Leicester 4-1 Tottenham: Foxes thrash Spurs as Conte returns to dugout
Leicester routed Tottenham to increase the pressure on Spurs boss Antonio Conte.
Nampalys Mendy’s first goal in over six years inspired the Foxes to a 4-1 comeback win at the King Power Stadium.
James Maddison, Kelechi Iheanacho and Harvey Barnes also netted as the hosts scored four for the second straight game.
Rodrigo Bentancur had briefly given Spurs the lead but they crumbled during an error-strewn performance.
Conte returned to the dugout after gallbladder surgery but his side failed to build on their impressive victory over Manchester City.
Defeat left them a point adrift of the top four having played two games more as their uphill battle to clinch a Champions League spot continued.
For Leicester, their second revival of the season rolls on after last week’s 4-2 win at Aston Villa.
Questions were, again, being asked of the Foxes and boss Brendan Rodgers after four defeats in five but they have answered any lingering doubts.
Victory even came after a dodgy start where the hosts gifted Tottenham a 14th-minute opener.
Ivan Perisic had gone close before Danny Ward turned his free kick over and from the corner Victor Kristiansen cleared under his own bar.
But it was only a brief reprieve for Leicester and the defender as, from another corner, Kristiansen made a total mess of his clearance and only succeeded in finding Bentancur who tapped in from close range.
Spurs were on top but it took just 11 minutes for the Foxes to turn the game. They had barely threatened but levelled out of the blue through an unlikely source.
Mendy had not scored in his previous 108 Leicester appearances after joining in 2016 but when Bentancur’s header reached the midfielder on the edge of the box he unleashed an angled rocket which flew past Fraser Forster.
Two minutes later it got better for the hosts and captain for the day Maddison.
Ben Davies’ loose pass was cleared by Wout Faes to Iheanacho – left in a ridiculous amount of space – who turned and found the unmarked Maddison to sweep in his ninth goal of the season.
Leicester were suddenly rampant and Forster kept out Iheanacho as the Spurs defence imploded.
Not that sloppy defending was reserved for Tottenham as a mix up between Timothy Castagne and Ward almost resulted in the defender scoring an embarrassing own goal.
It was a game littered with errors and Spurs added another gaffe to the catalogue when the Foxes went 3-1 up in first-half injury time.
Harry Souttar launched a clearance upfield and Iheanacho was given too much space to run at Eric Dier. He checked inside to the edge of the area, dummied and then found the bottom corner.
Ragged Tottenham hardly improved after the break and Forster needed to save from Barnes.
There was never a suggestion the visitors were going to recover and even Harry Kane – with 15 goals in 19 Premier League games against Leicester – was nullified.
With 20 minutes left the visitors needed VAR to rescue them when Barnes converted Iheanacho’s pass – but there was no stopping the winger adding a fourth and sealing victory 11 minutes later.
The generous Tottenham defence first allowed Maddison to advance and slip Barnes in with the England man turning and beating Forster from 20 yards.