Tottenham Hotspur booked their place in the Europa Conference League with a stunning come-from-behind victory over Leicester City in the final game of the Premier League season.
It looked to be a frustrating afternoon for Spurs having twice gone down to a Jamie Vardy penalty but super-sub Gareth Bale ensured all three points were secured with a late brace.
The 31-year-old was a surprise exclusion from the starting XI before kick-off, so Ryan Mason can count his lucky stars this evening after the Welsh superstar delivered a match-winning contribution from the bench.
Starting in his place was Steven Bergwijn, in a move that simply did not pay off and the Dutch winger struggled to justify the faith put in him by the 29-year-old interim as he put in a shocking performance at the King Power.
Davinson Sanchez played a calamitous role in both of Vardy’s two spot-kicks, the latter of which he could perhaps be forgiven for as it was rather dubious. And it was his towering presence on Kasper Schmeichel from a corner that saw the Dane concede Spurs’ third goal, so he atoned for his ways.
Bergwijn, however, didn’t improve and it’s no wonder Spurs looked far better in attack when Mason hooked him in the 68th minute for Bale.
Alasdair Gold at football.london claimed he had “very few opportunities for him to attack and did little when he was on the ball,” whilst the Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick added: “Failed to really trouble Leicester’s defence and Spurs improved after he was replaced.”
Bergwijn recorded only 32 touches, which was fewer than even goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (42), which only goes to show how little he was involved.
Furthermore, he failed to add a single shot, successfully pulled off just two of five dribbles, and couldn’t provide an accurate cross from two attempts, via SofaScore.
The 12-time international also struggled in his battles, losing five of eight duels (62.5%), failing to combat Luke Thomas at wing-back on numerous occasions, whereas Bale made it look easy in just 22 minutes on the pitch.
All in all, Bergwijn can be glad that his performance didn’t cost Spurs as he badly let Mason down with his pathetic display against the Foxes.