Pick of the week in the Premier League was without a doubt the clash between last year’s title chasers Tottenham Hotspur and reigning champions Leicester City at White Hart Lane on Saturday afternoon.
Following a 1-1 stalemate between Spurs and Foxes we take a look at five key aspects of this highly anticipated match.
Both teams headed into today’s encounter looking to grab a win that would have been of great importance for Tottenham and Leicester alike.
Having welcomed Leicester on the back of the 2-1 defeat to Liverpool in the EFL Cup, Spurs were keen to record a win and get back on winning ways after four games without a victory in all competitions.
Leicester had a different agenda in mind as they travelled to London on the back of two consecutive triumphs which came for the first time since early in September. Claudio Ranieri’s men were looking for an important morale boost, but a point will suffice having in mind their poor away form this season.
Tottenham have dominated possession, but Leicester worked hard to create chances and put pressure on hosts, who opened the scoring through Janssen towards the end of first half. Tottenham’s summer recruit struck from the penalty spot, but the hosts were denied soon after restart through Ahmed Musa, who earned champions their first away point of the season.
In the end it was a fair result from an evenly contested match.
Spurs are genuine title contenders
Saturday’s draw against Leicester has allowed Tottenham to extend their unbeaten Premier League start to ten games.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team is the only Premier League side without a single defeat this season and it is fair to say that Tottenham Hotspur are once again a genuine title contenders.
Tottenham’s young team has matured and Spurs manager will hope luck will be on his side for the rest of the season as Tottenham looks to upgrade on last season’s exploits.
The point against Leicester lifted Spurs back into the top four, but Spurs will have to be quick to return to winning ways as Manchester City and Arsenal are still only three points away at the top.
Leicester’s struggles continue
One would call it an improvement knowing that Leicester City have today avoided becoming only the second defending top-flight champions to lose their opening five away games of the following season, but Leicester’s struggles have continued this afternoon.
Their first away point allowed them to move up a place to 11th, which is overall a quite disappointing start of the season for Claudio Ranieri’s men.
Leicester’s poor Premier League start comes as a huge contrast to their perfect European record however, which is the only thing so far offering solace to anticipating fans.
Foxes are experiencing a lot of problems this term in defence first of all. Having already allowed 16 goals in the league, Leicester failed to compensate on the other end as they have shipped in only 12.
Ranieri’s men will need to put an end to their Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde star of the new campaign as soon as possible.
Harry Kane’s absence a huge blow
Tottenham have found a way to compensate for the absence of their first-choice striker Harry Kane, but England striker has still been sorely missed up front for Spurs.
Harry Kane has not played since being stretchered off against Sunderland and Tottenham ended up scoring only seven goals in as many matches in the league and Champions League since 18 September when Kane picked up his injury.
The exception was a EFL Cup 5-0 win over Gillingham straight after Kane’s win, but other than that Spurs have widely struggled to materialise their free-flowing, high-pressure, attacking style of play Mauricio Pochettino insists on.
Prolific striker’s return is expected in time for the North London derby with Arsenal and Pochhetino will be glad to welcome his first-choice striker back to the fold for such an important game.
Vardy extends his dry spell
Jamie Vardy is a shadow of his last season’s self and someone needs to say it out loud.
The England international striker went a great distance over the last couple of seasons, becoming the world-wide scoring sensation and a role model for many of amateur striker looking to make it from the bottom.
Following a dream-like season however, during which the 29-year-old Jamie Vardy scored whopping 24 goals in 36 Premier League matches, Leicester City striker has so far bagged only two in ten matches of the 2016-17 season.
It has been over a month and a half since Vardy last bagged a goal for Leicester and his poor form upfront has had a great impact on Leicester’s results overall.
During last season Vardy would go on to solve the entire game with a single moment of brilliance and his dry spell has without a doubt been largely frustrating for the club, fans and the Foxes man alike.
TOTTENHAM: Lloris 6.5, Walker 7, Dier 7, Verthongen 7, Rose 8 – Wanyama 6 (Winks 5), Dembele 7 – Alli 6.5 (N’Koudou 6), Eriksen 6.5, Son 6 – Janssen 6.5.
Unused subs: Vorm, Trippier, Carter-Vickers, Davies, Onomah
LEICESTER CITY: Schmeichel 7 – Simpson 7.5, Morgan 8, Huth 6.5, Fuchs 7 – Mahrez 6 (Albrighton 6), King 6.5, Drinkwater 7.5, Musa 7 (Schlupp 6) – Okazaki 6 (Ulloa 5.5), Vardy 6.5.
Unused subs: Zieler, Hernandez, Amartey, Gray
REFEREE: Robert Madley
Other results this afternoon
Sunderland 1-4 Arsenal
Man United 0-0 Burnley
Middlesbrough 2-0 Bournemouth
Watford 1-0 Hull City
WBA 0-4 Man City