Son Heung-min ended his Premier League goal drought with a sensational second-half hat-trick as Tottenham routed Leicester City in a 6-2 rampage.
The South Korea forward paid the price pre-match for his underwhelming form this season as he was benched by Antonio Conte for his side’s final game before the international break.
But last term’s Golden Boot winner came off the bench after the break to steal the show in a remarkable performance that saw him net three goals inside a quarter-hour of play.
All three goals came with a degree of class, to ensure Spurs head into the international window on a winning note and leave Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers under increasing pressure.
Son’s late heroics somewhat overshadowed an already lively spectacle that served up eight goals in all, with Youri Tielemans opening the scoring from the penalty spot just six minutes in.
The Belgian retook his penalty after Hugo Lloris encroached on an initial save, but the visitors’ lead was cancelled out swiftly by Harry Kane’s close-range header.
Eric Dier put the hosts on top for the first time less than a quarter-hour later with another header, before James Maddison restored parity ahead of the interval with a fine volley.
Rodrigo Bentancur swiftly restored Spurs’ lead after the break, before Son entered the fray for Richarlison.
The forward ended his drought with two stunning long-range strikes and then rounded off a rapid break to put a rough few weeks firmly behind him.
What does it mean? Son silences critics
With nothing to show this term on the scoresheet and just one assist before Saturday, there is little doubting that the Golden Boot winner has been in a rut.
But Conte’s decision to bench him obviously had the desired effect, with Son now trailing only Kane for Spurs goals this term in the top-flight.
Kane maintains Foxes delight
The England captain has scored 20 goals against Leicester in his career, with 18 of those coming in the Premier League for Spurs. Just one player has netted more in the competition against a specific opponent, in Alan Shearer, who got 20 against Leeds.
Maddison pushes for England recall
It has been nearly three years since the Leicester man won his only Three Lions cap, but his continued form – even as the Foxes struggle – could make a case for a shock return for Qatar. Only Kane (32) has more goal involvements than Maddison (24) among English players since the start of last season in the top-flight.
Key Opta facts
– Tottenham’s 17 points from their seven Premier League games this season is their joint-best record at this stage of a campaign, level with 2016-17 when they finished as runners-up to Conte’s Chelsea.
– Leicester are winless in their first seven league games of a campaign for the first time since 1983-84, while their 22 goals conceded is their most ever after seven league games.
– Tottenham scored six goals in a Premier League home game for the first time since their 9-1 win over Wigan Athletic in November 2009.
– After failing to score with any of his first 17 shots in the Premier League this season, Son scored with three of his four attempts against Leicester this evening.
– Leicester have dropped more points from winning positions than any other side in the Premier League this season (11), while no side have gained more from behind so far this term than Spurs (7).
Both teams take a breather for the international break and return at the start of next month. Tottenham face Arsenal on October 1 in the north London derby, and Leicester tussle with Nottingham Forest two days later.