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Pochettino delighted as Spurs get better of Leicester

Leicester City 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur

By Sean Taylor

Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino declared himself delighted after watching his side finally get the better of Leicester this season.

Goals from Son Heung-min and Nacer Chadli in last night's FA Cup third round replay - in what was the fourth meeting between the sides this campaign - set up a visit to League One side Colchester in the next round.

Having drawn 2-2 in the original tie and with Leicester winning the Premier League meeting in north London last week, Spurs succeeded in the final part of the 10-day trilogy at the King Power Stadium - the scene of a 1-1 draw in the league in August.

Pochettino said: "I'm very delighted and very pleased. The performance was fantastic.

"I think we dominated the game. It was a fair result and I'm very pleased with the performance.

"It was a special goal from Son Heung-min. I'm happy for him, for Nacer Chadli too. We showed we have a strong squad."

Even the introduction of Jamie Vardy from the bench shortly after Chadli's strike midway through the second-half could not rescue Claudio Ranieri's side.

It is reasonable to argue that this defeat may benefit Ranieri and his small squad as they look to maintain their surprise pursuit of the Premier League title.

For Tottenham, who must also harbour ambitions of becoming champions, it means another game in an already busy schedule.

With both clubs nicely positioned for a sustained assault on a top-four finish in the Premier League and the lure of the riches on offer for Champions League qualification becoming a more tangible possibility, it was clear from the team selections where the priority lay.

Both managers made eight changes from the sides they sent out in the Premier League at the weekend. Leicester boss Ranieri initially swapped nine players but Ritchie De Laet was injured during the warm-up so Danny Simpson kept his place. Kasper Schmeichel and Danny Drinkwater also remained.

Pochettino retained Eric Dier, Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen, with the latter two allowing Spurs to assume a measure of control in midfield.

Eriksen had the first chance of the match after 14 minutes when Son did well to spot him with a cut back. The Dane tried to guide his shot into the bottom corner of the net with his instep but his effort went harmlessly wide.

Young full-back Ben Chilwell and recent signing Damarai Gray, both making their home debuts, looked a threat down the left but Leicester largely struggled to create opportunities.

Gokhan Inler took a free-kick, won via the invention of academy product Chilwell, but it was easily fielded by Michel Vorm.

Son provided the one real moment of class in the first-half after 39 minutes and it separated the teams at the break.

The South Korean collected a pass from Tom Carroll towards the right-hand side of the penalty area and unleashed an unstoppable shot which beat Schmeichel.

Gray forced Vorm to palm away his curling effort at the start of the second-half but Spurs still looked the most threatening and substitute Harry Kane came close to making it 2-0 but Schmeichel got down well.

Shortly afterwards though, the second goal did arrive. Son slid a pass into the path of Chadli who slotted home after 66 minutes.

Ranieri introduced Vardy, but to no avail. Fellow sub Marc Albrighton nearly pulled a goal back in the final minute but Vorm somehow kept out his volley.

LECIESTER: Schmeichel, Simpson (Albrighton 63), Wasilewski, Benalouane, Chilwell, King, Inler, Drinkwater (Okazaki 45), Dyer (Vardy 74), Ulloa, Gray.

Subs not used: Morgan, Kanté, Mahrez, Schwarzer.

TOTTENHAM: Vorm, Walker, Dier, Wimmer, Davies, Carroll, Bentaleb, Lamela (Kane 60), Eriksen, Chadli (Onomah 73), Son Heung-min (Alli 84).

Goals: Son Heung-min 39, Chadli 66

Subs not used: Lloris, Vertonghen, Trippier, Winks.

Man of the match: Son Heung-min

Match rating: 7/10 Ref: Anthony Taylor

Belfast Telegraph


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