up the backside.
Spurs finally got back into some sort of groove, after two disappointing results, with a victory over Leicester that got them back up into fourth, for a few hours.
Of course it wasn’t as simple as just getting back to the good times from the off. No. This is Spurs, remember. Leicester, with a game in Europe last midweek and this midweek, weren’t at full strength, while Conte dropped new boy Kulusevski for the first time in the league, he’d started every league game since his arrival, bar the first.
Spurs started brightly, which brought hope, but of course didn’t capitalise on any of it, while Leicester eventually got into the game, duly helped by some slack play from the home side, and they slipped into the dull routine of the last couple of games.
It was panning out a bit like the Villa game, Spurs lacking but ahead, while Hugo keeping the opposition out. Here though the captain did have the help of Romero, who was cruising around in Rolls-Royce mode.
The lead had come in the 22nd minute, courtesy of a corner. Son’s corner, which was right on Kane’s head for him to nod it in. Leicester have been bad at defending set pieces and this was quite simple from Spurs.
The change Conte made for Kulu was bringing Moura back in. It didn’t work. As the Brazilian was also his usual self, lot of huff and puff and no end product. Summed up perfectly in one comment from the game…
— Tottenham Fans (@spursnewsonly) May 1, 2022
Against Villa, it was obviously what Conte said at half-time that produced a dramatic shift in the play of Spurs, bringing about the goals. Here, it wasn’t. Here, it was the 55th minute introduction of Kulusevski for Moura.
Kulusevski hadn’t been at his best in the previous two games, but then none of them had. But maybe he either needed a little rest, or he needed the kick up the backside that being dropped for Moura is. Either way it was his introduction that really turned things.
With Kulu there’s the work that Moura puts in but there’s also an end product, which you rarely get from the Brazilian. A couple of robust tackles by Romero, saw the ball fall to Kulu, who ran to the edge of the box, where he played the ball through to Son, who turned and shot for the second. In 5 minutes Kulu had done more than Moura produced in the previous 55.
Kulu might have got an assist for Spurs third, but it was really all Son. It started with Son playing a pass to himself, a pass to Royal was played on to Kulu, he played the ball inside to Son, a couple of yards outside the box where after a touch to get it on his left he curled a glorious ball into the top far corner of the net. Schmeichel had no chance.
Kulu’s 8th assist since his debut in February, just 14 games, to go with 3 goals. Sonny’s 19th goal of the season, second to Salah in the golden boot race. While Son hasn’t relied on penalties to get those numbers up. And to prove things are getting like US sport and there’s a stat for everything…
10 – Son Heung-min has scored 10 goals with his left foot this season in the Premier League, making him only the second right-footed player to score 10+ goals in a single season with his left foot, after Harry Kane in 2017-18 (10). Ambipedal. pic.twitter.com/AB14iDwyc3
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 1, 2022
He’s up to 19 goals in the league this season, the most he’s registered in the league, and yet you can still say he’s not been at his best this season. Not as sharp as past seasons. Maybe it’s Kane’s numbers being down that has seen his rise.
With that third, it was game over. Yes the visitors brought on Vardy but when he say Romero approaching a lose ball he shat himself and bottled it. Though they did get one back. Conte getting a bit too confident brought on Winks and in injury time he did one of his usual, appearing to do something without actually doing anything challenges, running by the Leicester player before he scored to blot the clean sheet.
They needed that win and that second half performance. Scouse up next, will they be ready from the off…