Ayoze Pérez

Courageous City Beaten In North London

Leicester City were undone by a clinical Tottenham Hotspur side after they claimed three Premier League points in a 3-1 reverse at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.
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Back in Premier League action, manager Brendan Rodgers fielded an XI that included eight changes from Thursday's UEFA Europa Conference League draw with AS Roma. Returning to the starting line-up were eight Foxes, with only Kasper Schmeichel, Timothy Castagne and Marc Albrighton remaining. Midfielder Boubakary Soumaré made his first start since February, while Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (calf) and James Maddison (hip) were omitted from the travelling squad as a precaution. 

City were tasked with some early defending as Antonio Conte's men enjoyed a healthy spell of possession inside the opening five minutes. That meant the Foxes would be a threat on the counter-attack, with Kelechi Iheanacho dropping deep to receive the ball and try to locate the run of strike partner Patson Daka, who couldn't quite get there. 

A lovely pass down the left flank from Luke Thomas into Ayoze Pérez released then Spaniard, however his strike deflected wide into the side-netting and Spurs were awarded a goal-kick. A high-tempo start from both outfits in north London, where Leicester had won last season. 

Operating behind City's two strikers, Pérez saw plenty of the ball and, on 11 minutes, was shoved to the ground by Rodrigo Bentancur. Albrighton chipped into the box, and appeals for handball against Son Heung-min followed, but the claims for a penalty were waved away and play continued.

The changes to Leicester's XI did not seem to have affected their synergy as Daka came a matter of inches away from opening the scoring. Soumaré accelerated down the right, the 2020/21 Ligue 1 champion outmuscled and outpaced Ben Davies before squaring for the Zambia star, whose first-time strike hit the inside of the post, with replays suggesting Hugo Lloris got his fingertips to the ball. 

The pressure did not stop there. Albrighton pounced on Davies' heavy touch, got his head up and tried to locate Daka, who was only denied by a sliding clearance from Cristian Romero. The Blue Army's first-ever visit to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was developing into an encouraging one, with over 3,000 of them in attendance. 

Pérez slid in to get just enough on a Lucas Moura shot midway through the first period, before Çağlar Söyüncü threw himself in the way of a Davies drive. City looked the more settled of the two sides, but the resulting corner, against the run of play, was converted by former Fox Harry Kane, who nodded in Son's delivery. 

That Kane goal gave Spurs a lift as Son looked to create again. This time, Söyüncü and then Iheanacho were positioned well to clear the danger. Skipper Schmeichel produced a big save with a little over 10 minutes of the opening 45 to play after spreading himself well to deny Kane from a one-on-one after Papy Mendy's loose pass.

Rodgers' men were continuing to attack the Spurs goal. Iheanacho dragged wide, while an excellent piece of skill from Pérez saw him lift the ball over Pierre-Emile Højbjerg's head before nodding the ball onto his right boot and smashing wide. The outstretched Daka, resourceful as ever, couldn't quite turn the wayward attempt on target. 

A timely intervention from Castagne saw him pinch the ball off Moura before he could pull the trigger after Schmeichel had challenged Romero and was out of position. City had their chances, however Tottenham led at the break through Kane's header.

The second half began with a stop-start nature, but when Romero won the ball in midfield, he found substitute Dejan Kulusevski. The Sweden attacker drove forward and picked out Son, who turned and fired in for 2-0, despite City's efforts.  

From a tight angle, Schmeichel held onto Kane's attempt, and shortly after came a double substitution for the under-pressure Foxes. On came Lewis Brunt for his Premier League debut, while Jamie Vardy was also introduced. Soumaré and Daka were the duo to come off. 

After Lloris rushed off his line to smother a neat through-ball from Pérez before Iheanacho could get there, a third substitution arrived on 76 minutes when Pérez was replaced by Belgium international midfielder Youri Tielemans.

A third of the afternoon arrived not long after, however, as Son bent a stunner into the top corner with his left foot. After substitute Vardy flicked a header wide, the Foxes finally found the net in the first minute of injury time when Iheanacho drove home from 20 yards - the Nigerian's ninth goal of the season across all competitions. 

There wasn't enough time for Leicester to mount a comeback, though. The match finished 3-1 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as attentions now turn to Thursday's UEFA Europa Conference League trip to the capital of Italy.

Major moment

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Patson Daka

The Zambia striker hit the post with the scoreline at 0-0.

The momentum was firmly with City in the opening stages at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Patson Daka striking the upright on the quarter-hour mark. The Foxes were unable to capitalise, though, and Harry Kane headed in despite Leicester's positive early play.

Who impressed?

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Timothy Castagne

The Belgium full-back delivered a consistent performance against Tottenham.

Commentating for LCFC Radio's Matchday Live from the pressbox at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Matt Elliott said: "A bit like in the week, when there were a few consistent performances, picking an individual out isn't easy, but a safe bet for me would be Timothy Castagne."

Where do we stand?

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Lewis Brunt

Development Squad centre-back Lewis Brunt came off the bench to make his Premier League debut for the Foxes.

City sit 11th in the Premier League with 42 points from 33 matches, and have games in hand on several sides around them in the standings. 

Coming up...

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Boubakary Soumaré

Boubakary Soumaré made his first start since February in the clash with Spurs.

The second leg of Leicester City's UEFA Europa Conference League Semi-Final versus AS Roma is next up on Thursday at Stadio Olimpico as this Foxes squad bid to become the first side in the Football Club's 138-year existence to qualify for a European final. The match will kick-off at 8pm.

The details...

All times BST.




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