Tottenham manager Antonio Conte says “nobody could have imagined” his team would still be in the race for Champions League qualification when he arrived in November.
Son Heung-min scored twice and Harry Kane rediscovered his touch in front of goal as Spurs beat Leicester to boost their hopes of a top-four Premier League finish.
Tottenham moved briefly into fourth place with the win, but neighbours Arsenal regained the spot by beating West Ham later on Sunday.
“It was vital to get three points. There was a lot of pressure but I told my players to enjoy this moment because we deserved it after really great work that we did in these six months,” said Conte, who joined Spurs after they sacked Nuno Espirito Santo.
“No-one could have imagined when I arrived in November we could be in this race still, but these players are deserving to fight for such an important place. It is not easy to qualify for the Champions League in England.”
England captain Kane, goalless in his previous five Spurs games, headed in the opener from Son’s corner.
Son stroked in the second after being picked out by Dejan Kulusevski, then curled in a sensational third for his 19th league goal of the season.
Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho scored a consolation with a crisp strike.
“It was a great, great afternoon, a great match and a great performance from the team. We totally deserved it,” said Son, who trails Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah by three goals in the race to finish as the Premier League’s top scorer this season.
“Winning the Golden Boot is not important for me. Scoring goals is really good but you can’t score alone. You need the team.
“If I get the chances, then I will try to score. We want to finish in the Champions League and I want to play in the Champions League.”
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers made eight changes to his starting XI, with the game coming in the middle of their two-legged Europa Conference League semi-final against Roma.
The Foxes remain 11th in the Premier League table, meaning winning Europe’s third club competition seems their only realistic route into continental action next season.