 80 minutes with the second goal the game is going to be over but you give the massive belief to the team who was already dead, I think we had some chances to score the second goal. The Premier League is the most beautiful league because you can never stop to be focused. 

Big picture, long term I am disappointed but very positive.

2:44PM

Peter Crouch on VAR

"For the last 10 years if it's touch and go the benefit goes to the attacker - it's a big shift."

2:27PM

Great game

Leicester were excellent there, Spurs were creaking by the end. Joe Cole reckons they could push for the top four. 

James Maddison is interviewed post-match:

"We are a top side now, and we are. No-one's going to want to come play against us. If you look at the performances at Manchester United away and Chelsea away, we were shaking our heads disappointed. 

"The fans celebrate like it's a goal we score and it gives you a little lift. People moan about what VAR takes away but it adds a little too!"

2:24PM

FULL TIME

Credit: REUTERS

 James Maddison's long range strike wins it for Leicester! 

2:21PM

90 mins+4 - Leicester 2 Spurs 1

Maddison can hardly move at the moment and is a passenger in the centre circle. Just occupying space might be enough to make him  useful but he certainly can't get involved with an attack. Vardy is still sprinting around chasing down balls in the channels.

2:20PM

90 mins+2 - Leicester 2 Spurs 1

Spurs working the ball around the final third, hurling crosses into the area which Schmeichel is good enough to catch and fall on. 

Leicester are in a low block now, making sure there is no space in their defensive third. Long balls over the top for Vardy to chase.

2:18PM

90 mins - Leicester 2 Spurs 1

Maddison hobbles to his feet and is clearly in a bit of pain. Leicester have used all their subs though... should he play on? It was his knee that the physio worked on. The Leicester crowd are roaring their team on now as Spurs go looking for an equaliser. 

2:16PM

88 mins - Leicester 2 Spurs 1

Gareth Southgate is in the stands watching this one today by the way. After this I'd really expect to see Maddison in the next England starting XI and not just for the goal. 

Vardy keeps stretching the Spurs backline, the rest of Leicester's midfield sit deeper so that when a defender heads it away they aren't carved open on a counter. 

Maddison goes down off the ball and Spurs play on. He's gone for a chipped pass but has hurt himself in doing so somehow... and isn't enjoying it. The physio is working with him now.

2:13PM

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!

LEICESTER TAKE THE LEAD! 

Leicester 2 Spurs 1

WHAT A SMASH FROM MADDISON! Chilwell chips forward, Choudhury controls the clearance, tees up Maddison who takes a touch, moves the ball out with his next touch and then launches one with power into the bottom corner from 20 yards!

2:13PM

85 mins - Leicester 1 Spurs 1

Tielemans off, Choudhury on. Punishment for that bad pass? Or was the pass a sign of tiredness? 

2:11PM

83 mins - Leicester 1 Spurs 1

Spurs attack down the left, a cross evades everyone except AURIER AT THE BACK POST! This time he shoots wide! Eriksen was the free man but not tall enough to reach the first ball.

Barnes off, Gray on. That's a bit of pace to scare the tired Spurs backline.

And Tielemans has given the ball away! Dreadful pass and Spurs can counter! Kane is played into the box on his left foot and shoots... straight at the goalie. Soyuncu clears the loose ball. 

2:08PM

81 mins - Leicester 1 Spurs 1

Kane goes for a bicycle kick but misses the ball. And here comes Eriksen! Spurs need some creativity in midfield and Lamela makes way.

2:05PM

78 mins - Leicester 1 Spurs 1

The internet is a sea of VAR opinions, mostly negative. We're swimming in a sea of tears. Floating on the anger of those who won't accept the rules of the game have been applied. Why are the rules so strict? Why did the computer take my emotions away? The EMOTIONS, Clive. What about the emotions!?

2:04PM

75 mins - Leicester 1 Spurs 1

Leicester are in again! It's two v two, Vardy on the right... he goes a little wide and decides to shoot anyway but blasts high over the bar. 

