Tottenham outfox Leicester to maintain title bid as Vardy misses from spot

Tottenham 3 - 1 Leicester

Tottenham kept themselves in the Premier League title race with a 3-1 win over Leicester, who saw Jamie Vardy miss a penalty with his first touch of the game.

Goals from Davinson Sanchez, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min inspired a fourth successive victory which ensures Spurs will finish the weekend within five points of top spot.

Vardy, who was dropped to the substitutes’ bench amid rumours of a bust-up with Claude Puel, missed the chance to equalise as his spot-kick immediately after coming on was saved by Hugo Lloris, though the former England striker atoned for it later by turning home to give his side a glimmer of hope.

But Spurs made the game safe at the death when Son scored a breakaway goal, which gave them a 20th win of the campaign and kept them hot on the heels of title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.

For Leicester it was a fifth defeat in six games in all competitions and the pressure continues to mount on Puel, who will have questions to answer about Vardy’s omission.

It might have been different had the 32-year-old forward been on the pitch from the start as they wasted a fine chance to go ahead.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Leicester manager Claude Puel started with former England striker Jamie Vardy on the bench (Bradley Collyer/PA)</figcaption>
Leicester manager Claude Puel started with former England striker Jamie Vardy on the bench (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Harvey Barnes shrugged off some shirt-tugging by Kieran Trippier to go through on goal but the youngster put his shot wide of the post.

After Son had been booked for diving when he looked to have been fouled by Harry Maguire, Leicester were soon relying on goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel to keep the scores level.

Spurs cut their visitors open and Son fed Danny Rose, who got himself into a fine position but his right-footed shot was palmed away by the Leicester keeper.

That had been the home side’s best moment until they took a 33rd-minute lead.

Trippier’s corner was played short to Eriksen, who floated in an inviting cross for Sanchez to power home a diving head for his first goal in a Spurs shirt.

Before Tottenham’s goal Barnes had missed another fine chance as he shot wide of the target and after the break Leicester passed up three good opportunities to level.

Demarai Gray had two of them as he headed straight at Lloris and then again found the Spurs keeper with a low shot before the decisive period of the match.

Another Leicester attack saw James Maddison knocked over by Jan Vertonghen with Michael Oliver pointing to the spot.

The Foxes were ready to make a substitution as Vardy was preparing to come on for Gray and they pressed ahead with it and the striker ran straight over to take the spot-kick.

But his first kick of the match was brilliantly saved by Lloris, who got down well to his right to keep out the penalty.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Vardy saw his penalty saved by Hugo Lloris just seconds after coming on as a 59th-minute substitute (John Walton/PA)</figcaption>
Vardy saw his penalty saved by Hugo Lloris just seconds after coming on as a 59th-minute substitute (John Walton/PA)

Vardy and Leicester’s misery was compounded three minutes later as Spurs doubled their lead.

Oliver Skipp charged down Ricardo Pereira’s clearance, Fernando Llorente fed Eriksen, who added to his earlier assist by sending a low shot into the bottom corner.

Vardy bounced back from his penalty miss to make a game of it when he turned in Pereira’s cross from close range and they were pressing for an equaliser and the striker drilled another effort over.

But Spurs made sure of the points in the 90th minute as Son scored a breakaway goal, racing clear from the halfway line and coolly converting his 15th of the campaign.

- Press Association

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