Leicester 2-1 Tottenham: Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez fire stunners as Mauricio Pochettino's men drop more points in the Premier League title race
- Marc Albrighton crossed for Jamie Vardy to open the scoring with a brilliant lofted volley over Hugo Lloris
- Moussa Sissoko almost levelled moments later but Vicente Iborra was on hand to clear off the line
- Riyad Mahrez received?the ball from Wilfred Ndidi on the right and cut inside and curled into the top corner
- Harry Kane pulled one back when he smashed high into the net after being played through by Erik Lamela?
First law of the jungle, aggravate Jamie Vardy at your peril. Second, watch your back and do not under any circumstances invite Riyad Mahrez to take aim with his left foot.
Vardy was a menace up front and scored a breathtaking opener while Mahrez, scorer of the second, was silky smooth out wide and once they went ahead Claude Puel’s team defended for their lives.?
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy opened the scoring with a fine finish shortly into the first half of the Premier League clash
Marc Albrighton crossed for Vardy (centre) to break the deadlock with a brilliant lofted volley over Hugo Lloris (right)
The Englishman (left) wheels away after giving his side the lead at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday evening
Vardy celebrates in front of the Leicester supporters after his seventh goal of the Premier League campaign?
The 30-year-old (2nd left) is congratulated by team-mate Harry Maguire (centre) after his brilliant opener?
Riyad Mahrez shoots from outside the box to double his side's lead at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday
The winger got away from Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez and fired a curling effort into the far top corner
Mahrez wheels away in celebration after putting his side in firm control of the Premier League encounter?
The Algerian winger (centre) is congratulated by his team-mates after bagging his fourth goal of the season
MATCH FACTS, LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE?
Leicester (4-4-1-1): Schmeichel 7; Simpson 6, Morgan 7.5, Maguire 7, Chilwell 6.5; Mahrez 7 (Gray 77), Ndidi 6.5, Iborra 7, Albrighton 7; Okazaki 6. 5 (Choudhury 82); Vardy 7 (Slimani 83)
Subs not used: Hamer, Dragovic, Amartey, King
Goals: Vardy 13, Mahrez 45+1?
Manager: Claude Puel 7
Tottenham (3-5-2): Lloris 6; Dier 6, Sanchez 6, Vertonghen 6; Aurier 6, Sissoko 5 (Son 57, 7), Dembele 5.5 (Llorente 69, 6), Eriksen 6.5, Rose 6.5; Alli 6, Kane 7
Subs not used: Vorm, Trippier, Davies, Foyth, Lamela
Goal: Kane 79
Bookings: Vertonghen, Lamela?
Manager: Mauricio Pochettino 6
Referee: Anthony Taylor 6
Harry Kane reduced the deficit with his 20th goal of the season for club and country but Spurs were unable to complete the fightback and manager Mauricio Pochettino fumed as he digested another disappointment, soon after defeats at Manchester United and Arsenal and a draw at home against West Bromwich Albion.
If Manchester City beat Southampton tonight Pochettino’s team will trail the leaders by 16 points, a gap too big to consider closing, especially in this kind of inconsistent form.
The jubilation of victory against Real Madrid suddenly feels a distant memory and their first challenge is to find a way back into the top four.
‘The first half disappointed us a lot,’ said Pochettino. ‘We started so sloppy. We were not clinical. They were more aggressive than we were.
‘You must compete and fight and be focused but Leicester showed more than us. I don’t know why, we talked about starting in a better way than we did against West Brom on Saturday, but again we conceded an early goal.
‘We need to learn how to fight from the first minute because if you don’t fight in the Premier League the quality gap is even and you are going to struggle.
Harry Kane (left) shoots to halve the deficit as Tottenham mounted a comeback in the second half
The Englishman pulled one back when he smashed high into the net after being played through by Erik Lamela
The in-form striker pumps his fist after giving Mauricio Pochettino's side a lifeline during the second half
Kane (right) high fives Argentine playmaker Lamela (left) after the two linked up to score their team's only goal of the game
‘We had chances to score but we were poor and this is disappointing and frustrating. It is not about tactics or systems or selections. It’s about the collective and the collective performance was so poor.’
Tottenham were in trouble from the moment Vardy silenced unsavoury taunts from the away end about his wife Rebekah, who is in the jungle in Australia as part of the reality TV show I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.
Harry Maguire found Marc Albrighton on the left flank and he clipped a pass into the space behind Tottenham’s three centre halves. Vardy sped on to it and as the ball dropped over his shoulder met it on the volley, lobbing the ball with precision over stricken goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
The finish was vintage Vardy and off he skipped to cup his ear at the Spurs supporters as they were reminded by the home crowd how their team contrived to finish third in a two-horse title race in 2016 on a night when Vardy was having a party.
Tottenham summoned a strong response, turning up their tempo and ought to have levelled within three minutes when Kane found Moussa Sissoko charging into Kasper Schmeichel’s area.?
Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (right) is unable to stop Moussa Sissoko's (2nd left) effort getting past him?
Foxes midfielder Vicente Iborra (centre) is on hand to prevent Sissoko's (right) effort from crossing the line
Schmeichel made another fine save from Dele Alli (centre), who missed the target as the rebound came back to him at pace
Schmeichel spread his body and took the sting from Sissoko’s shot and Vicente Iborra chased back and cleared the danger.
Mahrez punished them on the counter-attack, gliding past Jan Vertonghen before taking aim to shape a brilliant curling shot inside the far post.
All night, his effortless touch offered further evidence that Mahrez might be back somewhere near his best, killing the ball with a fizz of back-spin with the outside of his left boot.
As the Algerian performed a knee-slide to celebrate his goal, on the bench, Pochettino dropped his head into his hands and pulled at his hair.
Knowing all about Leicester’s main threats is not akin to nullifying them. Just as it wasn’t two years ago.?
Goalkeeper Schmeichel (left) dives to deny Kane (right) as the visitors went in search of an equalising goal
Tottenham gathered momentum again and dominated second-half possession but were wasteful in front of goal as Leicester set out to frustrate, break up the rhythms of the game and spring out on the break. The game pulsated. Shinji Okazaki headed over from Albrighton’s cross and Schmeichel had to be alert and ready to leave his line to punch clear from Kane and collect crosses.
Pochettino sent on all the fire-power he could muster in the shape of Son Heung-min and Fernando Llorente.
Erik Lamela made his first appearance since October last year as a replacement for Christian Eriksen, who flickered without finding his best form and was guilty of missing one of the better chances.
Spurs ended the game with a four-man front line of Lamela, Kane, Llorente and Son and Dele Alli coming from midfield.
Lamela made an impression with the pass for Kane’s goal before Llorente skied a terrific chance to equalise and a strong penalty appeal for a foul on Danny Rose by Wilfred Ndidi was refused.
It was a spirited effort by the Londoners to salvage something but Leicester hung on for their first home win against Tottenham since they left Filbert Street in 2002.‘It was difficult against a great team but we worked hard for our reward,’ said Puel. ‘It was a fantastic game for us and is encouraging for the future.’
Kane reacts in frustration as the visitors spurned another opportunity to bring themselves level on Tuesday night
Tottenham's players can't hide their dejection at the full-time whistle as Wes Morgan applauds the home supporters
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