2:01PM

72 mins - Leicester 1 Spurs 1

Leicester fans have gone from slagging off VAR via the medium of song to bouncing about the stadium enjoying it. I mean, it was really incredibly tight, and you could argue that frame rates might determine the exact slightest fraction of a second to be incorrect... but that's the decision.

1:57PM

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL!!!

PEREIRA SCORES FOR LEICESTER!!!!!!

Leicester 1 Spurs 1

Leicester come forward, Spurs are stretched, the ball is crossed from wide left by Vardy, it pinballs around and lands with Pereira who punches it home! 

1:57PM

69 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 1

Sissoko off, Wanyama on.

Will Spurs slump after the blow of that? Twitter is very divided on VAR. The world is divided. Delete everyone.

1:54PM

VAR CHECK: NO GOAL

var check

 Oh my god this is tight. Splitting the atom. 

AND IT'S NO GOAL!

1:52PM

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLL!!!!

AURIER MAKES IT TWO!

Ndombele threads a lovely pass into Son, he is tackled and it drops to Kane, who finds Aurier with a great pass. Aurier lines it up and punts one into the bottom corner. Really well placed.

BUT WAIT! VAR IS CHECKING IT!

1:51PM

63 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 1

Chilwell hasn't had his best game today and has been kept quiet all game long. He's been getting in good attacking positions but the ball just isn't sitting where he'd want it and it's been easy to block crosses.

1:48PM

61 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 1

Nice patient passing from Leicester as they work their way up the pitch. It's great approach play, a little cross from Pereira gives Barnes a chance to head at goal but he puts it over. 

1:46PM

58 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 1

GREAT SAVE! Vardy is played through on goal with a brilliant pass and he has the pace to get away from Vertonghen. The defender slides in and gets a bit of a touch on the ball to take the sting out and give Gazzaniga a chance to save, Rose clears the danger... and it turns into a counter-attack. Lamela holds off a tackle and plays in Winks, who threads in Son, who shoots wide while one v one with the goalkeeper! Big chance gone!

1:43PM

56 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 1

Evans and Rose are having, as the old Pro Evo commentator would say, "a real ding dong of a battle". Evans tries to climb his way round the left-back to prevent it being a goal kick and ends up spinning onto the floor like it's wrestling move at the ropes. 

Spurs have the ball in the final third but Lamela's effort from 20 yards is over the top corner.

1:40PM

53 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 1

Vardy naruto runs onto a ball sent into the corner and manages to keep it alive but after exerting that energy, he hits a useless cross straight into a Spurs body. Leicester focusing most of their attacks down this left side now, targeting Aurier. Corner.

1:38PM

50 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 1

Maddison is great on the ball. Always seems to find a yard of space with a turn, composed and never rushed. He's played a couple of clever first time balls forward to get Leicester in behind the midfield but Spurs block it. Vardy is inches away from reaching a cross fizzed into the area.

1:36PM

48 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 1

Leicester still attacking the channels because Spurs' midfield is so narrow but Pochettino has his team well drilled and they block the final third to force play backwards.

1:33PM

KICK OFF 2

We're back!

1:33PM

Average positions

Leicester v spurs average position

Very attacking shape from Leicester, Spurs clearly focusing play through the middle. 

1:27PM

Peter Walton loves VAR

BT Sport's resident referee confirms that the officiating team has got everything spot on. Thank the heavens for VAR.

1:18PM

HALF TIME

Really entertaining game, both teams going for goals and a little worried about the threat of the opponent. Leicester need another surge in the second half and might have been deflated by the psychological blow of that disallowed goal. Game on!

1:15PM

45 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 1

Leicester go looking for a way to equalise before halftime, Pereira getting more time on the ball on the right wing - I think - because Rose has picked up a little injury or isn't comfortable. he was holding his stomach area earlier. A bruised six pack perhaps.

Maddison comes to take a corner, goes to the edge of the box and Tielemans' curled cross is dealt with easily.

