Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Leicester City: Premier League – as it happened

John Brewin on 10 February 2019

Here’s David Hytner’s report from Wembley.

Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen speak:

Son: After 2-1, I struggled a little bit. The game was finished when I scored. I was very confident when I was one on one. The keeper is very big but I was confident to score...It was a penalty. I was surprised to be given a yellow card. I was disappointed and angry but we have to take that/

Eriksen: [Hugo Lloris] did save us a few times. Saving the penalty gave us confidence. We are happy to have Hugo... I saw a stat that we have won the last three games in the last ten minutes and even today we did that. (On the title): anything is possible.

Some Twitter interactions as we wait for reaction and reports.

Paul Burkett?: “You seem to be saying something about Puel and Vardy, but I can’t quite get your meaning.”

The Boss: “if the ticket prices were affordable, I’d come to watch Tottenham game against Leicester even though I’m a @LFC fan. It would give the kids an opportunity to watch a live prem game. But cost of tickets, plus transport costs mean I can’t.”

The Last Man in Europe?: “as a West Brom fan, I think I’m entitled to some schadenfreude over Barnes misses. A season long loan should mean just that.”

Snoop sheepy sheep?: “no words for Michael Oliver’s performance John? You’d have to be trying very hard not to see his clear preference for a Leicester result.”

Full time: Tottenham 3-1 Leicester

A hug between Poch and Claude as the whistle sounds. This win, the fourth in a row, is a tribute to Spurs’ resilience. They have ridden their luck but been clinical when it mattered, which is precisely what Leicester have failed to do. That Vardy penalty farrago was farcical, and betrayed some of the muddled thinking that is costing Leicester this season. Vardy beginning on the bench didn’t help, either.

90+2 min: There have been four minutes added on, and that looked time enough for Leicester to get chance to equalise. As it turned out, the opposite was true.

Goal! Tottenham 3-1 Leicester (Son, 90)

As Leicester pile forward, Ndidi slips on the ball in the style of Steven Gerrard in 2014. And Son does a Demba Ba, loping through and keeping calm to score. That’s that, then.

89 min: Okazaki hustles Walter-Peters into conceding a corner. Maddison takes, Chilwell jumps to the front of the queue to head. Lloris is equal to the challenge, though; it was straight at him.

88 min: The final subs are made by both teams. Off comes Danny Rose as Kyle Walker-Peters comes on. No coincidence that Rose is the furthest player away. For Leicester, Okazaki replaces Harvey Barnes.

87 min: A Tottenham penalty claim as Rose falls to the floor when Maguire comes across to block off the shot. It was not a penalty but it wasn’t a dive, either.

86 min: Sissoko is brought down by Tielemans hauling him to the floor. Tielemans gets a booking on his debut, which has otherwise been hugely impressive.

84 min: Corner to Leicester. But Maddison’s attempts to create an angle by going short comes to nothing. Wasteful, given the circumstances.

83 min: Ooof. Iheanacho cuts inside, makes space to shoot and hits the side-netting. Tottenham really hanging on for dear life.

82 min: Leicester are pouring forward, with Chilwell pretty much playing as a left winger. The same goes for Ricardo on the other flank, who sets up a chance for Vardy, who spins and shoots but can’t keep the ball down.

81 min: Pochetttino is looking to cling on to this one. That’s how Spurs have been getting things done of late, by the narrowest of margins.

79 min: Another Spurs change. On comes Victor Wanyama into midfield as Llorente, who has had a poor game, in truth, goes off.

77 min: We are set for a grandstand finish. Can Leicester hand Spurs their first draw of the entire season? Leicester do deserve something from this game.

Goal! Tottenham 2-1 Leicester (Vardy, 76)

Jamie Vardy - who else? - pops up to slide home from close range. Ricardo was his supplier.

Vardy gets one back for The Foxes.
Vardy gets one back for The Foxes. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters


74 min: Chilwell’s cross is aimed at Jamie Vardy but is too high. Claude Puel is turning the Sunday sky blue with some of his caterwauling.

72 min: Leicester keep going forwards, with Claude no longer whispering, but roaring on his team. Ghezzal comes off, with Iheanacho coming on. He wasn’t even in the matchday 18, the striker. That suggests Claude has been forced to rip up his plan.

