Back to winning ways with victory over Foxes - report and reaction
Spurs 3-1 Leicester City
Sun 01 May 2022, 15:56|Tottenham Hotspur
Two second-half goals from Heung-Min Son set the seal on a much-deserved home win over Leicester City on Sunday afternoon.
Leading mid-way through the first period after Harry Kane added another goal to his tally against the Foxes from Son's corner - his 17th in 14 top-flight appearances against them - we maintained control of the game for the most part and bagged a crucial second on the hour to put a bit of daylight between the sides, Cristian Romero winning a full-blooded challenge against Caglar Soyuncu and setting substitute Dejan Kulusevski away, who found Son in the box to score with a shot-on-the-turn.
Hugo Lloris raced off his line to win the ball at the feet of the onrushing Kelechi Iheanacho as Leicester, who are in the midst of a two-legged UEFA Europa Conference League semi-final against Roma, tried to mount a response, but we never looked in any real danger and duly increased our lead with a moment of magic from Son 11 minutes from time. Kulusevski was again the provider, playing a short sideways pass to the South Korean attacker and he curled a sumptuous left-footed shot into the top corner from 20 yards, beating Kasper Schmeichel all ends up.
Iheanacho put a slight dampener on the bristling mood inside Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a stoppage-time consolation for the visitors, but we fully deserved our return to winning ways as we moved back up into the top four ahead of Arsenal's trip to West Ham later in the day.
Solid reaction after recent dropped points
We came into the game knowing victory was vital for our hopes of Champions League qualification after taking a solitary point from our previous two matches against Brighton and Brentford. But we produced a controlled performance to make sure that slump didn't continue, completing a league double over the Foxes following our dramatic last-gasp victory at the King Power back in January.
We had to ride out a couple of early half-chances for the Foxes, though, Patson Daka hitting the post from Boubakary Soumare's low cut-back and then being denied at the last second by a sliding Romero after Marc Albrighton had pounced on a loose ball at the back, but after Ben Davies' half-volley following a spot of pinball in the Leicester box was deflected over, Kane scored with a downward header from Son's resulting corner to give us the upper hand with 22 minutes gone.
It was a bit of an edgy first period as both sides traded half-chances in the wake of mistakes, Kane getting a toe to a loose backpass but unable to beat the advancing Schmeichel and Ayoze Perez juggling forward from Lucas Moura's backwards header but unable to find Daka sliding in at the far post. Romero then won a header at the back post and fell onto Schmeichel but after Kane recycled the loose ball, Lucas couldn't take advantage as he found his path blocked inside the area.
The introduction of Kulusevski, who had dropped to the bench in favour of Lucas in our only change from last week's goalless draw at Brentford, near the start of the second half gave us some fresh attacking impetus down the right and it didn't take him long to have an influence as Romero won a strong tackle on Soyuncu in an advanced position, allowing the substitute to advance towards the box and lay off for Son, who let the ball run out to his left before swivelling and striking back across goal into the far corner.
That goal seemed to be enough to kill off the visitors, with Eric Dier's header from another Son corner claimed on his line by Schmeichel, while Lloris read the play well to rush off his line and deny Iheanacho at his feet as Leicester tried to score on the break. But then came a bolt from the blue to make sure of the points - and Son's goal alone was worthy of winning any game! Collecting Kulusevski's pass in from the right, he turned onto his left foot and curled an excellent shot onto a postage stamp in the far top corner from 20 yards - Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg could only look on with both hands on his head in disbelief as we celebrated a terrific strike!
Son was later afforded a standing ovation as he was replaced by the man who stole the show in the reverse fixture, Steven Bergwijn, but Leicester continued to try to carve out chances and shortly after substitute Jamie Vardy's 89th-minute header flew just wide, Iheanacho collected the ball and ran towards the box before squeezing a low shot inside Lloris' left-hand post in the first of three added minutes. That temporarily quietened the stadium down, but not for long as Kane swept a shot just over the bar before the sound of the full-time whistle was greeted with joy from everyone of a Spurs persuasion as the 3-1 win was confirmed.
Sunday's match marked Antonio Conte's 100th as a Premier League manager and he was able to celebrate after a job well done.
Having taken charge of 64 top-flight matches at Chelsea between 2016 and 2018, our Head Coach brought up game number 24 in the division for us.
Kane, meanwhile, now has 17 goals in just 14 Premier League appearances against Leicester City - only Alan Shearer has netted more goals against a single opponent in the competition with 20 versus Leeds United.
Elsewhere in the squad, in addition to Lucas coming into the starting line-up at the expense of Kulusevski, there was a place on the bench for the first time in a Premier League game for Development Squad midfielder Matthew Craig. He'd previously been named on the first team bench a couple of times in the early stages of our Europa Conference League campaign.
Reaction on Spurs TV
'Every player must give 150 per cent'
Antonio told Spurs TV: "It was a good performance, good commitment from my players. It’s not easy to beat Leicester and to win, for us, was important because we continue to stay in the race for the Champions League. We have to enjoy this moment. The players have worked very hard, and they deserve to stay in this race. Also, to repeat, the passion the fans are showing to us in every game...
"I have to be pleased because in the last two games we lost five points, and you know very well when you get to the final part of the season, if you don’t get three points, mentally, you can be down. Instead, today, I have seen a great reaction from this team. We have to continue in this way. It’s important that every player continues to give 150 per cent - 100 per cent is not enough in this moment."
Highlights on Spurs TV
Spurs 3-1 Leicester City
Spurs (3-4-3): Lloris (c), Romero, Dier, Davies, Royal, Bentancur (Winks 82), Hojbjerg, Sessegnon, Lucas (Kulusevski 55), Kane, Son (Bergwijn 82). Substitutes (not used): Gollini, Rodon, Sanchez, Craig, White, Scarlett.
Leicester City (3-5-2): Schmeichel (c), Castagne, Amartey, Soyuncu, Albrighton, Soumare (Brunt 67), Mendy, Perez (Tielemans 76), Thomas, Iheanacho, Daka (Vardy 67). Substitutes (not used): Ward, Justin, Fofana, Barnes, Choudhury, Lookman.
Goals: Spurs - Kane 22, Son 60, 79; Leicester - Iheanacho 90+1.
Yellow cards: Spurs - Davies 27, Bentancur 58; Leicester - Albrighton 47, Amartey 63, Thomas 66.
Referee: Jonathan Moss.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Light cloud, gentle breeze, 13 degrees.