Leicester City 0-2 Tottenham: Premier League – as it happened

A game of few chances and little goalmouth action was won by Spurs thanks to a goal and an assist from Son Heung-min

And with that, I’m done. Bye!

Here’s Mauricio Pochettino:

So happy. Three very important points for us to be in a very important position in the table. A very solid performance. I am so pleased. I think we show great character in this group. We play at Wembley and we play away from home and the team tries to do the same, to win games, that is the most important.

It’s a lot of games to play, we still didn’t finish the first half of the season. The most important is to be there in the last five, six, seven games of the season, trying to fight. We are capable to be there in the last five games.

Here’s Nick Ames’ match report from the King Power Stadium:

Mauricio Pochettino gambled, and saw it pay off handsomely. Tottenham’s manager must have acknowledged the element of risk in weakening his lineup against a Leicester side who were unbeaten in seven games but everything fell into place in a way that, with a potentially season-defining night in Barcelona looming on Tuesday, affords them the best possible chance of salvaging their Champions League campaign.

More here:

Dele Alli, the man of the match, admits he thought he might have been offside when he scored his goal:

Yeah, to be honest. When the ball went out [to Son] I was trying to hold my run but then he cut back on. I was trying to stay onside, trying to time it. I think it was, in a very tough game, a strong performance for us and in the end we deserved three points.

I’m not a fan of shirt-begging sign-clutching fans. It brings out the snarling grump in me. I’d have preferred it if Son and Alli deliberately handed their shirts to the person next to them.

It was a game that never quite caught fire. There didn’t seem to be a lack of desire on Leicester’s part, but certainly a lack of quality, particularly in attack, and a plan to stretch and discomfort Tottenham’s defence, even though Aurier in particular looked a little wobbly at times. Tottenham broke the deadlock with a goal that came from nowhere, but took a measure of control from there.

Final score: Leicester City 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur

90+3 mins: And that’s it! The final whistle sounds, and Spurs sprint back to third in the table!


90+2 mins: Thanks to those Ghezzal efforts Leicester now lead 3-2 on shots on target, Spurs having a 100% shot-on-target-to-goal conversion rate this evening.


90+1 mins: There will be about three minutes of stoppage time.

89 mins: Another save from Lloris! Ghezzal shoots low and hide but too central from 20 yards or so, and the Frenchman picks it up.

88 mins: Now Maddison’s cross from the right flashes just too far in front of Okazaki.

87 mins: Lloris makes a save! Ghezzal cuts back inside and from the left side of the area attempts a curler towards the far post, which is saved and held.

85 mins: Leicester are still running, trying, pushing. But this has been a pretty comfortable evening for Tottenham’s defence, and the Foxes really need a striker who can genuinely worry decent defences when Jamie Vardy is absent.

83 mins: Gray cuts in from the left, and though Walker-Peters does well to shadow his run and block his shot, the ball pings about afterwards, Okazaki gets it and turns, and it deflects wide for a corner.

81 mins: Gray, desperate to stop Spurs winning the ball, stretches a little too far and clips Walker-Peters, ensuring not only that Spurs do get the ball, but that he gets a booking.

79 mins: Leicester bring Okazaki on, and Mendy off.

77 mins: Aurier goes down, and after a bit of physio treatment he walks off, with Kyle Walker-Peters replacing him.

76 mins: It’s almost uncanny how similar tonight’s goal, Dele Alli’s 50th for Spurs, is to his first, which was scored at the same end of the same ground in the same way (though that cross bounced).

73 mins: It’s Son’s turn to put his feet up, with Kane now on the pitch.

72 mins: Looks like Harry Kane is going to come on for a bit of a runaround.

71 mins: Meanwhile in Barcelona, Lionel Messi is at it again. Perhaps he will now be tired enough to require resting on Tuesday.

69 mins: Leicester just aren’t getting the rub of the green at vital moments. Gray gets into the area, but his shot not only hits Alderweireld, in bounces back into him and then out of play. Goal kick.

67 mins: Tottenham bring on Eriksen, in place of Lucas Moura.

65 mins: Albrighton fouls Son from behind, and gets himself a booking.

64 mins: In the centre circle Alli leaves the ball for Lucas Moura, who leaves the ball for Alli. Leicester snaffle it and go forward, but the move ends when Maddison goes down on the edge of the area and the referee waves play on.

61 mins: “You can see Tottenham going on and winning now,” says John Hartson on commentary. Sparkling analysis there, John.