70 min: Off comes Oliver Skipp, on comes Alderweireld. Skipp has done OK, but Tielemans had the run of midfield for much of the first half.

69 min: Spurs trying to take the sting out of what has been a tough afternoon for them. Toby Alderweireld is coming on, and is looking through his instructions on the iPad.

67 min: Harvey Barnes is a player of obvious talent but he has cost his team with his misses and perhaps cost Whispering Claude his job in the long run.


66 min: Again, Leicester really should have scored. Vardy’s flick finds Barnes with just Lloris to beat, but he can’t. The Frenchman has had a superb day, though Leicester do keep hitting the ball straight at him.

65 min: So harsh on Leicester. They should be level, even in front. As against Manchester United, their finishing has let them down, and decision-making, too.

Goal! Tottenham 2-0 Leicester (Eriksen, 64)

Eriksen cuts inside, waves that wand of a right foot and scores from outside the box.

Eriksen scores the second for Spurs.
Eriksen scores the second for Spurs. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters


61 min: By the way, James Maddison was going to take that penalty but then passed the responsibility to Vardy. It always seemed an odd thing to do for Vardy to come on and take but still. Claude Puel looks unamused, if he has perhaps been a tad vindicated.

Penalty saved!

Vardy chooses to shoot bottom left and Lloris guesses right. A great save but a poor penalty.

Lloris saves Vardy’s penalty.
Lloris saves Vardy’s penalty. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images


59 min: On comes Vardy to take the penalty, with Gray making way.

Penalty to Leicester!

Maddison shaped to shoot and Verthongen barged him over. Or did he? Looked soft but we have all seen them given.

Vertonghen tackles Maddison, which leads to the penalty.
Vertonghen tackles Maddison, which leads to the penalty. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images


57 min: Son charges on, and runs out of ideas on the edge of the box. At the other end, Chiwell forces a save from Lloris. And Vardy is stripped and ready to come on.

55 min: Applause from Jamie Vardy as Gray pivots and gets a shot on goal. Vardy happy for his mate to do well, though maybe not too well.


54 min: Better atmosphere in this half. Seems like the highly expensive cooking lager they sell at the national stadium is doing its job.

52 min: Ironic cheers as Michael Oliver gives a foul by a Leicester player. The first so far: let us recall he did not give a penalty when Son flopped. On second viewing that now looks a bad decision.

50 min: Close for Leicester. Ricardo’s cross and Gray has a clear header on goal. He can only head straight to Lloris. Would Vardy have done better? You betcha. Also, that was Gray’s first touch in the opposing penalty box. Claude’s experiment is not working.

48 min: More footage of Puel shouting very loudly indeed, and Poch can also be heard. Jamie Vardy is chewing gum, and carving his name into the seat in front of him. Puel may soon have to launch the board rubber at him.

Puel shouts his orders.
Puel shouts his orders. Photograph: Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images


46 min: Leicester begin with brio with Harvey Barnes again active. Had he been more precise with his first-half effort, then his team would have been leading. Talking of which, Llorente makes a mess of a header. It’s not really happening for him.

The teams are back out and Jamie Vardy will be sniggering on the sidelines for a little bit longer. No changes have been made.


Email from Kari. “It’s odd to see so many empty seats for a game between two entertaining teams. I know Wembley is big, but surely there are enough potential spectators in the greater London area to see a match like this. Is the price too prohibitive? If so, that’s a rather silly way to lose money. Enjoy the second half!”

Think some of the empty seats are down to Tottenham not being allowed more than a set amount - 50,000, say - but also because the fans are pig sick of Wembley. Which is understandable as it’s a pain in the neck to get to. Then again, so is White Hart Lane, but it’s their pain in the neck, I suppose.


A decent contest in which Leicester seem a little unlucky to be behind, though their marking for Sanchez’s goal was slack. If they had a decent striker, they’d be dangerous. But Jamie Vardy is on the bench cracking gags with Simmo and Morgs.

45+2 min: Tielemans hits the ball with real swazz to force Lloris into evasive action, and a corner. That comes to naught as Chilwell slices his shot wide. That concludes the half.

