Tot­ten­ham slip up with Le­ices­ter draw

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

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Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur lost ground in the race for the Pre­mier League ti­tle af­ter a 1-1 draw at home to fal­ter­ing cham­pi­ons Le­ices­ter City yes­ter­day.

Vin­cent Janssen’s first Pre­mier League goal, from the penalty spot, gave Spurs the lead at White Hart Lane but this was can­celled out by Ahmed Musa as Le­ices­ter man­ager Clau­dio Ranieri ex­tended his un­beaten record against Tot­ten­ham to 11 league games.

Spurs started the week­end just a point be­hind the top three but this re­sult ex­tended their win­less run in all com­pe­ti­tions to five games and left them three points off the sum­mit af­ter north Lon­don ri­vals Arse­nal and Manch­ester City both won yes­ter­day, with Liver­pool still to kick-off against Crys­tal Palace.

The draw at White Hart Lane saw Le­ices­ter col­lect their first away point of the sea­son af­ter four league de­feats on their trav­els this term. Le­ices­ter may be on the verge of qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the knock­out stages of the Cham­pi­ons League, but it was Tot­ten­ham who had the game’s first clear chance when Dele Alli forced Kasper Sch­me­ichel into a 15th-minute save with a long-range shot af­ter the Foxes failed to clear a Chris­tian Erik­sen cor­ner. Erik­sen was next to try his luck with a 25-yard free-kick that drifted just past Sch­me­ichel’s right-hand post.

Le­ices­ter kicked-off hav­ing al­ready lost more times on their trav­els than they did through­out the whole of last sea­son, with Eng­land striker Jamie Vardy as yet un­able to re­peat his goal-scor­ing hero­ics. Vardy wasted the kind of chance he would surely have taken dur­ing the Foxes surge to the ti­tle when, on the half-hour mark, a break­away saw Tot­ten­ham opened up only for the for­ward to fail to col­lect Musa’s pass.

WOOD­WORK DE­NIES ALLI

Le­ices­ter went even closer to open­ing the scor­ing when a Riyad Mahrez cross saw Shinji Okazaki head just over the cross­bar.

Chris­tian Fuchs scored his first goal for Le­ices­ter last week­end and he al­most fol­lowed that up with an­other spec­tac­u­lar ef­fort on Satur­day, strik­ing Mahrez’s cor­ner just wide from dis­tance. But while Le­ices­ter had worked their way into the game, the home side still looked the more dan­ger­ous of the two teams. That was ev­i­dent when a sweep­ing move saw Kyle Walker cross for Alli to thump his first-time shot against the cross­bar. It was a warn­ing to Le­ices­ter and it wasn’t heeded as Spurs took a 44th-minute lead via Janssen’s penalty. Robert Huth was pe­nalised for bring­ing down the Dutch­man, al­though the con­tact ap­peared min­i­mal, and Janssen took full ad­van­tage of ref­eree Robert Madley’s de­ci­sion to award a spot-kick with a well-struck shot. It took Le­ices­ter just three min­utes of the sec­ond half to draw level thanks to Musa.

Vin­cent Wanyama’s loose header was col­lected by Vardy who showed good pace be­fore cross­ing low for the £16.5 mil­lion ($20.1 mil­lion, 18.3 mil­lion eu­ros) Nige­ria winger to fire home from close range.

It was a jolt to the sys­tem for Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino’s Spurs side as Le­ices­ter had threat­ened with­out ever look­ing likely to score in the first-half. Tot­ten­ham once again had to break down Le­ices­ter, who had con­ceded four goals at both Liver­pool and Manch­ester United this sea­son, but were look­ing a more res­o­lute and or­gan­ised side this time around. Erik­sen drew a smart save out of Sch­me­ichel on the hour mark be­fore Janssen’s free-kick just failed to dip un­der the bar. Janssen, boosted by break­ing his league duck, turned and saw his 75th minute shot drift just past Sch­me­ichel’s post.

Tot­ten­ham still had one more chance to win the game but Jan Ver­tonghen saw his header from Wanyama’s cross hit the wood­work in the clos­ing stages. — AFP

Le­ices­ter City Tot­ten­ham 1

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