60 mins: Replays suggest Alli was marginally offside when Son’s cross came in. It was, to be fair, very close.

GOAL! Leicester 0-2 Tottenham (Alli, 58 mins)

An assist now for Son! When the ball was played to him by Lucas Moura Alli was clear at the far post, if only he could come up with a decent, quick low cross. He doesn’t, though. He hangs onto it for an age, but Alli remains totally unmarked at the far post, and when Son eventually decides to cross to him he heads in from three yards!

Dele Alli makes it 2-0 with Kasper Schmeichel helpless.
Dele Alli makes it 2-0 with Kasper Schmeichel helpless. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images


56 mins: A double change for the home side, who bring on Ghezzal and Albrighton, and take off Iborra and Iheanacho.

55 mins: The free-kick is clipped into the area, headed on and Lloris catches it about two feet over the goalline, well wide of goal. The linesman waves play on.

54 mins: Ricardo launches into a remarkable if brief mazy run through the Tottenham half, twisting this way, spinning the other, and eventually being caught.

53 mins: Now it’s Gray’s turn to try to replicate Son’s goal, cutting in from the right and, from almost precisely the same spot from which the Korean scored, curling a shot that was a bit too weak, and easily saved.

51 mins: Lloris hits a poor clearance, which clips Maddison’s boot and runs to Chilwell, who bursts forward, runs into the box and then skews his shot well wide of the near post.

50 mins: There’s Morgan again, sliding across to block another Son shot. He’s having one of those games, turning the clock back a couple of years.

49 mins: Son cuts in from the right again and decides to repeat his first-half curler. This time, though, he thumps it into orbit!

48 mins: Leicester break smartly, Iheanacho passes left to Chilwell, but the overlapping left-back pulls the ball straight back to a white shirt.

46 mins: Spurs knock the ball around for a while, until Davies clumps a remarkably useless pass into touch.

46 mins: Peeeeeep! Leicester get the second half started.

Out comes the home side. No changes at the break, and both sides ready to get things back under way.

Tottenham’s players are back out. Leicester’s are still stuck indoors.

Son’s was the only shot on target in the first half. It wasn’t a great half, notably low in goalmouth action, but there was some quality action in there just trying to get out: Son’s beautiful first touch before being stopped by a linesman’s flag; Lucas Moura’s beautiful first touch before his cross was cut out; Maddison’s progressive promptings around the area; Morgan repeatedly being in the right place at the right time. A goal could be just what it needs to catch fire. Well, here’s hoping.

Half time: Leicester 0-1 Tottenham

45+2 mins: A few seconds later, the whistle goes. Alli’s chance in the 45th minute was the best of the half, and Son’s brilliant goal came about half a minute later, the game cramming all its best first-half action into the final 90 seconds.

GOAL! Leicester 0-1 Tottenham (Son, 45+1 mins)

Twelve seconds from the end of stoppage time, Spurs steal the lead in style! Son cuts in from the right and from 20 yards curls an absolute beauty into the far corner!

Son Heung-min curls in a brilliant shot to give Spurs the lead.
Son Heung-min curls in a brilliant shot to give Spurs the lead. Photograph: Darren Staples/Reuters


45 mins: But Spurs nearly take the lead! Alli bursts through, and Morgan slides in at the last moment to steal the ball away.

44 mins: Both sides continue to look unlikely to score, with both managers having some work to do at the break.

40 mins: Spurs win a free kick, in a central location, perhaps 35 yards out. Son smacks it wildly wide.

38 mins: Spurs break, with a long pass to Sissoko. He carries the ball down the right wing before cutting inside and waiting for assistance. Both Alli and Lucas Moura sprint 60 yards to provide it, running unmarked down the middle, and so Sissoko passes it straight to a defender.

37 mins: Alli pushes the ball past Evans and throws himself to the ground on his way past. If there was contact, the referee didn’t see it.

35 mins: Defences are doing a little bit too well, and there have so far been just two shots, with each team having one.

32 mins: Spurs have continued to dominate, but in the last few minutes have been constantly pressuring the Leicester defence, which has so far remained impressively resolute.

29 mins: Alli plays a one-two with Lucas Moura and skips past a defender, but Morgan appears in the nick of time to block his shot.

28 mins: Barcelona, Tottenham’s opponents on Tuesday, are playing a derby at Espanyol this evening. They currently lead 2-0, thanks to a masterful Messi free-kick and a second from Dembélé.

26 mins: Then Alli plays the ball to Son, whose first touch to send a ball that was behind him spinning perfectly into his path was delicious, but the linesman’s flag is raised.

