Tottenham Hotspur 0:1 Leicester City
City proved themselves to be serious title contenders with a 1:0 win against Spurs at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night…
Only Schmeichel and Kanté started from the FA Cup starting line-up at the same ground three days previously, with one change being made from the previous league outing, Okazaki in for Ulloa to partner Vardy up front.
Spurs got off to a strong start and Eriksen and Alderweireld forced saves from Schmeichel while Alli sent a shot wide.
City then got their high-tempo passing game together and created chances for Okazaki and Kanté which both missed the target.
The next one was on target, a Fuchs long throw was nodded on by the busy Okazaki and Drinkwater’s fierce shot was denied by a superb save from Lloris.
A dipping shot from Eriksen, blocked by Schmeichel was the last real chance of the half and the sides went in goalless at the break after another intriguing contest.
City came out of their corner swinging punches and Drinkwater and Vardy both had shots blocked in an early spell of pressure.
But it looked as though Tottenham would surely take the lead on the hour when Lamela slipped a ball through the defence that sent Kane in one on one with Schmeichel. The Danish keeper spread himself well and managed to get a touch to the England striker’s low shot that deflected the ball up and onto the bar, with the goal gaping.
With twenty minutes remaining Claudio Ranieri brought Ulloa on for Vardy and his brief front pairing with Okazaki worked well.
In one frantic passage of play in the Spurs area Mahrez, Drinkwater and Ulloa all had shots blocked before the home side finally cleared their lines.
King replaced Okazaki in the 77th minute before a finely balanced game finally tipped City’s way with 7 minutes remaining.
As City lined up for a corner Ulloa seemed to be getting all the attention of the Spurs defence. This left Huth lurking unmarked in the background and as Fuchs’ flag-kick came over the German had time to direct a thumping header beyond Lloris and into the top left hand corner.
This signalled manic scenes in the away corner which were further inflamed when news broke of Liverpool’s equaliser against Arsenal.
City’s defence remained unbreachable up to the final whistle which saw them level on points with the Gunners at the top of the table.
Remarkably, 43 points saw City overhaul last season’s total of 41.
While this result underlined City’s right to be where they are in the league Claudio Ranieri still had his feet on the ground: “It’s January. What a pity! If it was May, maybe. We must continue to work hard, to keep our feet on the ground. It is a crazy, crazy league this year and we must continue.”
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Kane, Lamela, Dier (Onomah 90), Alli, Eriksen (Dembele 70), Carroll (Son 82), Davies. Subs Not Used: Vorm, Rose, Trippier, Wimmer.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez (Dyer 90), Kanté, Drinkwater, Albrighton, Okazaki (King 77), Vardy (Ulloa 70). Subs Not Used: Gray, Wasilewski, Schwarzer, Inter.
Referee: L Mason. Attendance: 35,850.
ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.
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