45+1: Two minutes added in this half.

45 min: Ricardo yelps out in shame as he hoiks the ball into the stands. Then, Chilwell is again sloppy in allowing himself to be robbed by Eriksen, whose pass is close to sublimity, but overhit and beyond the reach of Danny Rose on the opposite flank.

43 min: Chilwell’s surge has Tottenham backpedalling again. He has been outstanding when coming forward. Less so in defence, where he lets Trippier get the ball on the overlap. Leicester, though, manage to regain their shape and stop Spurs on the edge of their box.


41 min: Lovely skill in midfield from Winks clears up some danger. But Leicester get it back. Tielemans goes on the run and looks to be felled but the referee doesn’t give anything. Chilwell forces a corner off Trippier. The corner from Maddison is hit far too high.

39 min: Sissoko sees glory with a long-range shot. He blams it over and somewhere in the direction of the North Circular.

37 min: A Sissoko error gifts Leicester a corner but Maguire and Evans rather crash into each other; Sanchez had a tight hold of Jonny Evans.

36 min: Jamie Vardy and Danny Simpson are warming up on the sidelines, looking somewhat conspiratorial.

34 min: That was Sanchez’s first goal for Spurs. And came a little against the run of play.

Goal! Tottenham 1-0 Leicester (Sanchez, 33)

Eriksen’s cross finds Sanchez in the box, he had come up for a corner, and he stoops to head in. Leicester want an offside, but Sanchez was level.

Sanchez dives and heads home the opener.
Sanchez dives and heads home the opener. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
And celebrates.
And celebrates. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images


31 min: Leicester are up for this. With Chilwell outstanding down the left. He creates space and a chance for Harvey Barnes, who takes his time over a shot and then makes a frightful mess of it.

29 min: Leicester corner. They can’t make much of it, but then Verthongen becomes the third Spur to be booked when clattering Ben Chilwell, who was just too quick for him. From the free-kick, Ndidi should have hit the target, from barely six yards out, but thankfully for him, an offside flag was up. Spurs are wobbly.

26 min: Leicester are struggling to hold the ball up, with Gray not looking much of a target man. He does, though, force Sanchez and Verthongen into an error, with some chasing that reminds of Jamie Vardy.


24 min: Sanchez’s probing pass is flicked by Eriksen into the path of Son, whose shot is blocked. At the other end, the excellent Tielemans is brought down. He has been a live wire and his passing has been superb.

Son fires one at goal.
Son fires one at goal. Photograph: Tottenham Hotspur FC/via Getty Images


22 min: Decent game, this. Both teams looking capable of scoring, but missing their top striker. In Claude’s case, that’s through choice.

20 min: Rose again involved but his cross is aimed just where Harry Kane would be. And Llorente isn’t. Rose then picks up a booking for an injudicious tackle.

19 min: Rose is back on and in action almost immediately. He cuts inside and forces a fine save from Kasper Schmeichel.

17 min: Danny Rose is off the field receiving treatment. Oliver Skipp has stepped over to left-back. Looks like a calf problem. Rose come back on, though gingerly.

16 min: Son falls to the floor in the penalty pen. In fact, he is booked for his troubles. That looked harsh as he had taken a rap to the shins.

Son gets a ticking off from Maguire.
Son gets a ticking off from Maguire. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images via Reuters


14 min: Llorente and Eriksen try to link up but fail to read each other’s wavelength. Looks like Spurs are going to have to grind through the gears.

12 min: Spurs try and settle after that series of scares. Claude Puel can heard shouting. Yes, shouting.

10 min: Leicester go close again! Harvey Barnes gets inside Trippier from another fine pass by Tielemans, but Spurs beat it away. They look ragged at the back, it has to be said.

8 min: Leicester go close! Maddison’s free-kick finds Harry Maguire at the back post. A fierce header is palmed behind by Hugo Lloris. Jonny Evans climbs highest for the corner but nods over.

Lloris tips over Maguire’s effort.
Lloris tips over Maguire’s effort. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images


7 min: A first Leicester attack is set up by Tielemans’ great pass, though Gray is stopped by Davinson Sanchez’s intervention.

