Saracens 19-20 Leicester
Saracens (10) 19
- De Kock
- Goode 4
Leicester (12) 20
- Flood 4
Leicester skipper Geordan Murphy landed a last-gasp drop-goal to inflict a first Premiership home defeat on Saracens in more than a year.
Neil de Kock's converted try and an Alex Goode penalty were not enough for Sarries in the first half as Toby Flood landed four kicks from the tee.
Two more Goode kicks put Sarries in control before Ed Slater crashed over to give Tigers a one-point advantage.
Goode struck again with minutes left but Murphy slotted home at the death.
Leicester went down to 14 men inside a minute when Slater was harshly judged to have pulled down Jackson Wray in the opening line-out but Goode was off target with the resultant penalty.
The full-back had a chance to redeem himself on 10 minutes but hit the upright and Flood showed him how to convert a minute later, from 40 metres, as Slater returned from the sin-bin.
The England fly-half was off target with his second attempt midway through the half but he put Tigers 6-0 up as the visitors started to dominate.
Schalk Brits engineered De Kock's try when his step and offload to put his fellow South African away before Goode added the extras.
Infringements on both sides saw the lead swing back and forth before Flood gave Leicester a two-point lead with the final play before half time.
Goode was on song with two early shots at goal after the break to make it 16-12 as Sarries profited from some ambitious counter-attacking.
Tigers were struggling to create quick ball but back-to-back breaks by Anthony Allen and Manu Tuilagi generated the momentum that brought about Slater's try from short range.
Flood could not convert and, with fewer than five minutes remaining, Goode landed a difficult shot on the right.
Tigers looked dead and buried but a Tuilagi break-out gave them good field position with the final play.
Leicester showed great composure and control to string together 26 phases that manoeuvred Murphy into position and his kick limped over.
Tigers' win takes them back into the Premierhsip's top four and spells the end of Saracens unbeaten home run that stretched back to October 2010.
Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall:"It was a tight, very close game as we tend to have against Leicester. I remember when we won a similar game at Welford Road because Billy Twelvetrees missed a last-gasp penalty.
"There were shades there also of last May's play-off final against Leicester at Twickenham, only this time they got the crucial score with the last kick.
"I give credit to Leicester for their ability to work the ball through the phases, despite our tremendous defence, keep it alive and score the winning goal.
"When we began this project two-and-a-half years ago we knew there would be periods when players would be missing, either injured or on test duty. So we are not going to use absentees as an excuse for losing.
"We were 30 seconds from beating a very fine Leicester side. I am disappointed we didn't, but credit their performance in achieving that result."
Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill: "I was desperate for the lads to go for the drop - probably about 14 times before Geordan finally delivered. And I think it was apt that he should score the winner.
"It was Geordan who sat the players down in midweek and told them what is expected of Leicester players after last week's performance.
"He then made the call to take the drop-goal and did what all great Leicester players do, he led from the front.
"We could easily have lost - it felt like the Twickenham final, phase after phase - only this time we got the rub of the green, this time we achieved a very good win against a very good side."
Saracens: Goode; Taylor, Wyles, Powell, Short; Mordt, de Kock; Smit (capt), Brits, Nieto; Kruis, Smith; Melck, Saull, Wray.
Replacements: Tagicakibau for Taylor (52), Tomkins for Mordt (70), Spencer for de Kock (52), Gill for Smit (44), Stevens for Nieto (44), Vyvyan for Smith (44), Fraser for Melck (52).
Leicester: Murphy (capt); Agulla, M Tuilagi, Allen, Smith; Flood, Grindal; Ayerza, Chuter, Mulipola; Slater, Skivington; Mafi, Salvi, Waldrom.
Replacements: Newby for Salvi (64).
Sin Bin: Slater (1).
Ref: Andrew Small (RFU).