Tottenham Hotspur 4:3 Leicester City
City overcame a dreadful start to get themselves back into this game, but left White Hart Lane with nothing thanks to a Harry Kane hat-trick…
Nigel Pearson made three changes to his side, with Schmeichel returning after a four month injury lay-off, and Ulloa and Nugent in for Mahrez and Kramarić.
Spurs had to make a change after just three minutes. A Vardy charge down the left was flagged offside but Walker crashed into keeper Lloris, who had to be replaced by Vorm after lengthy treatment.
However, Spurs were ahead by the 6th minute. Townsend delivered a corner from the left and Dier flicked it on at the near post. It looked like a straightforward headed clearance for Upson before Schmeichel stretched to divert it and the ball dropped kindly for Kane who couldn’t miss from close in.
At the other end Nugent’s long-range swerving shot almost caught Vorm out, but it was the home side who added to the scoreline in the 13th minute. Walker’s cross from th eright was half-cleared by Huth into the path of Kane. His shot took a big deflection off the German defender’s chest and ended up in the back of the net.
A good save from Schmeichel diverted an Eriksen shot onto the post after he had unzipped City’s defence, and prevented Spurs from disappearing over the horizon.
Instead, it was City who got themselves back in contention in the 38th minute.
A James ball sent Nugent racing down the and right and he delivered a perfect cross for Vardy to slot home at the far post.
City were the better side by this stage: Rose had to put in a fine tackle to deny Nugent and then Ulloa headed over from a corner under no pressure.
City, with Wasilewski on for Upson, started the second half in the same vein. Ulloa, in on the right, picked out Nugent three yards out, but Walker managed to block his shot over the bar. From the resulting corner Morgan was given the freedom of the penalty area to nod the ball past Vorm and level the game.
City looked the more likely to take the lead at this stage, but Huth couldn’t direct his header on target from a James corner.
It was Spurs who got another slice of luck in the 63rd minute when Nugent and Rose collided in the penalty area. It looked like Rose had at least as much to do with the coming together as Nugent but Mike Dean pointed to the spot and Kane completed his first Premier League hat-trick from 12 yards.
Kane and then Chaldli should have made it 4-2, scooping chances over the bar, before Mahrez came on for Huth.
Although City were trying to press forward Tottenham struck again with 5 minutes remaining.
Schmeichel came out smartly to block an Eriksen effort, but Schlupp was ill-rewarded for charging back to help out and the ball cannoned off him and into the net.
Still City weren’t finished and Nugent battled through the Spurs defence before sending a precise shot past Vorm, but it was too late to make a difference.
To get nothing from such a decent performance was tough, but it is getting harder to see an escape route now.
Tottenham: Lloris (Vorm 3), Walker, Rose, Vertonghen, Dier, Townsend (Paulinho 58), Kane, Chadli, Eriksen, Mason, Bentaleb. Subs Not Used: Chiriches, Adebayor, Lamela, Davies.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Morgan, Huth (Mahrez 76), Upson (Wasilewski 46), De Laet, Cambiasso (King 85), James, Schlupp, Vardy, Ulloa, Nugent. Subs Not Used: Konchesky, Drinkwater, Schwarzer, Kramarić.
Referee: M Dean. Attendance: 35,950.