6 min: Son’s surge ends when he falls to the floor. No free-kick given.

5 min: Another Tottenham attack, down Trippier’s flank this time, and Son is edged out. Leicester yet to show much in the way of shape.

3 min: Tottenham on the attack. Danny Rose flies down the left flank, and on the other side, Kieran Trippier’s shot is deflected behind. Ben Chilwell clears the resultant corner.

Trippier shoots, but is deflected wide.
Trippier shoots, but is deflected wide. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images


1 min: Jamie Vardy is sharing a joke with Danny Simpson and Wes Morgan on the bench. Something of the insolent schoolboy about that.

And away we go.

With Tottenham taking the kick-off. Some decent noise at Wembley from the home fans.

There’s been a last-minute alteration for Leicester: Papy Mendy got injured in the warmup and in comes Wilfred Ndidi. Kelechi Iheanacho is added to the matchday 18.

The managers greet.
The managers greet. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images


Here come the teams and the pre-match handshakes. The top tiers of Wembley do look a little empty, as in there is nobody sat up there at all. That is down to licensing issue, we believe.

They have been paying tribute to Emiliano Sala at Wembley. Daniel Taylor points out here that not everybody is being quite so respectful.

Poch is being polite about Leicester.

I have been watching Leicester the last few games. They deserved much better against United. In the end they lost the game. They have a good player and a good squad. We need to fight and play well if we are to win the three points.

Claude Puel talks about that de-selection of Jamie Vardy.

I would like to develop other options than Jamie. I don’t want to put all the pressure in Jamie. I think Demarai has the attributes to play in this position. It will be a good opportunity for him and us.

David Hytner heard from Hugo Lloris this week.

There’s plenty of other football today and Alex Hess has the latest from the Etihad Campus.

And for Youri Tielemans, it’s a Leicester debut. Interesting stat here. Claude is definitely trying to change things up.

Into the vault we go for an interview with a 17-year-old Tielemans from Paul Doyle.

That Arsenal-Anderlecht game ended up 3-3; the comeback was sealed by Aleksandar Mitrovic, when the Gunners had been 3-0 up after 58 minutes.


Another glance at that Leicester team and only one starter, Kasper Schmeichel, survives from their title-winners from 2016. There are four of them on the bench, but it’s apparent that Claude has decided to make his own mark on the team, for better or for worse. And that may point to a few difficulties in the background.

For Tottenham, Oliver Skipp gets his second ever Premier League start in the midfield. Toby Alderweireld is dropped to the bench.


No Vardy, and Demarai Gray as a false nine: what can possibly go wrong?

Here are the teams.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Rose, Winks, Skipp, Sissoko, Eriksen, Son, Llorente.

Subs: Alderweireld, Wanyama, Walker-Peters, Foyth, Gazzaniga, Aurier, Lucas Moura.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Maguire, Evans, Chilwell, Mendy, Tielemans, Ghezzal, Maddison, Barnes, Gray.

Subs: Simpson, Morgan, Vardy, Ward, Okazaki, Ndidi, Choudhury.

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)


“We’re not fickle. We just don’t like you,” as the banner on Aston Villa’s Holte End said. That was directed at David O’Leary back in 2006. Leicester fans hold much the same view of Boring/Whispering Claude Puel. Only Magic Marco Silva is higher in the next manager to be sacked odds.

For Tottenham fans, the opposite is true. They find themselves cheering on Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Manchester United, in the hope the greying assassin gets the job instead of Mauricio Pochettino. Poch is doing a fine job again this season for homeless Spurs, and should be the man to lead them into life at the new stadium when they finally move there some time in 2034. No Kane, no Alli? No problem when you have Son Heung-min back and firing. A shame for Cousin Vinny Janssen, whose big moment has been and gone with a knee injury. Fernando Llorente struggles to score but he is putting everything he can into the cause.

For Leicester, the word was that there might be no Jamie Vardy in the team and he’s on the bench. He and Claude don’t get on and he may or may not have told Paul Pogba last week that Puel is a “f***ing k***head”. There can only be one winner there. Wembley is the venue, and a Spurs win has to be expected.


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