Son Heung-min came off the bench to break his goal drought with a hat-trick to give Tottenham a thumping 6-2 victory over Leicester City, which moves them level on points with leaders Manchester City at the international break.
Spurs were far from their best though and fell behind after six minutes when a needless lunge from Davinson Sanchez on the edge of the area brought down James Justin. Although Hugo Lloris made a great save from Your Tielemans’ initial penalty, he had moved off his line and the kick was retaken. Tielemans again kicked it to Lloris’ right – but this time too far away from the keeper.
The lead lasted less than two minutes as Dejan Kulusevski curled a cross to Harry Kane at the back post whose header Danny Ward could only deflect into the net.
Spurs took the lead for the first time when Eric Dier flicked Ivan Perisic’s corner over Ward but James Maddison’s smart half volley had Leicester level at the break.
The hosts went back in front two minutes into the second half when Rodrigo Bentancur robbed Wilfred Ndidi and coolly slotted the ball past Ward.
Leicester looked the best team from that point until Son, who came on just before the hour mark, effectively put the game past the Foxes in the 73rd minute with a superb curling right-footed effort from 20 yards.
After being fed by Kane, he repeated the trick with his left foot six minutes from time.
Two minutes later Son was put through by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and his finish squeezed under Ward. The linesman judged him offside but VAR overturned the decision giving him a third and Spurs a sixth.
TALKING POINT – SO MUCH FOR CONTE TO WORK ON
It is strange Tottenham find themselves level on top with Manchester City, when the introduction of Erling Haaland has no one believing anyone else can win the title and Spurs look far from secure.
For much of both halves they looked second best. The tactic of Brendan Rodgers to push forward Timothy Castagne caused havoc for Ryan Sessegnon, showing his weakness as a wing-back, so much so Conte got the ex-Fulham man to switch wings with Ivan Perisic in the second half. After Bentancur put Spurs in front, Perisic was forced off and with Sessegnon back on the left, Leicester dominated once more and it looked likely they would get level as Maddison was the most influential player on the field.
Conte was so concerned he brought on Yves Bissouma for Kulusevski to put another man behind the ball, but it turned out his earlier substitute meant he did not have to worry.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – SON HEUNG-MIN (TOTTENHAM)
Class is permanent. The form and effectiveness of Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison led to unthinkable thoughts that the Korean star, who has been so good for Tottenham over the last five years, was no longer in their best starting line-up.
Although he was officially rested, on form alone, it would not be surprising if Antonio Conte considered the starting front three as his best options at present. So it was timely Son gave a reminder of his sublime qualities. There may never have been a better player on the break in the Premier League and his three goals showed he has much left to give in the white shirt yet.
Tottenham: Lloris 7; Sanchez 7, Dier 7, Lenglet 7; Bentancur 8, Hojbjerg 6; Sessegnon 5, Perisic 7; Kulusevski 7, Richarlison 6, Kane 7. Subs: Emerson 6, Son 9, Romero 6, Bissouma 6.
Leicester: Ward 6; Castagne 7, Evans 5, Faes 5, Justin 6; Ndidi 5, Tielemans 7; Dewsbury-Hall 7, Maddison 7, Barnes 6; Daka 6. Subs: Vardy 6, Iheanacho 6
6′ PENALTY! Sanchez brings down Justin on the edge of the box and the Foxes have a penalty.
6′ GOAL! Spurs 0-1 Leicester (Tielemans): Tielemans puts his penalty where he has his last five, which all went in, but this time Lloris saves diving to his right…. RETAKE! Lloris was a slither off his line before the kick so it will be taken again… Tielemans takes it again and once more puts it to his left and this time it goes into the inside side-netting.
8′ GOAL! Spurs 1-1 Leicester (Kane): A fantastic ball from Kulusevski picked out Kane at the back post after a short corner and the England striker’s header comes off the body of the Leicester stopper and then ricochets into the net.
22′ GOAL! Spurs 2-1 Leicester (Dier): The recently recalled England defender meets a corner at the front post and flicks it over the goalkeeper inside the vacant back post.
27′ GOAL DISALLOWED! Tottenham have the ball in the net off Daka’s arm but a foul is given for a raised arm from Sanchez on Ward. The keeper lucky to get away with that. If he wasn’t on the floor while Sanchez was in the air it wouldn’t have been an issue.
41′ GOAL! Spurs 2-2 Leicester (Maddison): More sloppy defending from Spurs. Sessegnon allows Castagne to beat him on the right flank but it is then a fine finish from Maddison who lofts the ball played back to him and lifts it over Lloris and inside the far post.
45′ OFF THE BAR Fine stop from Ward. Perisic’s inswinging delivery from the left flank is superb and Sanchez meets with a firm header which the fingertips of the Foxes keeper touch onto the crossbar and away to safety.
47′ GOAL! Spurs 3-2 Leicester (Bentancur): Bentancur robs Ndidi and then races to the edge of the box and coolly slots the ball past Ward.
73′ GOAL! Spurs 4-2 Leicester (Son): Son scores his first of the season. And it was a brilliant one. On the break he was delayed by two Leicester defenders at the edge of the area but then he curls an effort into the top corner leaving Ward with no chance.
84′ GOAL! Spurs 5-2 Leicester (Son): Another great goal from Son. Kane fed him 25 yards out, and this time with his left foot, he delivers another incredible finish.
86′ GOAL! Spurs 6-2 Leicester (Son): Son scores a hat-trick squeezing the ball under Ward but the linesman says he is offside. It is being checked now… It’s onside! Evans’ foot was just playing him on.