Son Heung-Min 9/10, Dele Alli 8/10 as Spurs stars score in win over Leicester
Mauricio Pochettino's gamble in resting both Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen ahead of Tuesday's trip to Barcelona paid off as Tottenham triumphed 2-0 at Leicester. While Spurs lacked teeth for most of the first half, Son Heung-Min scored a fine goal with the visitors' first shot on target moments before half-time, finding the top left corner from 25 yards.
The South Korean then provided the cross as Dele Alli headed home in the 58th minute to wrap up the visitors' victory and take them back into third place, six points behind leaders Liverpool.
Leicester were unbeaten in their previous six league matches so this was by no means an easy fixture, yet Tottenham won without two of their best players -- the north Londoners were already up by the deciding score when Eriksen and Kane were introduced. Spurs were below par in the first half but have developed an encouraging habit of getting the job done and winning one way or another. They have now won eight of their last nine matches in all competitions.
Given Mauricio Pochettino will need to continue rotating his squad during a busy period, it is handy indeed to have a number of attacking players in good form. Son has scored three goals in his last four starts, while also winning the penalty at Arsenal, and Alli has scored twice in his last four starts.
Serge Aurier limped off in the second half and, with Kieran Trippier also out of action due to a groin injury, Pochettino has a problem at right-back as he plans for Tuesday's crucial Champions League showdown at Barcelona. He has seemed reluctant to play 21-year-old Kyle Walker-Peters, who made only his second appearance of the season when he replaced Aurier at the King Power Stadium, so the Argentinian may need to be creative at the Nou Camp.
Manager Rating out of 10
8 -- Pochettino took a calculated risk by leaving Kane and Eriksen out of his starting line-up and his faith in his other attacking players was rewarded. He will now hope that his rotation plan helps his side to produce a memorable victory over Barcelona.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Hugo Lloris, 6 -- The Frenchman was well protected and the saves he was forced to make were pretty comfortable.
DF Serge Aurier, 6 -- Had a good battle with Ben Chilwell but struggled to get past him and pose a threat in the final third.
DF Toby Alderweireld, 8 -- The Belgian's partnership with Jan Vertonghen was comfortingly sturdy. The pair will take confidence from this shutout as they head to Barcelona.
DF Jan Vertonghen, 8 -- Read the game well and cut out a number of dangerous low crosses.
DF Ben Davies, 7 -- Solid defensively and, while he was never going to beat Ricardo Pereira for pace, his excellent pass to Lucas, which dissected Leicester's midfield, was a key part of the the second goal.
MF Moussa Sissoko, 7 -- Hared all over the pitch to break up attacks, making a couple of crunching tackles in particular, and he carried the ball well. He could just have been more aggressive in the final third.
MF Harry Winks, 7 -- Kept the ball well as usual and laid the platform for many of Spurs' attacks. He just needed to be a bit stronger and sharper defensively at times.
MF Eric Dier, 7 -- Picked up a silly early booking but stayed out of trouble after that while still helping to protect the defence, and he passed forward between the lines or over the top as much as possible.
MF Dele Alli, 8 -- Grew in influence after a quiet start, troubling Leicester with his intelligence and skill around the edge of the box, before scoring the second goal.
FW Lucas Moura, 7 -- Struggled to impose himself in the first half but was brighter after the interval and was a key figure in the build-up to the second goal as he found a large area of space between the lines, gathered Davies' pass and moved the ball on to Son.
FW Son Heung-Min, 9 -- With Kane watching from the bench, someone needed to take responsibility for being the goalscorer and the South Korean delivered in style with his magnificent first-half strike. He then laid the ball on a plate for Alli to double Spurs' lead.
MF Christian Eriksen, 7 -- Replaced Lucas in the 67th minute and looked sharp but couldn't conjure up another goal.
FW Harry Kane, NS -- Got a run-out for the final 16 minutes but didn't get a sniff of goal.
DF Kyle Walker-Peters, NS -- Got a rare outing when Aurier had to come off.