Leicester sink Spurs to climb into third spot
|LEICESTER CITY||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR|
|(Ricardo Pereira 69, James Maddison 85)||(Harry Kane 29)|
Leicester City proved their credentials to upset the top-six applecart in the English Premier League by coming from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at the King Power Stadium on Saturday (Sept 21).
Harry Kane’s improvised opener put Spurs on course for a first away win in the EPL since January.
However, the game swung Leicester’s way after a second Tottenham goal midway through the second half was ruled out by the finest of margins for offside by VAR.
The hosts built on that lift immediately as Ricardo Pereira equalised before James Maddison struck the winner from long range five minutes from time.
Brendan Rodgers’ men have now held their own against Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham in the first six games of the season to move into the top three.
“We’re six games in, we are not getting carried away,” said Rodgers. “We had a tough start but I’m so pleased with the players’ focus.
“Where we are at in the table in February, March time, we’ll take a closer look.
“At the moment, it’s about improving our game, bringing a level of emotion and intensity to our game that allows us to maximise the talents that we have. Today, against a top-class side, they were exceptional.”
By contrast, Spurs have now won just two of their first seven games of the season in all competitions.
Mauricio Pochettino was not angered by his side’s application as he was when they threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Olympiakos in midweek.
But he bemoaned the momentum swing that a long stoppage in play prior to Serge Aurier’s strike being ruled out, handed Leicester.
“The emotion of the game changed,” said Pochettino. “The belief it gave to Leicester made things happen differently.”
However, Tottenham had also benefited from VAR earlier in the game when Wilfred Ndidi bundled home only for Ayoze Perez to be judged offside in the build-up.
“We all accept that system in the game and now I am not going to complain,” added Pochettino.
“We need to be more consistent and show better performances away from home.”
Handed the reprieve of Ndidi’s goal being ruled out, Tottenham went in front in unusual fashion on 29 minutes when Son Heung Min’s backheel found Kane, who stumbled and hit the floor as he bore down on goal.
However, the England captain still managed to flick the ball high beyond Kasper Schmeichel from the ground for his 14th goal in 13 games against Leicester.
Kane was also involved in the controversial call that went Leicester’s way 23 minutes from time.
He teed up Aurier to fire home from the edge of the area, but the goal was ruled out for Son being barely a millimetre offside in the build-up.
“You have to keep your focus. It’s part of the game you have to adapt to it,” added Rodgers.
Leicester built on that huge lift and went straight down the other end to level when Vardy’s low cross was turned home at the far post by Pereira.
Spurs had chances to retake the lead as Aurier fired across goal and wide, while Kane’s powerful effort was too close to Schmeichel.
But they were hit with the sucker punch when Maddison pounced on a loose ball and drilled a shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards for his first goal of the season in front of England manager Gareth Southgate. – AFP