Spurs suffer late home defeat against Leicester City
Tottenham slipped seven points behind Leicester City and league leaders Arsenal after Robert Huth’s late header condemned them to a 1-0 home defeat against the Foxes.
Leicester had drawn their previous two top-flight fixtures 0-0 and it looked like they were going to complete the treble at White Hart Lane.
A Harry Kane shot was saved and bounced up onto the crossbar just after the hour-mark but, in the 83rd minute, Huth was left alone to head home from Christian Fuch’s corner and secure all three points for Claudio Ranieri’s visitors.
It was Spurs’ third defeat of the season in the league and they remain four points before third-placed Manchester City - who drew 0-0 with Everton at home - while fifth-placed West Ham are only one point behind in the battle for Champions League qualification.
Mauricio Pochettino picked the same side that had started the previous league game against Everton, with Tom Carroll retaining his place in midfield despite Mousa Dembele being available again after a groin injury.
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Spurs had the first sights of goal. The industrious Christian Eriksen sent a low, long-range shot at Kasper Schmeichel and then found Dele Alli, who fired wide, before Toby Alderweireld sent a header from a corner bouncing into the ground and up towards the top corner, forcing a save from Leicester’s goalkeeper.
But the visitors grew into the game and, when Kyle Walker and Hugo Lloris played their side into trouble, Jan Vertonghen had to make a diving challenge on Jamie Vardy while Shinji Okazaki shot wide on the turn.
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N’Golo Kante then attacked down the right-hand side and played the ball in to Okazaki, who seemed to have turned Alderweireld in front of goal – only for the Belgian to stick out a foot and knock the ball away.
Soon after, Okazaki headed a throw-in to Huth and the Foxes defender lashes a first-time volley towards goal, forcing Lloris to make a fine diving save to keep the scores level. Tottenham responded and Schmeichel had to palm away a 25-yard effort from Eriksen, but neither side could break the deadlock before the interval.
Leicester made the brighter start after the break, winning a series of set pieces – and Kane did well to divert a shot from Vardy over the bar.
But Lamela scuffed wide from a low Davies cross and, although Lloris had to rush out and dive at Vardy’s feet after a slip from Walker, Tottenham went agonisingly close to a goal just after the hour-mark as Lamela freed Kane, whose shot was saved by Schmeichel and bounced up onto the bar.
The chances continued to come at both ends. Lamela was unable to hit the target after another low cross from Davies and Spurs survived a goalmouth scramble as three efforts were blocked in front of Lloris, while Alli drove forward and forced a smart save from Schmeichel.
The deadlock was eventually broken in the 83rd minute and it was Leicester who got the crucial goal, with Huth heading home from Fuch’s corner – and Tottenham were unable to respond.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier (Onomah 90), Carroll (Son 81), Lamela, Alli, Eriksen (Dembele 70), Kane
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs