OPPONENTS Leicester City
COMPETITION Premier League
DATE Friday 26th December 2014
VENUE King Power Stadium






Owing to a far too Merry Christmas, I have not had time to preview the game against Leicester City and will just wish that for Christmas, it will end in a 2-1 win for Spurs with a last minute goal.
PREDICTION Leicester City    1         Tottenham Hotspur    2
Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.

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Radio :  
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Commentary may be found on
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Australia (Melbourne)
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Australia (Sydney) 
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South Africa 
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Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

Leicester City  1 (0)                                                               Tottenham Hotspur  2 (1)
Premier League
Friday 26th December 2014                                                                                          Kick off 15:00
King Power Stadium
Ulloa 47m 54s
Kane 0m 59s
Eriksen 70m 13s
Vardy (foul on Lloris) 90 + 3


Walker (foul on Schlupp) 36
Vertonghen (foul on Vardy)  83


Crowd :   31,870 Weather :  Rainy
Referee :  Neil Swarbrick (Bolton) Assistant Referees :  Mr. D. Cann; Mr. R. West
Fourth Official :  Geoff Eltringham -
Leicester kicked off and played towards the North Stand end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 7 minutes
Leicester City : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
12  Ben HAMER

17  Danny SIMPSON
  5  Wes MORGAN
  3  Paul KONCHESKY  (24  Anthony KNOCKAERT 83)

15  Jeffrey SCHLUPP
  4  Danny DRINKWATER 
10  Andy KING  (  8  Matt JAMES 46)
26  Riyad MAHREZ
35  David NUGENT  (  9  Jamie VARDY 75     )

23  Leonardo ULLOA 

Unused subs: 
31  Adam SMITH
  7  Dean HAMOND
  2  Richie de LAET

    1  Hugo LLORIS

  2  Kyle WALKER      
21  Federico FAZIO
  5  Jan VERTONGHEN      
  3  Danny ROSE

42  Nabil BENTALEB
25  Benjamin STAMBOULI  (38  Ryan MASON 46)

11  Erik LAMELA
23  Christian ERIKSEN 
22  Nacer CHADLI  (  9  Roberto SOLDADO 63)

18  Harry KANE    (  8  PAULINHO 85)

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM

33  Ben DAVIES
17  Andros TOWNSEND

Manager :  Nigel Pearson Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   King Power Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Puma Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

The game had hardly got underway before Tottenham had gone ahead, but there was no need for a last minute goal, although Spurs had to hold on to their 2-1 lead against a determined Leicester City side, who prop up the bottom of the table.

Missing Ryan Mason, who was only ready for the bench, Spurs fielded Benjamin Stambouli in his place and Poch picked Danny Rose ahead of Ben Davies at left back.

Leicester kicked of, but when Fazio broke up an attack and his pass found Lamela in midfield, the Argentine held his pass as Kane was offside, but played it wide to Chadli, who made ground up the left and played an early ball to the near post.  It looked like Wes Morgan was favourite to win the ball, but Kane got in front of him, took a touch and struck a low shot across Hamer from the left of the goal to put Tottenham ahead in 59 seconds.

Spurs were stroking the ball about and they had further chances to score when Eriksen's shot was blocked by the ample backside of Morgan, while Chadli fired a shot on target as the play continued and Hamer had to beat the ball away.  Ulloa produced a snapshot form 22 yards out that Lloris had to tip over the top.  Just after the half hour, both sides turned over the ball and when it came to Kane, he played a superb first time ball out to the left, where Bentaleb had run on and nobody had picked him up.  Nabil had a clear run on goal, but the ball got away from him as he got the box and ex-Spurs loanee, Paul Konchesky cleared it away.

Tottenham let Leicester back into the game by allowing them more possession than in the first half hour.  Drinkwater moved infield from the right and hit a shot well wide, when he should have hit the target, then Lloris had to dive to his right to stop Mahrez who drilled a low shot across him when he took Ulloa's flicked header and then cut inside Vertonghen.  In the 37th minute, Spurs were given a warning that this match still had to be put to bed.  A cross from Mahrez on the Leicester right found Ulloa running towards the near post and he met it with his head, but only eight yards out, he put his effort against the post with Lloris stranded on his line.

Just before half-time, Spurs got control of the game again and had a couple of free-kicks and their first corner.  From the second free-kick, Lamela put the ball into the heart of the six yard box and Kane rose, but header it down, but wide of the goal from a central position.  Half-time came shortly after and for their early domination, Spurs deserved to turn around in front, but the warnings were there as to what might happen if they continued in a casual manner.

Just after the restart, a poor clearance saw the ball drop to Nugent, who was 25 yards out, but he tried a looping shot, but luckily he got it all wrong and the ball went wide.  A couple of minutes later, that had been proved to be the case.  Mahrez beat Bentaleb to the ball wide of the penalty area on their right and played a low ball to the near post, where Ulloa dragged the ball past Lloris with a back-heel to level the score.

Spurs started to look nervy and were not holding onto the ball as well as the first half and giving away free-kicks.  One in the 52nd minute for a foul by Fazio gave Mahrez the opportunity to strike one from 25 yards out and it beat Lloris, but bounced out off the bar.  Leicester were closing Spurs down quicker and decisions started to go the Foxes' way, with Vertonghen ridiculously giving away a free kick by holding Ulloa when the Leicester man hung onto him as he backed in.

