Tottenham Hotspur vs Leicester City. Premier League.
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Report and free match highlights as Tottenham climb to fourth after Heung-min Son and Harry Kane overcome much-changed Leicester; Only Mohamed Salah has more Premier League goals than Son this season after South Korean nets 18th and 19th of the campaign
Monday 2 May 2022 06:17, UK
Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane fired Tottenham to a 3-1 win over Leicester and above Arsenal into fourth in the Premier League - for a few hours at least.
After defeat to Brighton and a draw at Brentford in their last two outings Spurs could ill-afford another setback but their trusted attacking duo delivered another inspired performance to get their bid for Champions League qualification back on track.
Kane ended a five-game goal drought with a 22nd-minute header from Son's first-half corner before Dejan Kulusevski, a surprise omission from the Spurs starting XI, came off the bench to set up Son for the second on the hour.
Son then put the game to bed with a sensational curled finish into the top corner of the Leicester net with 11 minutes remaining as Spurs climbed into fourth before Arsenal regained the position with victory at West Ham in Sunday's late kick-off.
Leicester's spirited performance, in spite of making wholesale changes, was rewarded with a late consolation from Kelechi Iheanacho, whose stoppage-time strike sent the Foxes into Thursday's decisive Europa Conference League semi-final second leg at Roma on a positive note.
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
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.