Leicester City 0:2 Tottenham Hotspur
City were eased aside by a below-strength Tottenham side at the King Power Stadium on Saturday night…
Claude Puel made four changes to his side, with Evans, Ricardo, Gray and Iborra back in the side and a place for Maguire on the bench. With Vardy still injured, Iheanacho retained the lone striker role.
With an eye on Tuesday night’s game against Barcelona, Pochettino left Kane and Eriksen out of his starting line-up.
City had the best of the opening spell: in the second minute Maddison set Iheanacho up, but he dithered on the ball and was robbed by Aurier.
Ndidi then broke through but ballooned his shot over the bar.
And in the 10th minute Chilwell beat Aurier down the left but his cross was blocked by Vertonghen before it reached Iheanacho.
Spurs got a hold on possession after that, but rarely threatened City’s goal.
Alli played a one-two with Lucas Moura in the area, but Morgan, who had a fine game, snuffed out the danger.
In the 37th minute Alli threw himself to the ground in the area, with no contact from Evans, but Craig Pawson decided it didn’t warrant a yellow card.
Tottenham were applying some pressure leading up to the break – Alli almost got through but was denied by Morgan. But just when it looked as though City would make it to half-time on level terms Spurs opened the scoring seconds before time.
Son was given too much room on the edge of the area and curled a shot across Schmeichel and in at the far post.
If City had matched Spurs for most of the first half, they never really got into gear after the break, with too many misplaced passes, and virtually no options up front.
Son attempted another shot, but blazed it high and wide. And then tried another, which was blocked by Morgan.
Lloris then presented City with a chance from a terrible clearance but Chilwell, scuffed a hurried shot well wide.
Claude Puel made a double change in the 56th minute bringing Ghezzal and Albrighton on for Iborra and Iheanacho, but two minutes later Spurs doubled their lead.
Son crossed from the left and an unmarked – and offside looking – Alli beat Schmeichel with a diving header at the far post.
It was difficult to see City coming back with so little presence up front. At one point Albrighton shaped to cross, but had to stop with absolutely nobody in the area.
In the 79th minute Puel brought Okazaki on for Mendy, and his enthusiasm at least sparked a late rally. Gray had a shot blocked, and then, in the 87th minute, City had their first shot on target, when Ghezzal curled a shot straight at Lloris. Maddison then fired a ball across the six yard line, but Okazaki couldn’t reach it. Ghezzal then sent a tame shot at Lloris to double the shots on target stat.
Overall, it was a very poor night for City, and one striker being injured should not constitute a crisis. This over-reliance on Jamie Vardy needs to be addressed in the January transfer window if City are hoping to achieve a top half finish.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Morgan, Evans, Chilwell, Mendy (Okazaki 79), Iborra (Albrighton 56), Ndidi, Gray, Iheanacho (Ghezzal 56), Maddison.
Substitutes: Ward, Maguire, Fuchs, Choudhury.
Tottenham: Lloris, Aurier (Walker-Peters 78), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Winks, Sissoko, Alli, Son Heung-Min (Kane 74), Lucas Moura (Eriksen 67).
Substitutes: Rose, Nkoudou, Gazzaniga, Skipp.
Referee: Craig Pawson. Attendance: 31,957.
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FOX 210 is out now and is dedicated to the memory of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabh and the others who died in the tragedy at the King Power Stadium.
Many thanks to everyone who contributed and we hope it is a fitting tribute.
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