Tottenham ascend to fourth place following Heung-min Son and Harry Kane fire Spurs past a much-changed Foxes Only Mohamed Salah has scored more Premier League goals this season than Son, who scored his 18th and 19th goals of the season.
View highlights from Tottenham Hotspur’s Premier League victory over Leicester City.
Spurs beat Leicester 3-1, moving them over Arsenal into fourth place in the Premier League – at least for the time being. Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane scored both goals.
Spurs could ill-afford another setback after losing to Brighton and drawing with Brentford in their previous two games, but their trusted offensive partnership produced another great display to get their Champions League qualifying bid back on track.
Kane scored his fifth goal in five games with a 22nd-minute header from Son’s first-half corner, before Dejan Kulusevski, a surprising absence from the Spurs starting XI, came off the bench to set up Son for the second on the hour.
With 11 minutes remaining, Son put the game to bed with a stunning curled finish into the top corner of the Leicester net, lifting Spurs into fourth place ahead of Arsenal, who reclaimed the spot with a win against West Ham in Sunday’s late kick-off.
Despite making sweeping changes, Leicester’s spirited display was rewarded with a late consolation goal from Kelechi Iheanacho, whose stoppage-time strike put the Foxes in a positive position heading into Thursday’s vital Europa Conference League semi-final second leg at Roma.
Tottenham: Lloris (6), Royal (6), Romero (7), Dier (7), Davies (6), Moura (5), Hojbjerg (6), Bentancur (6), Sessegnon (6), Son (8), Kane (7).
Subs: Kulusevski (7), Winks (n/a), Bergwijn (n/a).
Leicester: Schmeichel (6), Castagne (6), Amartey (6), Soyuncu (5), Thomas (6), Albrighton (6), Mendy (5), Soumare (6), Perez (6), Daka (6), Iheanacho (7).
Subs: Tielemans (6), Vardy (5), Brunt (5).
Man of the Match: Heung-min Son
Son & Kane inspire Tottenham’s top-four bid
Spurs started with all the continuity of a team which featured just one pre-match alteration but, having failed to capitalise on their energetic start, it was much-changed Leicester who threatened first, with Patson Daka pouncing on some hesitant defending to rattle the post before the quarter-hour.
- Lucas Moura replaced Dejan Kulusevski in Tottenham’s only change from the goalless draw at Brentford.
- Kasper Schmeichel, Marc Albrighton and Timothy Castagne were the only players to keep their places as Leicester made eight changes from Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Roma.
The breakthrough came midway through the first half when Kane was afforded the freedom of the Leicester area and stooped to head in Son’s corner unmarked at the near post – his 17th goal in 14 Premier League appearances against the Foxes.
Leicester pushed for an equaliser before the break, but Iheanacho could only drag a shot wide, before Daka came within inches of turning Ayoze Perez’s deflected volley in on the stretch.
With Spurs in need of inspiration early in the second half, Antonio Conte turned to Kulusevski and the Sweden international made an instant impact, laying on the second for Son, whose goal was allowed to stand despite Leicester protests for a foul on Caglar Soyuncu in the build-up.
Two became three in exquisite fashion 11 minutes from time when Son received the ball 20 yards from goal, shifted onto his left foot, and curled a stunning effort into the top corner of Kasper Schmeichel’s goal.
It looked to have been the final word on a perfect return to winning ways for Spurs, but Iheanacho’s late effort, which squirmed past Hugo Lloris and in off the near post, denied the hosts a clean sheet and ensured Leicester had something to take with them into their showdown in Rome.
Conte: A vital three points for Spurs
Tottenham manager Antonio Conte: “We got three points at an important moment of the season, especially because we are going to face Liverpool and then Arsenal in the next games. Today was vital to get three points.
“When you have to play for only one result there is a lot of pressure, but I said to my play to live in this moment and enjoy it because we deserve it after the really great work we’ve done in these six months.
“No one at the start of the season would have imagined that Tottenham could fight for a place in the Champions League, especially in November when there was the [managerial] change. For this reason we have to be satisfied that we stay in this position and fight for a big achievement.”
Rodgers frustrated by soft goals
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers: “I’m a little frustrated but pleased at the same time. We started the game very well, we controlled the first 20 minutes and looked a threat, we hit the post and that stopped us going in front.
“I’m frustrated with the first two goals; we’ve lacked aggression in that area and have suffered from that all season. The players could have felt sorry for themselves and unravelled at 2-0, Spurs are a good team and can score lots of goals, but they didn’t do that.
“The spirit was there, we kept fighting and working, and got our reward with a really good goal from Kelechi. But soft goals at certain moments have cost us this season, that’s the biggest disappointment.”
Spurs save best for Leicester – Opta stats
- Since their return to the Premier League in 2014, Leicester have conceded more league goals against Tottenham than they have versus any other side (39). Tottenham’s 39 goals against Leicester is also the most they have scored against an opponent in that time.
- Spurs striker Harry Kane has scored 17 goals in 14 matches against Leicester in the Premier League, the most goals he has scored against any side. In the competition’s history, only Alan Shearer (20 against Leeds) has scored more goals against a specific opponent.
- Spurs striker Harry Kane has scored 14 goals past Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel in the Premier League, the joint-most goals a player has put past a single goalkeeper in the competition along with Alan Shearer vs Nigel Martyn.
- Spurs winger Dejan Kulusevski has registered more assists than any other player in the Premier League since making his first start in the competition on February 19th (8).
Tottenham travel to title-chasing Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday at 7.45pm, before hosting Arsenal in a pivotal north London derby on May 12 at 7.45pm – live on Sky Sports.
Leicester travel to Roma for their Europa Conference League semi-final second leg on Thursday at 8pm, before hosting Everton in the Premier League on Sunday at 2pm.