Leicester misses out on CL spot after last-day loss to Spurs


LEICESTER, England — It happened again to Leicester.

For the second straight season, Leicester missed out on a top-four finish and qualification for the Champions League after a loss on the final day of the Premier League season.

This time, it was Tottenham beating Brendan Rodgers’ side, which led 2-1 going into the 76th minute but slumped to a 4-2 defeat thanks to goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel’s own-goal and two late strikes by Gareth Bale.

Leicester finished a point behind Chelsea, which wasn’t made to pay for its 2-1 loss at Aston Villa and squeezed into the Champions League as a fourth-place finisher. Fifth-place Leicester will play in the Europa League, having spent 242 days in the top four but missed out on the day that mattered the most.

It has, though, been a campaign to remember because the team won the FA Cup this month.

Harry Kane scored and set up one of Bale’s goals to finish as the league’s top scorer, on 23 goals, and also on top of the assist charts on 14. It could have been his last game for Tottenham, with the striker reportedly having asked to leave because he is unhappy with the club’s progress.

Tottenham finished in seventh place — its lowest Premier League finish since 2008 — to qualify for a new UEFA competition, the Europa Conference League.

Two penalties from Jamie Vardy either side of Kane’s goal put the Foxes 2-1 up at the King Power Stadium. But Schmeichel punched the ball into his own net at a corner and that proved to be the turning point

With Leicester needing a goal, Spurs found holes on the break and scored twice in the last few minutes.

A move that involved Son, Kane and Bale saw the Welshman fire home with a low finish in the 87th minute and then right at the death Bale poked home after dribbling through the heart of Leicester’s defense before hitting the post and scoring off the rebound.

Last season, Leicester lost at home to Manchester United on the final day to miss out on a Champions League spot.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

No posts to display