24 mins: Oh but that’s not bad! A long ball over the top finds Lucas Moura haring clear, and his first touch to control the ball is magnificent! His attempt to pull the ball back to Son, though, finds a defender.

23 mins: Spurs have massively dominated possession over the last 10 minutes, though without doing anything very interesting with it.

19 mins: Spurs press for a while, but Leicester do an excellent job of closing them down and holding their shape, and eventually force the visitors to turn back.

Ricardo Pereira attempts to dispossess Ben Davies.
Ricardo Pereira attempts to dispossess Ben Davies. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images


16 mins: Mendy lands his studs on the back of Sissoko’s foot. The Spurs player goes down clutching the top of his calf, absolutely nowhere near the point of contact, and Mendy gets a booking.


13 mins: It has been a promising start, and Leicester have had the best of it.

10 mins: Chilwell escapes down the left, outpaces Aurier and pulls the ball back, but Vertonghen turns it behind with Iheanacho just behind him and waiting to pounce.

9 mins: Dier slides in a little untidily, and though he gets heel on the ball he also tripped Iheanacho, and the referee thinks it’s worth a booking.

7 mins: Now Ndidi makes a run from deep, savagely outpaces Vertonghen but then blasts a volley way high from just outside the area.

6 mins: After a Spurs free kick is cleared Leicester break tidily, only for Ndidi to hit the ball against a Tottenham leg when a better pass would have sent Iheanacho clear.

4 mins: Both teams try to play forwards in, but Maddison’s run is well tracked and Morgan sees off Lucas Moura.

2 mins: Leicester burst forward, and Maddison plays the ball into the area for Iheanacho, but his attempt to turn back is stopped by Aurier.

1 min: Peeeeeeep! Tottenham get the game started!

Harry Kane has only missed six Premier League minutes so far this season. The last time he was left out of the starting XI was on April Fool’s Day, at Chelsea, and he started only three league games last season on the bench. Spurs won them all.

The players are already on their way out!

BT Sport still haven’t started concentrating on this game. Here’s a photo of some players warming up, just to prove that it happened:

Nampalys Mendy of Leicester City
Nampalys Mendy of Leicester City warms up ahead of the Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at the King Power Stadium. Photograph: Plumb Images/Leicester City via Getty Images

The final whistle goes at Stamford Bridge, and Manchester City are unbeaten no longer.

With Chelsea apparently on their way to victory at home to Manchester City, Tottenham will start the game in fifth, and because of Chelsea’s superior goal difference will need a win to return to third.


I’m forever ribbing Mrs B about the amount of footwear she takes on our occasional travels. Tottenham players though (assuming they didn’t arrive barefoot) need five pairs for an afternoon in Leicester, which leaves her very much in the shade.

The Tottenham dressing-room at Leicester
A view inside the Tottenham Hotspur dressing room prior to the Premier League match against Leicester City at The King Power Stadium. Photograph: Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Mauricio Pochettino seems to have made a couple of big calls: Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen are only on the bench, saving their legs for Tuesday, and presumably will remain there if Spurs take control of the game in the first hour.

The teams!

Team news is in, and this is it:

Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Morgan, Evans, Chilwell, Iborra, Ndidi, Gray, Maddison, Mendy, Iheanacho. Subs: Albrighton, Ward, Maguire, Okazaki, Fuchs, Ghezzal, Choudhury.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Winks, Sissoko, Alli, Son, Lucas Moura. Subs: Rose, Kane, Nkoudou, Walker-Peters, Gazzaniga, Eriksen, Skipp.
Referee: Craig Pawson.

Hello world!

The third (domestically) televised Premier League game of an exhausting day of top-flight action comes from Leicester. Tottenham have won seven of their last eight games in all competitions, their only hiccup being the 4-2 derby savaging at Arsenal, but could be distracted by thoughts of the win-or-bust trip to Barcelona looming in midweek. Like their opponents Leicester have one defeat in their last eight games and that came at Arsenal, but though they are unbeaten in seven in all competitions five of those games have been drawn and only in one - the 2-0 victory over Watford in their last home game - has any side scored more than a single goal.

Talking of goals, Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy scored three apiece in fixtures against each other last season but Vardy is out of this one with a groin problem. Team news to come imminently. In the meantime, welcome! Here, have a Christmas reindeer.

A Leicester City Christmas reindeer
A Leicester City Christmas reindeer is seen prior to the Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at The King Power Stadium. Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images