1:12PM

43 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 1

Spurs are in control here. Sitting back, waiting for Leicester to come forward and then going through them on the break.

1:10PM

41 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 1

Spurs come forward, Kane is in the area and puts the ball on his left foot but shoots straight at Schmeichel. 

1:08PM

39 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 1

Perez has just controlled the ball with his face on the floor. Love it. Rose blocks a cross afterwards to give away a throw, Spurs work hard to force Leicester backwards.

Maddison dictates a move on the edge of the area, Tielemans cleverly draws a man then plays in Pereira, who launches one at the near post and wins a corner. Decent save by the goalie.

1:05PM

36 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 1

There's a short break in play while, I think, Chilwell looks for his contact lens on the turf. He was touching his eye anyway, after almost being caught on the ball from a throw by the goalkeeper. I might be making that up about the contact lens thing.

1:04PM

35 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 1

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1:03PM

34 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 1

Oooohhhhh Sissoko dives into a slide tackle on Maddison and takes him out... that could easily be a second yellow if he's caught him... but he's done that really well, taking the ball and pulling out of the challenge to avoid hurting Maddison, who absolutely milked it.

Pereira takes a shot from distance but drills it wide.

1:01PM

32 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 1

Kane picks up the ball on the edge of the area, has support and decides to shoot. He gets this one wrong and slams it wide of the far post. 

12:59PM

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL!!!!

WHAT A FINISH BY KANE!

Leicester 0 Spurs 1

Son is threaded in by Lamela, Kane is alongside and is played in with a clever backheel. Soyuncu tries to batter him off balance, Kane goes flying and is tumbling to the floor but is able to engineer his body to get a finish on it whilst on the ground. The ball goes top corner. Brilliant.

12:58PM

29 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 0

Leicester move through the middle, Perez runs into space and finds Vardy to his left, who shoots without power and Perez turns it behind for a goal kick. 

The crowd cheer Soyuncu as he runs and wildly boots a clearance away. 

12:54PM

26 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 0

offside decision

The debate, if there could be one, is that arguably all three of these offside players weren't active when the shot came in but as soon as Gazzaniga touched the ball, I'd argue it's the same phase of play and that's why the referees have awarded it. 

12:53PM

24 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 0

Ndombele and Lamela link passes but don't seem to quite have an understanding of where each is going and end up in the same exact part of the pitch blocking each other. 

12:52PM

22 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 0

Winks finds Rose with a brilliant pass into space, Rose cuts inside and goes down looking for a penalty and is never getting one because he's basically run into Evans. Tielemans catches Rose after and the referee gives a foul for that. Guess how much the crowd enjoyed that decision? None. None amount of enjoyment.

12:50PM

21 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 0

The home crowd are crying about every single decision now, and there's no way the referee can end up not being influenced by it. Both decisions are entirely correct so far but that hasn't stopped the supporters singing "YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING!" despite video replay showing that they do, to a perfect degree of accuracy.

12:48PM

18 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 0

Sissoko is booked for a comedy aggressive slide tackle, takes the ball - then the man - and Maddison goes tumbling over. It's definitely a yellow, not a red.

12:48PM

NO GOAL!

VAR correctly spots that two Leicester players were offside.

12:45PM

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!!

MISTAKE BY GAZZANIGA! LEICESTER HAVE THE LEAD!

A corner is headed away, a strike back into the area and the goalie parries it but leaves it loose in the six yard box! Perez is there! He manages to bundle the ball over the goalkeeper, Ndidi follows and finishes.

perez goal

BUT WAIT! VAR is watching.

12:45PM

16 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 0

Brilliant again from Maddison who goes past Winks with a croquetta then feints inside to shoot at the near post. There's not enough on his shot and the goalkeeper saves.

12:44PM

15 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 0

Maddison turns on the spot, runs into a tiny bit of space on the edge of the box and sets himself up for a curling shot towards the far post. He puts it wide but that's a decent effort.

