Son Heung-min ended his goal drought with a scintillating 13-minute hat-trick as Tottenham ruthlessly punished Leicester’s latest defensive horror show.
The South Korea striker responded to Antonio Conte’s decision to drop him to the bench after a barren start to the season by coming on to curl home two fantastic strikes and slot home a late third.
Spurs trailed to Youri Tielemans’ early penalty but took advantage of the Foxes’ failings at set-pieces as Harry Kane and Eric Dier nodded home from corners to turn the game around.
James Maddison’s fabulous first-time finish briefly drew Leicester level again, but Wilfried Ndidi’s mistake allowed Rodrigo Bentancur to steer Tottenham back in front before substitute Son stole the show.
Victory maintained Spurs’ unbeaten start to the Premier League season as they climbed to second, level on points with leaders Manchester City.
Leicester, meanwhile, remain at the foot of the table, still searching for their first win, despite having led in four of their seven matches thus far.
As at all Premier League games this weekend, fans observed a minute’s silence for the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and a 70th-minute round of applause in honour of her 70-year reign.
Son shines as Conte call proved right
Son had failed to score in eight games in all competitions for Spurs so far this season but it was still a brave decision from boss Conte to drop last season’s joint-Golden Boot winner.
In fairness, he could not have asked for better opposition to open his account, given the brittleness of the Foxes’ backline but the quality of his first two strikes stood out.
Both were curled into the top corner from the edge of the box – the first with his right foot, the second with his left – as the 30-year-old proved the old adage that form is temporary but class permanent.
Even an erroneous offside flag could not deny him the match ball as VAR replays showed he was just onside when he strode clear to beat Danny Ward for his third goal and Spurs’ sixth.
While Son’s stunning cameo will hog the headlines, there was plenty more for Conte to be pleased about after seeing his side record a seventh successive win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Five different players provided assists, with Ivan Perisic’s dead-ball delivery complementing Dejan Kulusevski’s crosses from open play, while Bentancur contributed his first goal for the club.
But they will need to cut out defensive lapses such as Davinson Sanchez’s needless challenge on James Justin that handed Leicester their early lead, Tielemans tucking home at the second attempt after VAR spotted Hugo Lloris had encroached off his line in saving the initial spot-kick.
Foxes’ fiascos hitting new lows?
When it comes to defensive debacles, however, no top-flight team is a patch on Leicester, who have now lost 4-2, 5-2 and 6-2 on the road this season, conceding a joint-high 19 goals overall.
It is not a new phenomenon either – they have kept just two clean sheets in 19 games, conceded 25 set-piece goals since the start of last season and dropped 11 points from winning positions this term alone.
While boss Brendan Rodgers, enduring the longest losing league run of his career after six successive defeats, said earlier this week the club’s hierarchy had been “very supportive”, that patience surely has a limit after a haul of just one point from seven games.
The dithering Ndidi’s error to help Bentancur put Spurs 3-2 up at a vital juncture of the game characterised their lack of confidence, while deadline-day signing Wout Faes endured a chastening debut.
Until Son’s introduction and Leicester’s collapse, the Foxes arguably created as many chances as the hosts in the first hour, with Lloris notably saving well from Maddison and Patson Daka with the game in the balance.
But the Foxes’ talented attackers, even the again excellent Maddison, simply cannot cancel out the volume of goals shipped at the other end.
It could have been more too. A Daka own goal was ruled out for a foul by Sanchez on Ward, who also tipped a header from the Spurs defender onto the bar later in the first half.
- 6D SánchezSubstituted forRomeroat 59′minutes
- 14PerisicBooked at 73minsSubstituted forEmerson Royalat 55′minutes
- 19R Sessegnon
- 21KulusevskiSubstituted forBissoumaat 70′minutes
- 9RicharlisonSubstituted forSon Heung-Minat 59′minutes
- 7Son Heung-Min
- 12Emerson Royal
- 25NdidiBooked at 49minsSubstituted forSoumaréat 85′minutes
- 22Dewsbury-HallSubstituted forIheanachoat 74′minutes
- 20DakaBooked at 60minsSubstituted forVardyat 74′minutes
- Simon Hooper
Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 6, Leicester City 2.
Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 6, Leicester City 2.
Attempt saved. James Maddison (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Kelechi Iheanacho.
Attempt saved. Youri Tielemans (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James Maddison.
Foul by Boubakary Soumaré (Leicester City).
Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt blocked. James Maddison (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Kelechi Iheanacho.
VAR Decision: Goal Tottenham Hotspur 6-2 Leicester City (Son Heung-Min).
Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 6, Leicester City 2. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg following a fast break.Goal awarded following VAR Review.
James Maddison (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Yves Bissouma (Tottenham Hotspur).
Attempt saved. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Rodrigo Bentancur.
Substitution, Leicester City. Boubakary Soumaré replaces Wilfred Ndidi.
Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 5, Leicester City 2. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Harry Kane.
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Wout Faes.
Attempt blocked. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg.
Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Harry Kane tries a through ball, but Son Heung-Min is caught offside.
James Justin (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ryan Sessegnon (Tottenham Hotspur).
Attempt saved. Rodrigo Bentancur (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
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