Tottenham moved within six points of new league leaders Liverpool with a comfortable victory against Leicester, whose six-game unbeaten run comes to an end.
An extraordinary strike from Son just before halftime and a header from Deli Alli gave Spurs the two-goal lead to which the home side had no response. The Foxes remain in ninth place, while Tottenham leap back into third place, where they began at the start of the day.
The clean sheet will please Mauricio Pochettino greatly and the Spurs defence, who have taken a fair amount of criticism after recent games, deserve a lot of credit for denying Leicester any golden opportunities.
Spurs manage without Kane and Eriksen
Fantasy football players around the country would have been left frustrated by Pochettino’s decision to leave out two of Spurs’ most valued players. However, the Argentinian should be forgiven for benching Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen ahead of their huge upcoming Champions League match against Barcelona on Tuesday.
Tottenham coped just fine without their main men, scoring two goals with neither player on the pitch. It’s a testament to the effect the manager has had on the team that the starting front four of Sissoko, Alli, Son and Lucas were able to create chances to pick up three points and effectively take them throughout the first two-thirds of the game.
A special contribution from Son
Not for the first time this season, Son Heung-min excelled throughout the match and was a continual threat to Leicester’s goal. Just before halftime, the South Korean sent an excellent curling effort from outside the box into the top left corner, way out of the reach of Kasper Schmeichel to give Spurs the lead going into the break. He also provided the assist for the second goal with a composed, pinpoint cross to put it on a plate for Dele Alli.
The 26-year-old has been on fire in recent games, scoring or assisting six goals in as many Premier League games. After recovering from an injury earlier in the season, Son has bounced back better than ever and most would agree that he is the Lilywhite’s best player at this moment in time.
Leicester lacking attacking prowess at home
Although they managed to surge forward on numerous occasions on the night, Leicester rarely had a clear-cut opportunity to score. Lloris was definitely tested but was never required to pull a save out of the top drawer.
In truth, the Foxes have not quite managed to conjure up many chances at the King Power this season and have scored just ten goals in eight games. It seems the King Power is not quite the fortress it was when they won the title and this needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
In regards to Saturday’s match, it’s important to take into account the unavailability of Jamie Vardy, who often provides the focal point of most of Leicester’s attacks. His absence was certainly felt against Tottenham, who managed to defend fairly comfortably throughout the game.
Tightrope defending from Spurs
It was a strange game for Leicester in many ways, because they had more shots than their opposition and more attempts. Yet Spurs took their chances and were clinical in attack and effectively put the game out of reach for their hosts.
The Foxes were not tepid in going forward and often found themselves in the final third and in and around Spurs’ penalty area. The back line were pushed back on a lot of occasions but every time they were resolute and done what was necessary to keep the Foxes out. They made a number of last-ditch tackles and when Leicester’s attack got through, Hugo Lloris was there to protect the net.
Are Tottenham still in the title race?
Based on performances and the six-point gap between third place and second place, many have jumped to the conclusion that the title challenge is a two-horse race between Liverpool and Manchester City. But with the latter losing to Chelsea earlier in the day, Spurs have edged two points closer to the top of the table and there are now only six points between them and Liverpool.
Tottenham have had a couple of title charges in recent years and were in the title race for a large portion of the 2015/16 and 2016/17 campaigns. What’s more is that Tottenham have now reached their best Premier League points tally after 16 matches, meaning they may be set to contest for the league once more.
However, losing four games in sixteen is not a great track record – it just happens that they’ve won all of their other matches. If they are to mount a title challenge, they may need to fight for those extra points in those games that they’ve lost.
Man of the Match – Son Heung-min
Son was once again a standout performer on the Spurs team. He was instrumental in most of their attacks and contributed with a brilliant goal and an immaculate assist for Dele Alli, who also had a great performance in the East Midlands.