SON TO A

Le­ices­ter ........ 0 Tot­ten­ham ......... 2 South Korean star en­sures Po­chet­tino gam­ble does not blow up in his face

Daily Star Sunday - - RESULT! - By Neil Moxley

IT TAKES a brave man to gam­ble with Pre­mier League points at stake but Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino rolled the dice again and came up trumps.

The Spurs’ boss or­dered his two big­gest stars to sit out of this tricky trip to the East Mid­lands as Harry Kane and Chris­tian Erik­sen had a rest.

But their un­der­stud­ies – in par­tic­u­lar man-of-the-match He­ung-min Son – proved able with­out Kane and the Dane mak­ing light work of the Foxes.

The South Korean led the line su­perbly, curl­ing home a beauty to end a quiet first-half in stun­ning fash­ion.

And then he turned provider, find­ing Dele Alli who nod­ded past keeper Kasper Schme­ichel be­fore the hour, killing the game and tak­ing the three points.

The changes came less than one week af­ter Spurs boss Poch had drawn crit­i­cism for switch­ing around a win­ning team from the mid­week tri­umph over In­ter Milan for the North Lon­don derby at The Emi­rates – and he was taught a painful les­son.

But the three points here lifted the club into third and also gave them their best re­turn of points at this stage of the sea­son since their dou­ble-win­ning sea­son in 1961.

There was never any pos­si­bil­ity of them not land­ing the spoils at the King Power Sta­dium as Spurs turned in a per­for­mance that hit the right notes.

In­ter­est­ingly, Po­chet­tino has pros­pered with­out Kane, win­ning eight of 12 games since the start of the 2015 cam­paign in which he has been ab­sent. More im­por­tantly, they have lost just once in that time.

It was some punt by Po­chet­tino. Three points here would have lifted Le­ices­ter into sev­enth and killed off Spurs’ out­side hopes of a ti­tle-as­sault.

But while the North Lon­don­ers were with­out Kane through choice, they weren’t the only side shorn of their tal­is­man.

Jamie Vardy sat out the mid­week draw at Ful­ham and his trou­ble­some groin forced him to sit out this one too.

With­out its head­line acts, the first pe­riod was lit­tle more than a waste of 45 min­utes of ev­ery­one’s time.

It des­per­ately needed an in­jec­tion of life – or even a goal would have done.

Nei­ther keeper had a shot to save. Nei­ther keeper re­ally had any ac­tion at all.

Spurs were con­tent to play the ball about and wait for a chance that never came. While Le­ices­ter kept their shape, moved from side to side and tried to spring for­ward from deep.

Only once was ei­ther goal threat­ened – and that was when Wes Mor­gan just about put the brakes on Alli who had one-two’d his way to within sight of the Le­ices­ter keep­ers eyes.

Just when it seemed that a wel­come half-time cuppa was all that would warm up a cold crowd, Son struck.

Af­ter all the press­ing, prob­ing and pass­ing that ap­peared to be go­ing nowhere in par­tic­u­lar, it was a strike of sim­plic­ity that fi­nally made a dif­fer­ence.

Serge Aurier played a ball in­side to Son. The South Korean took it in­side and then curled a beauty around Schme­ichel from out­side the area.

Le­ices­ter tried to mount a come­back but the clos­est they came was a weak De­marai Gray ef­fort that was gath­ered com­fort­ably by Hugo Lloris.

Foxes’ chief Claude Puel threw on two sub­sti­tutes to force change but nei­ther had touched the ball to any ef­fect when Spurs grabbed their sec­ond.

Ben Davies spot­ted Lu­cas Moura in too much space, 40 yards from his op­po­nent’s goal with­out a blue shirt at his back.

The Brazil­ian had the time to turn and run at Le­ices­ter’s de­fence that was badly out­num­bered.

Son had peeled away to the left and his cross in­vited Alli to nod home the sec­ond at the far post.

It was the third time the Eng­land in­ter­na­tional had found the net and it was a timely ef­fort as it killed off the game.

But Po­chet­tino was not con­tent to sit and watch his play­ers go through the mo­tions in the fi­nal quar­ter.

Erik­sen was called into ac­tion from the bench and Spurs looked the more likely to add to their tally on the break as the Foxes tried to get back into the game.

When Kane en­tered the fray with 15 min­utes left, it looked as if Le­ices­ter were hav­ing salt rubbed into their fresh wounds.

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