Cristian Romero and Son Heung-min got Tottenham Hotspur’s UEFA Champions League hopes back on track helping them to a convincing 3-1 win over Leicester City.
Tottenham Hotspur put in an excellent performance to see off Leicester City 3-1 at home on Sunday. Spurs started off slowly but made themselves comfortable and then seized control of the game. Harry Kane gave the home side the lead in the 22nd minute before a brace by Son Heung-min in the second half settled the tie.
Kelechi Iheanacho got one back for the Foxes in stoppage time but it was nothing more than a consolation. The win took Tottenham back into contention for a top-four spot. With Chelsea also dropping points, anything is possible in the final few weeks of the campaign.
With Liverpool up next, Tottenham cannot afford to travel to Anfield unprepared. As long as they show the quality and hunger they did on Sunday, they could give Jurgen Klopp’s quadruple chasers a game. Leicester, meanwhile, appeared to have an eye on their upcoming UEFA Conference League semi-final. Winning the competition remains the Foxes’ only chance of securing European football for next season.
Brendan Rodgers’s side was noticeably second best for vast periods of the game and something will need to be done soon. All eyes will now be on their clash against AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico. For now, The Hard Tackle looks at how the Tottenham and Leicester stars fared on Sunday.
Hugo Lloris (8/10)
The veteran was a reliable last line of defence and made a couple of excellent saves that kept the momentum in Tottenham’s favour. His save from Patson Daka early in the first half was especially important as it prevented Leicester from seizing the initiative. He also prevented Iheanacho from scoring in the second half but could do nothing about the Nigerian’s stoppage-time consolation.
Cristian Romero (9/10)
Cristian Romero numbers vs Leicester City
40 accurate passes (81.6%)
3 accurate long balls
2 aerial duels won (100%)
2 successful dribbles (100%) ??
— MatthewTHFC??????? (@thfc_MatthewSZN) May 1, 2022
A dominant performance from the Argentine colossus who was near perfect on the day. Romero made a series of crucial challenges and even swept up behind his defensive teammates when needed. It was as close as possible to a perfect performance since he joined the club last summer. His role particularly in Spurs’ second goal should be a case study for modern defenders.
Eric Dier (7/10)
The Englishman gave away a few cheap fouls but was largely reliable. His no-nonsense style of defending would have received more attention had it not been for Romero’s masterclass.
Ben Davies (6/10)
The Welshman offered more in attack than at the back. He was in particular bailed out by Romero after surrendering possession cheaply in the Spurs box.
Emerson Royal (6/10)
He was arguably the poorest of Tottenham’s defensive stars. Emerson struggled for the majority of the first half and was suspect at times. He grew in confidence as the match went on. He can and should be doing much better.
Rodrigo Bentancur (8/10)
?? Rodrigo Bentancur made more successful tackles (4/4), made more interceptions (3), won more ground duels (8/11) and suffered more fouls (3) than any other Tottenham player against Leicester City.
— Mozo Football (@MozoFootball) May 1, 2022
The former Juventus man received a yellow card but it was the only dampener in what was a sensational performance in midfield. He got stuck in when needed and was a physical barrier that Leicester failed to overcome. Bentancur deservedly received a standing ovation when he came off in the second half.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (6/10)
The Dane’s performance lacked any particularly standout moments. However, he used his athleticism to great effect and was a constant menace to the opposition in the middle of the park.
Ryan Sessegnon (7/10)
The youngster appears to be returning to his element and was defensively sound. Leicester preferred attacking down his side and he got back well to support Davies. Sessegnon also proved to be an excellent option going forward and offered more than Emerson on the other flank.
Lucas Moura (4/10)
Moura was Tottenham’s worst player on the day and did not appear to be on the same wavelength as his teammates. He was also poor in possession and lost the ball multiple times. It came as no surprise that he was substituted off early in the second half for Dejan Kulusevski.
Harry Kane (6/10)
The English skipper was poor in the opening stages but redeemed himself by scoring his side’s opener. Kane was not at his electric best but almost grabbed himself a second goal, only to be denied by Kasper Schmeichel.
