Leicester 1-2 Spurs
Report from KP Stadium
26 December 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Christian Eriksen struck again on Boxing Day as we were pushed all the way before taking maximum points at the King Power Stadium.
The Danish star showed his class to outfox goalkeeper Ben Hamer with a trademark free-kick on 71 minutes to secure our fifth away win of the Premier League campaign so far.
Eriksen scored his first Premier League goal for us against West Brom on Boxing Day last year, triggering a run of seven goals before the end of the campaign. This was his seventh already in 18 league outings this term.
Earlier, Harry Kane opened the scoring inside the first minute as we dominated the first 20 minutes but the home side hit back, put us under pressure and levelled before Eriksen found his range again to secure the points.
Mauricio Pochettino made two changes from the team that started against Burnley last weekend.
Benji Stambouli came in for his first Premier League start in place of Ryan Mason - injured against the Clarets and on the bench this time - while Danny Rose came in for Ben Davies at left-back. Hugo Lloris captained the side and was outstanding on his 28th birthday.
We were straight out of the traps and ahead on 58 seconds. Erik Lamela led the break away and released Nacer Chadli down the left, he crossed early and Kane's movement took him away from Wes Morgan before controlling the cross and firing home.
We looked a constant threat in the early exchanges, led by Chadli, Eriksen and Kane with Lamela drifting around, causing problems.
However, we didn't add to our lead and a moment of inspiration from Leonardo Ulloa seemed to give the home team back some belief. The striker flicked up Jeffrey Schlupp's pass and hit a dipping volley that Lloris had to be at his best to tip over.
Hamer did well to keep out Chadli's blaster on 23 minutes with Morgan blocking Eriksen's goal-bound follow up and Nabil Bentaleb broke clear on 32 minutes but couldn't quite get the ball fully under control.
Leicester then threw everything at us in a five-minute spell.
Ulloa mis-hit his shot well-placed on 36 minutes, Riyad Mahrez drove low to the far corner only for Lloris to turn away at full stretch and when Lloris was beaten, Ulloa headed Mahrez's cross onto the inside of the post and out to safety.
We struck back just before half-time as Kane met Lamela's free-kick but guided his header wide from 10 yards.
Mason replaced Stambouli for the second half but the Foxes were back into their stride quickly and levelled three minutes after the restart. Mahrez got away down the right and Ulloa managed to turn home his cross at the near post.
Mahrez was central to Leicester's attacking play and the Algerian international soon curled a free-kick onto the crossbar. Both teams were intent on a winner and Lamela almost found Kane before Kane picked out Eriksen, only for Wes Morgan to block.
Lloris was there again to touch away Schlupp's curler on 66 minutes, another key save as we then grasped the lead five minutes later.
Kane was bundled over in the inside-left channel, 30 yards from goal. Eriksen and Lamela stood over the free-kick and Lamela approached the ball first, making it look like a cross was on the way. Eriksen had other ideas though and whipped a curler over the wall to the near post, Hamer got there but couldn't keep the ball from hitting the back of the net off the post.
Kane had one more effort into the side-netting but Leicester pushed us back again in the final 10 minutes.
Morgan came closest to the equaliser on two occasions. First, sliding in at the far post for Mahrez's cross, Lloris palmed the ball onto Morgan, who knew little about it, but the keeper got back to grab the ball on the line.
Finally, in the second minute of added time, the Foxes' skipper met a corner with a downward header that Lloris sprung to his left to turn away.
A happy birthday for Lloris - and 3,000-plus fans as the snow came down on Boxing Day!
Mauricio Pochettino said
“I’m happy with the result, three points is so important for us,”said Mauricio as the snow came down at the King Power Stadium.
“It was a very tough game. We scored early and managed the first 30 minutes very well but you need to kill the game off. Leicester started to push, to play better and the second half was very difficult for us.
“You need to kill the game in this situation because the opponent starts to take a risk, has nothing to lose and that made it difficult.
“We’ve showed character in every game and it’s important to keep this feeling.
“At the end of the game it’s important to look at a positive result because we now have to prepare for another tough match in two days time against Manchester United.”
Leicester City: Hamer, Simpson, Wasilewski, Morgan, Konchesky (Knockaert, 83), Drinkwater, King (James, 46), Mahrez, Nugent (Vardy, 75), Schlupp, Ulloa. Substitutes (not used): Smith, De Laet, Hammond, Cambiasso.
Spurs: Lloris; Walker, Fazio, Vertonghen, Rose; Bentaleb, Stambouli (Mason, 46); Lamela, Eriksen, Chadli (Soldado, 63); Kane (Paulinho, 84). Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Chiriches, Davies, Townsend.
Goals: Leicester - Ulloa (48). Spurs - Kane (1), Eriksen (71).
Yellow cards: Leicester - Vardy. Spurs - Walker, Vertonghen.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick.