Tottenham vs Leicester City almost always results and the Spurs and Foxes did not disappoint with a defensively selective 6-2 decision for the hosts at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday.
Heung-min Son came off the bench to score a 13th-minute hat-trick in Tottenham’s win after Spurs trailed 1-0 after six minutes and found themselves level at 2-2 at half-time.
Tottenham’s only goal came in the second half. And they were all the stuff of highlights, with Rodrigo Betancur forcing a turnover and beating Danny Ward before Heung-min Son came off the bench to score a stunning three goals.
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Spurs’ unbeaten start to the Premier League remains now seven games, as Harry Kane and Eric Dier joined Betancur and Son on the scoresheet. Betancur and Ivan Perisic recorded assists, as did Dejan Kulusevski for a superb cross to set up Kane’s goal.
Youri Tielemans and James Maddison scored for the Foxes, who gave a great effort to the hosts but will not have much of a morale victory after looking at the table; Leicester have one point from seven outings and sit dead last, 16 points and 18 places behind their hosts.
Tottenham sit in second place and can’t be lower than third by the end of the weekend
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What we learned from it Tottenham vs Leicester; Heung-min Son’s reaction
Spurs have that Conte juice: A midweek defeat in the UEFA Champions League has Tottenham manager Antonio Conte drilling Spurs on the day after a disappointing loss to Sporting Lisbon. Concession soon after? Well, let’s just say it’s no surprise that Tottenham overcame whatever fatigue their midweek bodies were feeling to score four of the last five goals against Leicester. The Foxes can’t defend at the moment – more on that relationship in a moment – but Tottenham didn’t really feel in danger of anything but taking three points even when it was 1-0 down and level at 2-2.
Mac especially answers the call: Antonio Conte responded to Richarlison’s improved performances and Heung-min Son’s stunning star turn by plugging the former into the Starting XI. But a player like Mac is always going to get his chance to enjoy what he did. Spurs were fourth, fifth and sixth on the day for Son’s goals but will be competing for the honor of best goal of the game. Big time stuff from South Korea.
“My finishing is bad this season,” said Son, via the BBC. “I was also a bit unlucky with an own goal, two dissenting goals and hitting the crossbar. I knew goals were coming and I wasn’t worried. I’ve always had great supporters, teammates and coaches behind me. … I was pretty sure I was on the side for the hat-trick! I am glad that I managed to help the team, that is very important and that I can take up national duty with renewed energy. … I’m getting emotional [about the crowd support] to do the truth. There was great support and I always felt that I let my teammates and fans down with my performances. They are always supporting me.”
Foxes only know half the game: New man goalkeeper Wout Faes has had his moments, but the fact remains that Leicester City are absolutely brutal at the back at the moment, which leads to a chicken or egg question regarding Kasper Schmeichel’s transfer goalkeeper. Was it to good? Danny Ward can’t be that bad, but the question is whether the Danish star has made Leicester’s defense for years. Leicester went into the day having conceded the third most goals in the Premier League and had the fifth worst xGA. That is not getting better and Leicester are a candidate to be one of the surprise teams in danger of relegation as Fulham and Bournemouth have won early in the season.
Brenda’s watch: Leicester have been awful this season and the Foxes are looking at an international break to put things together. Is it possible that they will lose their great reputation but that they are a manager’s performer and down?
Rodgers admits he is under a lot of pressure.
“A lot,” Rodgers said. “I go in every day and do my job. I completely understand the frustration of supporters. I can’t hide from that. The responsibility is mine. … Whatever happens I will respect them very much [the owners] because they have given me great support. I understand the game. The scoreline didn’t reflect the game but the bottom line is that it was a big win. They have given me great support. Whatever happens to me at Leicester it doesn’t matter if I stay and fight, I will always respect them.”
Two things are very true about that statement:
It is highly commendable for a man who has certainly not achieved it but also had a nightmare summer transfer window.
It is very honest and perhaps as a clue of what is to come, or even opening the door for the bosses to let him loose without much regret.
A pretty decent payout is likely coming his way in the event of a firing.
Stars of the Show
What lies ahead?
Arsenal take on Tottenham in a high-profile North London derby when the Premier League resumes at 7:30am ET on October 1 (October?!? Whaaaat?!?!).
Leicester host Nottingham Forest at 3pm ET on Monday, October 3. Will Rodgers be in the dugout?
Youri Tielemans goal video: Foxes take the lead very early from the spot
Harry Kane goal video: The Tottenham star man tucks home Kulusevski’s sweet service
Eric Dier goal video: Another Spurs piece, another Spurs goal
James Maddison goals video: Foxes level it (again)
Video of Rodrigo Betancur’s goals: throw weight spurs around
Heung-min Son hat trick video: Thirteen minutes = three goals
How to watch Tottenham vs Leicester live, stream link and start time
Start: 12:30 pm ET, Saturday
TV channel: NBC
Online: Stream via NBCsports.com
Main stories & star players
The result in Portugal may have been different than all the rest, but the performance itself was quite similar to the way Tottenham played in the Premier League. Through a handful of well-timed goals, Spurs managed to come out on the (mostly) positive side of an average performance, but fell victim to their own poor creation of chances and unimaginative possession in the end. Mainly, the struggles of Son Heung-min, last season’s Golden Boot winner who is yet to open his account in 2022-23, prevented Tottenham from kicking too quickly. At the same time, they are a point off the PL summit without showing anything close to their best so far.
As for the Foxes, it’s not even beginning to explain how miserable it has been since the start of the summer. Leicester only signed one new player during the summer transfer window, with Wout Faes brought in just before the deadline to replace Wesley Fofana, who moved to Chelsea for $80 million. The season started with a two goal lead against Brentford (Leinster’s only point so far), followed by five straight wins and 14 goals conceded. There is no doubt that the pressure is on Brendan Rodgers as his job gets tougher with every win.
Tottenham team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Lucas Moura (achilles)
Leicester team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Ricardo Pereira (achilles), Ryan Bertrand (knee)
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