Sunday 10th February 2019

Spurs 3 Leicester 1

Spurs kept pace with the Premier League title race with a 3-1 win over a dangerous but wasteful Leicester City.

A first Spurs goal for Davinson Sanchez came in between misses from Foxes striker Harvey Barnes, while Christian Eriksen scored a fine second from range after Jamie Vardy missed a penalty with his first touch off the bench.

Vardy did get one for the visitors but Heung-min Son netted on the break in added time to ensure all three points stayed in the capital.


Leicester came to Wembley having lost three of their last four in the League, but Claude Puel’s side have a knack for turning up against the big six and they certainly gave their hosts something to worry about early on.

James Maddison, who attracted more than a passing glance from Spurs before his move from Norwich to Leicester, swung a perfectly placed free-kick into the path of an unmarked Harry Maguire, whose powerful header had to be turned over the bar by Hugo Lloris. The Foxes playmaker was on the money again from the resulting corner, finding Jonny Evans this time, though he could only head over.


Spurs had been warned. Even without Vardy, dropped to the bench by Puel despite being involved in seven goals in as many games against Tottenham, Leicester could cause trouble. They continued to probe, debutant Youri Tielemans sending a superb ball between Kieran Trippier and Sanchez, though youngster Barnes could only fire wide.

Too many times at the national stadium Spurs have had to labour against sides they should, in theory, be dispatching with ease, relying on late goals to keep the points coming.

An early opener would have been just the tonic to calm the nerves, then, and Spurs felt they should have had the chance to claim one when Son went down just inside the Leicester box under challenge from Maguire.
There was certainly a case, the England defender had made contact but referee Michael Oliver adjudged the South Korean to have already been on his way down and brandished a yellow card for simulation. Son the fourth Spurs player to be cautioned for diving this season.
Spurs fans felt cheated, but on the pitch the hosts started to push, Danny Rose denied well by Kasper Schmeichel having cut in onto his right foot before Fernando Llorente turned the follow-up wide.

Where last weekend Spurs were tasked with breaking down a Newcastle side seemingly uninterested in attacking, Leicester posed a very different threat and should have taken the lead when Barnes, again, found his way in behind but despite having all the time in the world once again missed the target.


Spurs were lucky not to be behind, and took advantage within two minutes when, following a short corner, Eriksen whopped the ball across the face of Schmeichel’s goal where Sanchez stooped to head home the opener.

The hosts took a lucky lead in at the break, and Leicester knew it. Puel’s side continued to press for a leveller after the break, though Demarai Gray will have been disappointed to send his free header from around six yards straight into the gloves of Lloris before firing a left-footed strike at the Frenchman after twisting and turning in the Spurs box.

Leicester had created more than enough chances to be level but after seeing them wasted Puel readied Vardy. As the ex-England international approached the touchline, the Foxes were handed a lifeline.

Jan Vertonghen penalised for a nudge on Maddison in the box, very soft but a penalty awarded. Vardy was instructed to tuck it away with his first touch. Vardy had scored his last seven from the spot, only missing twice in a long career, but was denied by Lloris, diving low to his right.


The miss did not slow the visitors and again Barnes wasted perhaps their best chance from open play when managing to hit Lloris when through one-on-one. At least he hit the target. Spurs had to double their advantage, and with Son putting in one of his more quiet performances in the absence Dele Alli or Harry Kane, Eriksen stepped up.

Llorente was quick to lay the ball back to the Dane after Leicester offered possession up in their own third before Eriksen showed precision and power to find a way through three bodies and past Schmeichel. Surely they could relax now.
Vardy, though, had scored on every previous visit to Wembley and did not intend to leave without another goal to his name this time. Ricardo Pereira, forever a threat going forward, linked superbly with Tielemans before squaring across the six yard box where Vardy snuck in to score and tee up a nail-biting final fifteen minutes.

They continued to push but, in doing so, left the door wide open for Son to race from his own half, behind the two remaining defenders and wrap up three points in injury time.
Spurs had held on here and in the title race. They remain within touching distance of the top two and, with confidence renewed after a January to forget, can now look towards Borussia Dortmund and Europe with real anticipation on Wednesday.

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