Leicester beat Tots 2-1 to dent the Londoners title hope
Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez scored stunning goals as Leicester City held firm against a late onslaught to inflict more away-day woes on Tottenham in a 2-1 victory.
In a performance largely reminiscent of their remarkable title-winning triumph of 2015-16, the Foxes clinched a first home league win over Spurs at the King Power Stadium.
The stars of the show were two men who were so influential in Leicester’s title win, with Vardy setting the tone with a stunning, audacious lob on the stretch that would have made Lionel Messi proud.
Not to be outdone, Mahrez lashed home from outside in the area after a superb solo run as the first half drew to a close to leave Spurs shell-shocked.
Spurs were much improved after the break, though, and Christian Eriksen missed a gilt-edged chance before the returning Erik Lamela – making his first Spurs substitute appearance since October 2016 due to surgeries on both hips – slid in Harry Kane to score his 11th goal against Leicester – including four in a 6-1 win last May.
Substitute Fernando Llorente should have levelled but wastefully shot wide soon after, as Claude Puel’s Leicester clung on for a three points that moves them into the top 10.
Spurs, meanwhile, have now lost three Premier League away matches on the spin for the first time since March 2014 and will be 16 points of leaders Manchester City if Pep Guardiola’s men beat Southampton on Wednesday.
Leicester started brightly and Wes Morgan – making his 250th Foxes appearance – saw Danny Rose clear his header from Marc Albrighton’s corner off the line.
But the opening goal arrived in sensational style after 13 minutes.
Albrighton launched a ball over the top of the Spurs defence from the left flank and Vardy ran in behind to deftly lob over Hugo Lloris into the right-hand side of goal while in mid-leap.
It was almost a short-lived lead as Kane slipped Moussa Sissoko in one-on-one but Kasper Schmeichel got enough on his shot and Vicente Iborra hacked the goal-bound ball to safety.
Kane then shifted one onto his right foot before firing wide, before Dele Alli’s tame effort with only Schmeichel to beat was saved by the home goalkeeper.
But in truth the visitors were wasteful in the final third and they were made to pay on the stroke of half-time.
Mahrez ghosted in from the right, cut inside Jan Vertonghen and smashed a brilliant 25-yard effort into the top-left corner to double Leicester’s lead.
Spurs upped the ante after the break and Kane fired wide of the far post from the right of the area.
But a well-worked move involving Ben Chilwell and the lively Vardy led to Albrighton crossing for Shinji Okazaki, who wastefully powered his free header over the top.
Leicester should have been punished 15 minutes from time when Son Heung-min’s corner bounced fortuitously off Danny Simpson’s knee into the path of Eriksen, who skewed comically wide from eight yards.
With 11 minutes to go, Spurs did find a goal with a slick move. Son moved the ball to Lamela, whose throughball into the area picked out Kane to smash an unstoppable effort past Schmeichel.
Agonisingly for Spurs, Llorente should have drawn the visitors level when he flicked wide from Serge Aurier’s teasing cross.
Danny Rose then thought he was brought down by Wilfred Ndidi in the last minute of injury time, but referee Anthony Taylor was uninterested – with the England full-back possibly kicking the floor first –as Leicester held on amid relentless late pressure.