Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Leicester City
So, this is how to win emphatically in the Premier League, Jose Mourinho style!
Three shots on target, three goals and a cruise to victory, even by enjoying just under thirty per cent of possession over 90-plus minutes.
It may not be the idea of a Premier League 2020 highlights package to everyone, but this win has pushed Spurs closer to a return to Europe next season and dented Leicester’s own top-four hopes.
Some may not always like his style but Spurs appear to have found stability again, and much of that is down to the Portuguese boss.
Highlights of the game
Goals were expected from the off with the SBOBET Premier League 2020 betting odds, especially given both sides needed the points for their various European challenges and considering there had been 28 goals scored in the last six Premier League meetings between the sides, at an average of 4.7 per game.
Lucas Moura overcame a knock picked up against Newcastle to retain his place in the starting line-up, but Leicester did not have such luck with their own injury doubt, Marc Albrighton, missing out.
That was in addition to the Foxes being without the suspended Caglar Soyuncu, as well as James Maddison, Ben Chilwell and Christian Fuchs.
As starts go, it could not have been a better start for the hosts or a worse start for the visitors in their pursuit of Champions League football.
Harry Kane fed Son Heung-Min, and the South Korean embarked on a trademark race away before cutting back inside and rifling in a shot which deflected off the luckless James Justin to leave Kasper Schmeichel with no chance.
This is a match in which Kane and his compatriot Jamie Vardy have thrived in recent seasons, and the latter came close to a quick equaliser.
Requiring just one goal to match his best-ever Premier League season return of 24, Vardy – who has scored five goals and assisted three in his last nine Premier League games against Spurs – saw his goal-bound shot blocked after a flick on by Ayoze Perez, another example of how these two are developing a partnership of real potential.
A Vardy backheel was then saved by Hugo Lloris as Leicester controlled passages of play, both in terms of possession and opportunities.
They were again denied what would have been a deserved equaliser as Perez produced an exquisite piece of skill to control a Harvey Barnes cross and smash a half-volley towards the bottom right corner to which Lloris proved equal.
It proved the spark for two Spurs goals in four minutes.
After Schmeichel – my choice for goalkeeper of the season – showed his worth again to tip over a Son half-volley, Kane proved clinical.
Moura first slipped the ball through and the England captain slotted it into the bottom corner. The two then linked up once more before Kane curled in an unstoppable effort for number three.
Perez again forced a smart save out of Lloris but it was clear the injury-hit visitors were deflated as they headed to the break three goals behind after 45 minutes in which they had competed well.
Into the second period and it was briefly a similar scenario as Leicester threatened again and substitute Demarai Gray saw another fine effort tipped over by Lloris.
Yet, despite conceding plenty of possession, the hosts were rarely threatened and saw out the game comfortably
It was a miserable afternoon for Brendan Rodgers who, until today, had won each of his last six Premier League matches as a manager versus Spurs, by an aggregate score of 20-5, including the league contest earlier this season.
With one game remaining, Champions League football is still in their hands – but only just!
Kane has netted 16 goals in 14 games against Leicester, while his strike partner Son Heung-min has scored seven and assisted three in his last 11 appearances versus the Foxes.
Tottenham have lost just one of their past nine home league games against Leicester (won six, drawn two), a 1-0 defeat in January 2016 when the Foxes went onto win the Premier League.
Spurs have now won four consecutive Premier League matches for the first time at their new stadium.
Mourinho has won all four Premier League home fixtures as a manager versus Leicester, by an aggregate score of 13-2.
Leicester are winless in their last seven Premier League away games (drawn three, lost five), their longest such run since a sequence of 15 matches ended in February 2017.
The Foxes have failed to win their final away fixture of the season for the past 11 seasons since beating Blackburn 4-2 in 1996-97.
Tottenham have benefited from more own goals (five) than any other team in the Premier League this season.
Leicester (67) remain one short of equalling their club Premier League record for most goals in a single season.
And so, there is just one match remaining for both sides, a week today (July 26), in the much delayed 2019-20 campaign and it’s important for both clubs in their quest for Europe.
Spurs go to Crystal Palace knowing victory could see them secure a Europa League berth next season, while Leicester host Man United in a contest which will determine the final one (and possibly) two Champions spots still available.
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