Three talking points as Leicester City stunned Tottenham Hotspur at the King Power
Leicester City withstood a late bombardment to register a superb victory at home to Tottenham Hotspur.
Jamie Vardy had given the Foxes an early lead thanks to an audacious finish, before Riyad Mahrez doubled their advantage with an equally fine effort in first-half stoppage-time.
Spurs rallied in the second period and halved the arrears through talismanic striker Harry Kane, but they were unable to find an equaliser despite creating numerous opportunities.
This result keeps Tottenham outside the Premier League’s top four, while Leicester continue their resurgence and climb to ninth.
Here are three talking points from an eventful night under the King Power Stadium floodlights…
Leicester’s key players hit form at the right time
The Foxes’ fall from grace since winning the Premier League resulted in the sacking of Claudio Ranieri last season and the departure of key figures including N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater.
Two players that have remained at the East Midlands outfit despite interest from other clubs are Vardy and Mahrez, both of whom were key to their miraculous title triumph.
After a prolonged quiet period, they are getting back to their best again. Both were on the scoresheet against Spurs, with goals that were worthy of winning any game of football.
Vardy showed tremendous skill to volley a through ball, which had dropped over his shoulder, past Hugo Lloris, before Mahrez netted with a trademark effort, cutting inside from the right and bending an unstoppable strike into the top corner.
For Leicester fans, it was like 2015/16 all over again.
Tottenham suffering their first real blip under Mauricio Pochettino
It is now just one win in their past five Premier League matches for Spurs, who are failing to meet the standards they set last season.
Having pushed champions Chelsea so close in the title race, supporters had hoped they would be able to go one step further this time. However, despite a successful Champions League adventure thus far, Tottenham’s domestic form has taken a turn for the worse.
Inconsistent at their temporary headquarters of Wembley Stadium, Pochettino’s men are also slipping up on their travels. This is their third consecutive away defeat and one which leaves them outside the top four.
Playing in Europe appears to have taken its toll on the squad, with too many key players struggling for form and fitness.
There is no doubt Pochettino is among the best managers in the world, but he faces a challenge to galvanise his players.
Claude Puel’s appointment has had the desired effect
He has been in charge for only a month, but Claude Puel has already had a significant impact at Leicester. From his five matches in charge, the Foxes have claimed eight points, losing only to Manchester City.
This victory over a quality Tottenham outfit was further indication of the big strides they have made under the Frenchman.
Dismissed by Southampton in the summer despite having guided the club to eighth place in the Premier League and the final of the League Cup, Puel was a surprise appointment to many at Leicester.
However, he has had the desired effect; organising the Foxes defensively and getting the best out of their most creative players, particularly Mahrez, who had become marginalised under Craig ex-boss Shakespeare.
It is only the start of his reign, but the signs are promising that Puel and Leicester may be an ideal fit.
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