I never thought I’d say this, but we managed to win a game by more than one goal! Easy game! Except the game was anything BUT easy… Here’s my thoughts.
We went into this game in good form as far as the league was concerned, and strangely enough, closer to the top than anyone would’ve expected at this stage in the season! Still without Dele and Kane, also no Davies. Facing a Leicester side who had recently given very good games to the likes of Liverpool and the newly revived Manchester United, arguably deserving more from both. Usual suspects once again, Rose starting, Llorente back in the side to which I was very happy to see, with Skipp getting another big start in a slightly advanced midfield role. Toby received a rest, to which I can assume is before Wednesday’s big game in the Champions League. Surprisingly no Jamie Vardy in the opposition’s starting XI, only making the bench.
In the first half, whilst we were not the better team, we were the one that was more hard done by in terms of refereeing decisions. Now I am not one that particularly likes blaming officials, as they all do a better job than I ever could, but Michael Oliver did get a few decisions wrong. Particularly a big penalty shout when Maguire fouled Son in the box, only for our number 7 to get booked for simulation, to which I thought was definitely the wrong decision. Anyway, against all odds, we actually took the lead, with Eriksen putting in a great ball for Davinson Sanchez. Happy to see him get his first goal in a Spurs shirt, with a very good header as well. Ending the half 1-0, which maybe wasn’t quite deserved but we definitely needed it.
Second half started and we did not look much better, with a mixture of solid defending and Leicester squandering their chances keeping the score 1-0 to us. Nevertheless, our opponents’ constant pressure lead to them getting an eventual penalty for a foul on James Maddison, to what I think was very similar to Son’s, but we won’t go there. But, with no Vardy on the pitch, who was going to take it! With Maddison missing his last two, who do you pick if you’re Puel or the team. Well.. Vardy.. Obviously.. Their main man came on directly to take the penalty, which would literally be his first kick of the game. A lot of pressure. So he stepped up, driving the ball hard and low just to the keepers right, only to be SAVED BY LLORIS! No it wasn’t a drill, Hugo saved the penalty! And what a turning point this proved to be. Now I, along with many Spurs fans will agree, Lloris does get his fair share of criticism, and rightfully so to be honest. However, he has to be praised when he deserves that too, and no one can deny he is still a fantastic keeper, and remains our number one for a reason, with what actually was a Man of the Match performance in this game. We then went up the other end and within a couple of minutes, Eriksen smashing the ball in the bottom left corner of the net from just outside the box, to what seemed to wrap up the game. But no, we don’t ever make it THAT easy.. come on..
Leicester continued to press, scoring from a good bit of play down the right, with Vardy making up slightly for his earlier penalty miss. We dug deep, defended well, and right at the death, our man in form, Sonny got a third for us to seal the points. A very good win, especially when we again, didn’t play amazingly. But without our star men, grinding out these results is fantastic, and the boys deserve a lot of credit for the mentality and strength shown to win the last few, especially after our poor showings in the cup games.
In terms of talking points, I think we need to re-evaluate our full backs. As a lot of space Leicester found were behind the likes of Rose and Trippier, so we do need to watch this. Additionally, we somehow actually remain up there in the league. Only 5 points off top, with a trip to Burnley next, whilst City don’t play, and Liverpool travel to Man United. So the gap may even be cut to 2, if results go our way. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We aren’t really aiming for the league title, and I don’t see us winning it, with trips to Stamford Bridge, Anfield and The Ethihad left, we have a tough run in. Which is why the point gap between 4th place remains important, and right now stands at 9 points. So we just keep playing our game, and see where we stand after games against Chelsea and Arsenal in the coming weeks. Positive news comes from Harry Kane, who hopefully will be back for the game against Burnley in the next week of fixtures. I would not start him, but bring him off the bench if he is available. Ease him back in, we don’t want any more injuries! Now it’s onto a massive game on Wednesday night. Back at Wembley in Champions League action against Dortmund. I am excited. Keep a look out for my review in the coming days.
As always thanks for reading.