February 10, 2019 / 3:49 PM / 9 days ago

Tottenham overcome Leicester challenge to stay in title hunt

(Reuters) - TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3 LEICESTER CITY 1

Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - February 10, 2019 Leicester City's Jamie Vardy scores their first goal REUTERS/David Klein

Goals from Davinson Sanchez, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min helped Tottenham Hotspur overcome Leicester City 3-1 in an entertaining Premier League match at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Tottenham went ahead through Sanchez who scored his first goal for the London club by meeting Eriksen’s whipped cross with a diving header in the 33rd minute, although Leicester’s players complained he was in an offside position.

Leicester missed the chance to equalise on the hour mark when substitute Jamie Vardy’s penalty — his first touch after coming on — was pushed away by Hugo Lloris after Jan Vertonghen was adjudged to have fouled James Maddison in the box.

“Lloris saved us a few times and we were lucky that he took out the penalty which gave us confidence. You felt that in the whole stadium, and we’re happy to have Hugo,” Eriksen said.

Tottenham doubled their lead three minutes later as Eriksen collected the ball on the edge of the penalty area and unleashed a fierce shot past goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

Vardy made up for his earlier miss by tapping in from close range 14 minutes from the final whistle after a well worked move allowed Ricardo Pereira to drill in a cross from the right.

After a sustained period of Leicester pressure, Son settled nerves of the home supporters by slotting in Tottenham’s third with a solo run from the halfway line.

Victory took title contenders Tottenham to 60 points from 26 matches, five points behind leaders Liverpool and two adrift of champions Manchester City who play Chelsea later on Sunday.

Eriksen said Tottenham had showed plenty of character to see off a determined Leicester, a quality that could help them in Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 first leg clash against Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund.

“We didn’t make life easy for ourselves,” the Dane said.

“The last three games we won in the last 10 minutes, which shows the character of the team and we did that again today. It’s going to be the same on Wednesday.”

Tottenham had a first-half penalty claim denied after Harry Maguire appeared to bring down Son with the referee booking the South Korean for simulation, a decision manager Mauricio Pochettino described as “unbelievable”.

“When you compare the situation with the penalty for Leicester, unbelievable... I’m more relaxed because we won,” Pochettino added.

“Do you think that we’re a team trying to cheat a referee? Come on, we’re one of the nicest teams on the pitch.”

Slideshow (7 Images)

Leicester boss Claude Puel bemoaned his side’s finishing.

“Throughout the game we had a feeling we can score... we had chances and half chances,” the Frenchman said. “It’s difficult to accept with all the good intention to go without the reward.

“We need a little more conviction and a clinical edge.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Pritha Sarkar

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