Tottenham Hotspur beat Leicester City 6-2 in the Premier League on Saturday, September 17. The win takes them up to second place with 17 points, two points ahead of arch-rivals Arsenal in third place and only behind leaders Manchester City on goal difference.
The Foxes have made their poorest start to a league season under Brendan Rodgers. They entered this contest rooted to the bottom of the league with just one point from six games. They scored eight goals and conceded 16 as they have had contrasting performances so far. They were looking to put in a good shift to try and turn their fortunes around.
Tottenham, on the other hand, won four and drew two of their first six games and were in third place with 14 points prior to kick-off. They scored 12 goals and conceded just five. Antonio Conte fielded a new-look lineup as he gave some of his regulars some rest following their midweek loss to Sporting CP.
Tottenham made a slow start to the game and were slightly clumsy going into tackles. It bit them in the back as Davinson Sanchez committed an early foul inside Spurs’ penalty area. Contact was made on the line and the referee awarded a penalty to Leicester.
Youri Tielemans stepped up and missed his spot kick. Hugo Lloris was off his line and the penalty was asked to be retaken. Tielemans made no mistake as he scored to make it 1-0 to Leicester after just six minutes. However, their lead was erased in a matter of minutes.
Dejan Kulusevski played a lovely cross deep into the visitors’ box. Harry Kane rose to meet the ball and scored with a header at the far post to make it 1-1 after nine minutes. Eric Dier then doubled Tottenham’s lead as he converted a corner from Ivan Perisic after 21 minutes with a header.
Leicester soon grew into the game, creating good chances of their own. James Justin was a menace on the left flank as he attempted several crosses and long balls. James Maddison then restored parity after 41 minutes with a delightful touch to put the ball past Lloris. The teams went into the break deadlocked at 2-2 after a franctic first half.
Tottenham made a strong start to the second half. They wasted no time in restoring their lead and were handed a helping hand by Wilfried Ndidi. The Nigerian received the ball with his back turned towards Rodrigo Bentancur. The latter snuck behind Ndidi and stole the ball. He then unleashed a low, curling shot that was perfectly nestled into the bottom-right corner to make it 3-2 after 47 minutes.
Conte then made three changes as he brought Cristian Romero and Heung-min Son into the game. Leicester continued to create chances and did not let heads drop. Maddison and Daka continued to arrive in key areas but failed to convert. The latter was booked for handball after 60 minutes as he attempted to score with his hand.
Son then took matters into his own hands, netting a 13-minute hat-trick comprising of three world class goals. He had been on the pitch for just 27 minutes when he completed his hat-trick, having been goalless prior to that this season. With the score at 6-2, both sides just ran down the clock as Tottenham secured a big win over strugglers Leicester City.
That said, let’s take a look at the five hits and flops from the game.
#5. Hit – Eric Dier
Dier had a great game at the heart of Tottenham’s defense and looked solid on the ball. He also scored the goal that made it 2-1 to his side with a lovely glancing header into the far post from a corner. He won one of his three duels, making three clearances and one interception. He also distributed the ball well, playing nine accurate long balls.
#4. Flop – Davinson Sanchez
Davinson Sanchez was baited into making a silly tackle in the early stages of the game. James Justin carried the ball to the edge of Tottenham’s penalty area and shortened his stride, waiting for Sanchez to stick a leg out.
The Colombian was drawn in and obliged, which resulted in a penalty for Leicester after just six minutes. It was the first foul of the game and conceded another one midway through the first half. He was subbed off after 59 minutes.
#3. Hit – Rodrigo Bentancur
Bentancur was one of Tottenham’s best players on the pitch in terms of total contribution. He scored his side’s all-important go-ahead goal just two minutes after the start of the second half. What made the goal sweeter was that Bentancur stole it from Ndidi, created the opportunity for himself and then scored with a peach of a shot from outside the box.
He also provided an assist for his side’s fourth goal. He also played two key passes, winning four of his six duels and blocking three shots.
#2. Flop – Danny Ward
Danny Ward looks far from a top-level goalkeeper and has proven to be a tremendous downgrade for Leicester from Kasper Schmeichel. Many were surprised when the Midlands club allowed their Danish skipper to leave for OGC Nice in France.
Ward faced 11 shots and conceded goals from more than half of them, making just five saves. His positioning and agility are much lesser compared to other elite custodians in the league. Leicester need to sort this out should they make an attempt to reignite their long-lost form.
#1. Hit – Heung-min Son
Son entered this game having failed to score in any of his eight appearances across competitions. He was brought into the game after 59 minutes as Tottenham looked to increase their one-goal lead at the time.
Son doubled Spurs’ lead after 73 minutes with a long-range effort that beat Danny Ward all ends up. Just 11 minutes later, he came up with another world class strike, this time with his weaker left foot into the top-left corner of the net. Son added a third just two minutes later, but there was added suspense as VAR took some time to confirm he was onside.
He attempted four shots, all were on target and he scored from three of those. He also won three of his four duels.