Gun Shy Foxes falter at Spurs
Written By: Robert Halter
Tottenham Hotspur sought after a third win on the spin against Leicester City in an early February encounter at Wembley stadium. After a foul on Demarai Gray by Danny Rose, a free kick from James Maddison was connected to with a header by Harry Maguire, which was tipped over the crossbar from Hugo Lloris, in the eighth minute. From the resulting corner which was taken by Maddison, the ball was headed over from Jonny Evans. But a gilt edge chance fell to Harvey Barnes, who struck a low effort past the right post while in sight of goal following a Youri Tielemans through ball, in the ninth minute. After falling under the challenge of Evans, a yellow card was shown to Heung-Min Son. In the eighteenth minute, Christian Eriksen spearheaded a Spurs threat, and as Fernando Llorente held up play, Son found Rose on the left, whose strike was paddled away from Kasper Schmeichel, before Llorente turned the ball wide of the right post. But the Foxes were back on the trot in the twenty first minute, when a cross by Barnes, was curled past the right post by Maddison. In the thirty first minute, Ben Chilwell won the challenge on Eriksen, before Barnes struck a glaring miss out wide to the left of the post. But it was the Lilywhites celebrating in the thirty third minute, when Kieran Trippier’s corner went out wide to Eriksen, who floated the ball in, and while under the challenge of Maguire, a downward header from Davinson Sanchez, crashed into the middle of the net. Before the half time break a swerving strike by Tielemans from the left side line resulted in Lloris crashing into his near post to prevent the ball creeping in. Three minutes into the second half, Trippier’s cross deflected off Chilwell, before a header from Llorente, flew over. In the fifty first minute, from Ricardo Pereira’s cross, a header by Gray went straight into the clutches of Lloris. On fifty five minutes, after exchanging passes with Barnes, on the turn Gray fired directly at Lloris. But the Foxes were awarded a penalty by referee Michael Oliver, after Jan Vertonghen brought down Maddison in the area, but before the spot kick was taken Jamie Vardy came off the bench to replace Gray, and in his first kick of the match, Vardy stepped up to take the penalty which was saved at full stretch by Lloris, as he clawed the ball away from the bottom left corner, on the hour mark. The Lilywhites then went further ahead in the sixty third minute, when Oliver Skipp looked to control the ball with his arm in a coming together with Pereira, before Eriksen combined with Llorente, and then finished the move by curling the ball from outside the area into the left side of the net. The Foxes response was a pass through from Vardy, before Maddison’s strike was blocked with the out stretched right boot of Lloris. Spurs soon switched Skipp with Toby Alderweireld. The Foxes then brought on Kelechi Iheanacho for Rachid Ghezzal. But Leicester gained a reward for their efforts, as Tielemans found Pereira, whose low cross on the right, was turned in by Vardy while shrugging off Alderweireld, on seventy six minutes. The Lilywhites next change was Victor Wanyama for Llorente. Again Tielemans combined with Pereira, but this time Vardy’s strike went high over to the right, in the eighty second minute. Within a minute, a long ball forward by Evans, was turned into the outside netting of the right post from Iheanacho. Changes near the end were made as Tottenham replaced Rose with Kyle Walker-Peters while Leicester brought on Shinji Okazaki for Barnes. In the ninetieth minute, from a Maddison corner, a rising header from Chilwell was caught by Lloris. But in the first minute of stoppage time, Spurs sealed a 3-1 victory, when Maddison gave the ball away to Sissoko, who then found Son, who raced the length of the pitch, before gliding the ball past Schmeichel, into the bottom left corner. Following another Maddison corner, a header by Chilwell was clasped by Lloris, as the win kept Spurs in third place, five points off the top of the league table.