Tottenham won 6-1 the last time they played at the King Power Stadium, but Claude Puel’s Leicester are a different story.
The Foxes scored two impressive first half goals and held on to beat Spurs 2-1 in the East Midlands. Recent struggles continue for Tottenham, who have now lost two of their last three games in the Premier League.
Mauricio Pochettino chose to rotate the lineup a bit following Saturday’s draw with West Brom. Moussa Sissoko came in for Son Heung-min, while Harry Winks’ illness kept him out of the squad in favor of Mousa Dembele. The fullbacks were also rotated, with Serge Aurier and Danny Rose getting the starts over Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies.
The most noteworthy member of Spurs’ 18 was Erik Lamela, who returned to the squad after a lengthy 13-month injury absence.
The Foxes looked energized from the start. They were full of pace and eagerness to run onto long balls past Spurs’ high line of defenders. And that’s exactly how they opened the scoring.
Marc Albrighton played a delicate ball in between Davinson Sanchez and Eric Dier, but Jamie Vardy still had a lot of work to do. He latched onto the ball and brilliantly lobbed Hugo Lloris. It was Sanchez’ temporary lack of concentration that allowed Vardy to drift off his marker.
Spurs initially responded well, with Kasper Schmeichel making a couple nice saves to keep the visitors off the board. He denied both Moussa Sissoko and Dele Alli in 1-on-1 situations.
Tottenham grew into the game and gained more of a foothold on the possession as the first half neared its end, but another incredible goal from Leicester only pegged them back further.
Riyad Mahrez took the ball wide on a counter attack and was allowed to cut inside on his deadly left foot. The Algerian smashed one past Lloris into the side netting. It was similar to the goal he scored at the King Power against Spurs in August of 2015, with Jan Vertonghen the victim once again.
Pochettino surely had some stern words for his squad at halftime, and they responded with more intensity in the second half.
Leicester responded by sitting deeper. The Foxes were restricted to less counter-attacks than they had in the first half, but they managed the pressure and kept Spurs’ chances to a minimum.
Lamela made his long awaited return in the 77th minute, replacing Christian Eriksen after an off-game from the Dane. Eriksen missed a sitter in front of goal just minutes before being substituted.
The Argentinian should’ve been rusty after such a long time injured, but instead he made an impact almost immediately.
It was his quick pass that found Harry Kane as he peeled away from his defender in the box. Kane did what he does best and fired the ball into the roof of the net.
The goal gave Spurs hope in what turned out to be a frantic final few minutes, but the equalizer never came.
In stoppage time Rose went down in the Leicester box and appealed heavily for a penalty, but it would’ve been soft had it been given.
The final whistle sounded and the Spurs players trudged off the pitch. With the busy holiday fixture season approaching, now is not the time to be in such poor form.