Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur shared the points in a 1-1 draw as the two sides met in the Women’s Super League on a grey Sunday afternoon.
The match was hosted at the King Power Stadium, home of the Foxes, who were on the back of three disappointing defeats heading into the clash. Leicester looked to shore up their defence by playing 4-2-3-1 with Tierney and Jutta Rantala positioned to support their back four.
The visitors, Tottenham, have been on fire this season and take up 5th place in the WSL table. Their new signing Thomas currently top scorer in the WSL with 6 goals. No sign of Beth England back from her hip surgery yet and she’s not named in the matchday squad.
Leitzig; Bott, Green, Howard, Nevin, Tierney, Rantala, Goodwin, Cayman, Cain, Petermann
Spencer; Neville, Bartrip, Buhler, James, Clinton, Summanen, Percival, Naz, Thomas, IIdhusoy
The match started brightly, with the Foxes on top and pressing from the front. This nearly proved fruitful as Finnish international Rantala saw her solid strike saved, and the parry cleared from Missy Goodwin’s path by Ash Neville to keep it 0-0.
Leicester’s early pressure was rewarded after some great attacking play from Hannah Cain in the 18th minute. She passed to an unmarked Janice Cayman, who coolly struck the ball beyond Spencer to make it 1-0.Embed from Getty Images
This Cain and Cayman link-up is very exciting for Foxes fans, as the latter netted her second goal in two matches. The Belgium international and former Lyon player has settled in well at Leicester since her summer transfer.
The rest of the first half was a wonder display from Leicester City goalkeeper Janina Leitzig. She made a triple save to keep her team in the lead. In the last few matches, her distribution has looked nervous, but this shot-stopping quality is exactly why they signed her from Bayern Munich on a permanent deal this summer. Despite good play and pressure from Spurs, it was 1-0 to the home side at the break.
The home fans will still be shell-shocked after conceding six goals in their last second half outing at the King Power. Despite the Leicester support’s hope, their high pressing setup allowed Tottenham to exploit space in behind.
In the 55th minute, Spurs got their much-deserved equaliser. A perfect pass from Martha Thomas allowed Celin Bizet to touch and finish for her second goal of the season.
Wilie Kirk’s side immediately responded and nearly made it 2-1 when Courtney Nevin teed up Tierney from 20 yards. But despite Becky Spencer being well-beaten, her shot hit the crossbar.Embed from Getty Images
Leicester’s brightest players, Cain and CJ Bott, were replaced with academy duo Ava Baker and Denny Draper. The duo have recently returned from successful England U17s duty.
It was clear Leicester’s energy started to drop off, with Tottenham enjoying 59 percent possession. However, with a combined 28 shots, neither team could find a winner.
The match ended 1-1 and both teams stayed where they started the day in the WSL table. The WSL mid-table gap seems to be widening now, with Leicester leading the way of the second half and they’ll no doubt be glad to get a point. Tottenham looked dangerous in attack and only fell short after an inspired shift in goal from Leitzig. With the return of Beth England only weeks away, they’ll surely continue to push the top four.
Who is up next?
Both teams continue their Continental Tyres League Cup journey with a match on Wednesday evening. Leicester City are away to Manchester City, and Tottenham host Bristol City.