Tottenham kept alive their bid to gate-crash the Premier League title race as Davinson Sanchez’s first goal for the club and Hugo Lloris’s penalty save inspired a 3-1 win over Leicester on Sunday.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side took the lead through Sanchez’s first half header, but they were indebted to Lloris for keeping out Jamie Vardy’s spot-kick after the interval at Wembley.
Christian Eriksen netted moments later and although Vardy got one back, Son Heung-min’s late strike ensured third-placed Tottenham clinched a fifth win in their last six league games.
The north Londoners are five points off the top of the table as they try to catch pace-setters Liverpool and Manchester City.
While Tottenham are still outsiders to win their first English title since 1961, their ability to stay in contention, despite injuries to key players Harry Kane and Dele Alli suggests they shouldn’t be completely written off.
This gritty success was the ideal preparation for hosting Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last 16 first leg on Wednesday.
Leicester have lost four of their last five league games, increasing the pressure on under-fire boss Claude Puel.
Puel has reportedly lost the support of several influential players, including England striker Vardy, who was left on the bench for the first 60 minutes before coming on to miss the penalty with his first touch.
With the Dortmund clash looming on Wednesday, Pochettino tweaked his team, leaving out Toby Alderweireld and Lucas Moura and recalling Fernando Llorente.
Llorente was caught napping early on when Harry Maguire evaded the Spanish striker’s marking and met James Maddison’s free-kick with a towering header that Hugo Lloris tipped over.
That chance was symptomatic of a disjointed start from Tottenham.
Leicester’s Harvey Barnes was allowed too much space in the penalty area as he raced onto Youri Tielemans’ pass, but a poor finish wasted a gilt-edged chance.
Finally piecing together an incisive raid, Tottenham were furious when Son’s penalty appeal ended in a booking for diving after Maguire stuck out a leg to halt the South Korean.
Pochettino’s men channelled their frustration into a sustained assault on the Leicester goal.
Danny Rose’s surging run ended with a close-range effort that brought a good save from Kasper Schmeichel.