LONDON (AFP) – Mauricio Pochettino saluted Tottenham’s fighting spirit as they kept alive their bid to gate-crash the Premier League title race with a 3-1 win over Leicester on Sunday night.
Pochettino’s side took the lead through Davinson Sanchez’s first goal for the club, but they were indebted to Hugo Lloris for saving 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 tomorrow.
“Sometimes you can win games not playing your best. We conceded more chances than usual, but I think the victory is fair,” Pochettino said.
“The effort was fantastic, with the circumstances that happened in this game and also this season. I’m so proud.”
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 a penalty with his first touch.
Insisting he was happy for Vardy to take the penalty, Puel said, “I gave him the opportunity. I said if he felt good he could take it.
“Maybe it was not a good thing, but we had a lot of chances, not just with this penalty.”