Leicester have only had 30.7 per cent of possession so far and that's almost certainly a deliberate tactical ploy. Spurs run out of ideas against a low block, especially without Eriksen, and have to open up to attack, which creates room for counters from the defending side. 

12:42PM

12 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 0

Soyuncu has just put Sissoko on his a*** with a simple little shoulder feint. It's fantastic to watch a forward getting done for skill by a massive centre-back. 

Aurier's delivery from wide has been poor so far. 

12:39PM

10 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 0

Nothing comes of the Leicester corner, Spurs keep trying to attack through the middle but have everything blocked and Leicester then attack down the wings. Lots of running for Aurier and Rose today.

12:37PM

7 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 0

Tielemans gets the ball forward early as Leicester defend a free-kick but Barnes isn't quick enough to make up 30 yards on Sanchez and Spurs come away with the ball. Lamela switches play to Aurier in an attacking position wide right but he batters a cross/shot things behind for a goal kick.

Spurs try to ping some one-twos around the edge of the area but Leicester defend it well and go in hard to clear the danger, Vardy takes the team up the pitch.

12:34PM

5 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 0

Kane goes for a long range effort which Schmeichel can save pretty easily. Spurs are now in the final third trying to create but Leicester are getting tight to them quickly and closing down space.

12:32PM

2 mins - Leicester 0 Spurs 0

Leicester have started the better team here with Barnes and Vardy nearly getting in behind the defence a couple of times in the opening minute! 

12:30PM

KICK OFF

It's time for football! Spurs get the game started.

12:17PM

Soyuncu vs Maguire

 Slabhead moved to Man Utd, Caglar Soyuncu stepped up for Leicester. The £85million sale of centre-back Maguire looks like an amazing deal now with Rodgers' trust in the relatively unknown Turkish defender proving a wise move - he and Evans have formed a sturdy partnership at the back.

12:08PM

Mauricio Pochettino

I don't know why we talk so negatively about Athens when we start better than last season and reached the final last season. We are positive, we wanted to start a run with Palace 4-0 but Olympiakos was difficult, so hard the Champions League.

I think we have a big squad and it's impossible to pick all the players, we need to manage all are at different levels, different situations.

12:02PM

Is all well at Spurs?

Mauricio Pochettino has seemed a little wound up in recent weeks and spoke about how annoying it was to have the doubt over Eriksen - and the rest - during the transfer window. Kane looks annoyed on the pitch that his teammates aren't as good as he is and now goes wandering all around the pitch looking to link play rather than operate as the arrowhead of attacks. Hugo Lloris misses out today because his wife just gave birth and Dele Alli is being "rested". If results start going wrong this season could unravel quickly. 

Conversely, maybe they're absolutely fine and will end up in a title race. Football is weird. A good 2-0 win for Spurs would do a heap of good mostly because it'll change the media narrative (from people like me!).

11:50AM

Early kick off

Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Leicester vs Tottenham, the early kick off on this lovely Saturday [checks clock] not afternoon. Soon it will be afternoon. But not now. 

The teams are in and this is what they look like:

I really like that Leicester team. Excellent full-backs, solid centre-backs, creativity and ball-winning in the midfield, and Jamie Vardy playing off the shoulder of the last man. It's a 4-2-3-1 today by the looks of things with Ayoze Perez getting a rare start behind Vardy upfront - they should have width and be able to attack through the middle.

Spurs are a 4-4-2 diamond and I can see Leicester doing a number on them here. Serge Aurier makes a huge difference and should ensure that Spurs have attacking width... but if Chilwell and Barnes double team him, Spurs are going to be limited to a really narrow shape and they'll run out of ideas. 

Harry Kane has looked really frustrated in recent weeks and needs service. The bad news for him is that Eriksen isn't in the starting XI and the only real creative player there is Erik Lamela, who is absolutely fine but isn't the man to unlock an organised Leicester side. Could be a tight game but Leicester probably have the better/more in form side.

How might that table look at the end of the day? Even the end of this match?! Stay with us to find out!