Son Heung-min (9/10)
10 – Son Heung-min has scored 10 goals with his left foot this season in the Premier League, making him only the second right-footed player to score 10+ goals in a single season with his left foot, after Harry Kane in 2017-18 (10). Ambipedal. pic.twitter.com/AB14iDwyc3
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 1, 2022
Two goals and an assist from the South Korean who ran the show in attack. He was nigh on impossible to defend against and took full advantage of any of Leicester’s slip-ups. Son was the best attacker on the pitch on Sunday.
Dejan Kulusevski (8/10)
A clear upgrade over Moura, he was electric on the right and earned both assists for Son’s brace. How he fares against Andy Robertson next week will be interesting to see.
Steven Bergwijn (NA)
He came on with eight minutes to go. Barely had time to make an impact.
Harry Winks (NA)
He too came on late and should have done better to prevent Leicester’s consolation goal.
Kasper Schmeichel (5/10)
Schmeichel ran to 40 yards to complain to the ref about a great tackle that was 60 yards away from him ?? pic.twitter.com/zHdG9y5Ndf
— Trevor Lloyd (@Trevorlloyd92) May 1, 2022
The veteran was sharp as usual but also fluffed his lines while coming to collect a corner. He had little to no chance of stopping any of the three goals that Tottenham scored.
Timothy Castagne (6/10)
He was the Foxes’ best defender on the day and made several crucial interceptions. Castagne also got forward when he could and did his best in what was a collectively poor outing.
Daniel Amartey (5/10)
The Ghanaian kept a close watch on Kane for most of the game, limiting the Englishman’s impact. Unfortunately, the one time he lost the Spurs ace ended up with Tottenham opening their scoring on the night.
Caglar Soyuncu (6/10)
The Turkish international used his physicality to great effect and was mostly solid at the back. He also made several accurate long passes as Leicester looked to hit Tottenham on the break. Soyuncu was, however, bested by Romero who kick-started the move for Tottenham’s second goal of the game.
Marc Albrighton (5/10)
The English winger started poorly and conceded possession several times. He grew more into the game as it wore on and even made a few darting runs from tight spaces. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for him.
Papy Mendy (5.5/10)
He almost played in Kane and had to rely on Schmeichel to bail him out. Mendy was otherwise smart and won a plethora of fouls for his side. This proved decisive at moments when Tottenham’s pressure and momentum threatened to overwhelm Leicester.
Boubakary Soumare (5/10)
Boubakary Soumaré numbers vs Tottenham Hotspur
— Six Pointer Stats (@SixPointerStats) May 1, 2022
The summer signing enjoyed a mixed game where he did not use his strengths to the team’s benefit. He fashioned a good chance for Daka but was far too casual when it came to tracking back and defending.
Luke Thomas (5/10)
He had some joy against Moura but struggled in the second half following the introduction of Kulusevski. Thomas had a forgettable game where he came out second best in most duels.
Ayoze Perez (6/10)
Leicester’s best player for the first 45 minutes, he contributed at both ends of the pitch. Perez, however, dropped off in the second half and was extremely poor when given the ball. He was disappointing, to say the least.
Kelechi Iheanacho (5/10)
Kelechi Iheanacho is back scoring for Leicester City! ⚽
A delight to watch ? pic.twitter.com/dSaILS1nOP
— GOAL Africa (@GOALAfrica) May 1, 2022
The Nigerian can be frustrating at times and sublime otherwise. He showcased both traits in a performance where he killed several of Leicester’s promising attacks. Iheanacho, however, scored the visitors’ only goal of the game, lending the scoreline some decency.
Patson Daka (6/10)
Daka had a golden opportunity to open the scoring but found no way past Lloris. Despite ending the game with a blank, he gave it his all and was open to helping his side in any way he can. Like his teammates, Daka also faded into obscurity in the second half.
Lewis Brunt (5/10)
It was a baptism of fire for the club’s Under-23 skipper who made his Premier League debut. He found it difficult to initially come to terms with the speed of the game but got comfortable as it wore on.
Jamie Vardy (5/10)
The veteran’s introduction definitely added more bite to the Leicester attack. However, he was limited to just one late header.
Youri Tielemans (4/10)
The Belgian was far too standoffish for Tottenham’s third goal and had limited interaction with the ball after coming on for Perez in the 76th minute.