When Spurs did break away, Walker ran forward and ran out of ideas, but later Lamela jinked around Konchesky and out-muscled him, but when he got to the dead ball line, his cross was too high for everyone and it fell to Rose, but his shot went way over.  But the game was going end to end a bit and Leicester broke on their left, making a yard for a shot that was going across Hugo, but the Spurs keeper got a strong wrist to it to push it wide for a corner. 

Tottenham looked like they might have to tough it out, but a break saw Kane try to move forward past two Leicester defenders, who shut the door on him and the ref gave a free-kick 25 yards out, wide of the left side of the box.  Erik Lamela ran over it, the Foxes' wall broke and Eriksen bent a low shot in through the gap that skidded up off the greasy pitch and beat Hamer at his near post to put Tottenham back ahead.  It was a poor goal defensively by the home team, with the wall perhaps more to blame than the keeper. 

Both sides pressed forward with Kane surprising Hamer with a shot that went a yard wide before Drinkwater fizzed an effort a foot wide of Lloris' right hand post.  Mahrez took a long cross and had an opportunity, but his shot from the right side went too high.  Pochettino had brought Paulinho on for Harry Kane and soon after the home team had two shouts for a penalty.  Firstly, Vertonghen slid in on Vardy winning the ball, but then the forward went down, with the ref giving a corner, which brought the second claim, when Ulloa shielded the ball and then went to ground with Jan having his shirt in his hand.  No penalty was the decision again and with Kane suffering the same outcome in the last few weeks.

Leicester had a real chance to equalise when Mahrez hit a low ball in from the right and Lloris got a touch on it which was enough for it to hit the sizeable backside of the unmarked Wes Morgan, instead of him putting the ball in at the far post.  Hugo recovered to grab the ball as it trickled goal-wards.  The centre half had been thrown forward and the aerial bombardment was well dealt with by Lloris, who had come to punch corners and take crosses.  They even threw their keeper forward for a couple of corners, one Lloris touched around the post and the second he took cleanly and he could have cleared quickly to have a shot on goal.  He was left with a bloody mouth when Vardy elbowed him in the face when he took a long ball through.  The Leicester sub got a yellow, but elsewhere on the pitch, it might have brought a red card.

Spurs were trying to keep the ball away from Lloris' goal and a move started on the right by Lamela, went through Soldado and Paulinho to set up Eriksen with a low shot a couple of feet wide, with the end of the game coming straight after that effort.

So, nearly a last minute Eriksen goal in another away win, but it was Kane in the first minute that helped Tottenham on their way to another away-day three points.  Not a great performance and Spurs should really have made the most of the dominance they had in the first third of the game, but there was always a chance Leicester would come back into it and they did.  Maybe a bit lucky with the penalty shout against Vertonghen on Ulloa, but then Morgan pushed Kane down in the box and it could have evened itself out, but two opportunist goals took the win for Tottenham and the impressive away form is keeping Spurs up there, so a few more home wins over the next couple of weeks would be marvellous !!

Pete Stachio



Leicester City have only played on Boxing Day by explicit permission of the Leader of the Quorn Hunt, which has always been the major "sporting" event in the County on the day after Christmas Day.


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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Arsenal 2 QPR 1 Friday
Burnley 0 Liverpool 1 Friday
Chelsea 2 West Ham United 0 Friday
Crystal Palace 1 Southampton 3 Friday
Everton 0 Stoke City 1 Friday
Manchester United 3 Newcastle United 1 Friday
Sunderland 1 Hull City 3 Friday
Swansea City 1 Aston Villa 0 Friday
West Bromwich Albion 1 Manchester City 3 Friday




League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 18 14 3 1 40 13 45 +27
2 Manchester City 18 13 3 2 39 15 42 +24
3 Manchester United 18 10 5 3 33 19 35 +14
4 Southampton 18 10 2 6 31 14 32 +17
5 West Ham United 18 9 4 5 28 21 31 +7
6 Arsenal 18 8 6 4 32 22 30 +10
7 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 18 9 3 6 24 24 30 0
8 Swansea City 18 8 4 6 23 19 28 +4
9 Liverpool 18 7 4 7 22 24 25 -2
10 Newcastle United 18 6 5 7 19 26 23 -7
11 Stoke City 18 6 4 8 19 24 22 -5
12 Everton 18 5 6 7 27 28 21 -1
13 Aston Villa 18 5 5 8 11 22 20 -11
14 Sunderland 18 3 10 5 16 27 19 -11
15 West Bromwich Albion 18 4 5 9 18 26 17 -8
16 QPR 18 5 2 11 21 33 17 -13
17 Hull City 18 3 7 8 18 26 16 -8
18 Crystal Palace 18 3 6 9 20 30 15 -10
19 Burnley 18 3 6 9 12 27 15 -13
20 Leicester City 18 2 4 12 16 31 10 -15


Position before match :  7th
Position after match :  6th
Position after the day's games :  7th


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.


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