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Tottenham Hotspur were defeated 4-1 by Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in the English Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
On Antonio Conte’s return to the bench following Gallbladder surgery, Spurs took the lead through Rodrigo Bentancur, but goals from Nampalys Mendy, James Maddison, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Harvey Barnes handed the Foxes the victory.
Spurs now have 39 points after 23 games, and are one point behind fourth-placed Manchester United, who have played two fewer games.
Spurs Fall Short Despite Early Lead
Spurs took the lead in the 14th minute when Ivan Perisic’s corner was turned in from close range by Rodrigo Bentancur, but the home side were far superior from then on and were unimpressed by the result.
Midway through the half, Nampalys Mendy leveled the game with a thunderbolt strike from just inside the box, and two minutes later, Kelechi Iheanacho set up James Maddison to put the Foxes ahead.
On the stroke of halftime, Iheanacho fired a low effort from the edge of the area past stand-in goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
Harvey Barnes was unlucky not to score a deserved goal 20 minutes from time when VAR ruled he was a fraction offside latching onto another Iheanacho through-ball, but 11 minutes later he was on the scoresheet when he used Eric Dier as a shield and placed the ball inside the corner from 20 yards out, similar to Iheanacho earlier.
Leicester’s Mendy was the outstanding player at the King Power . The midfielder’s territory covered and ability to halt teams attempting to counter his side while keeping the ball intelligently in possession brings back memories of perhaps his best season ever in a Leicester shirt.
It’s impossible to recall Mendy’s predecessor, Ngolo Kante, slamming home a goal like Mendy did versus Spurs. He will continue to be crucial to Rogers’ side as the season goes on.
Spurs remain fifth, as Leicester move up to 13th. The Foxes had a tough start to this season but now appear to have hit their stride under Brendan Rogers. The victory comes after they defeated Aston Villa last time out.
Conte’s Strategy Continues to Flop
Antonio Conte has received the most criticism for failing to play the aggressive game that the club’s supporters demand with Harry Kane and Hueng-min Son at the helm.
However, the Italian coach’s failure to establish a solid defense will almost certainly result in him leaving the club after this summer.
His teams have always been watertight up to now, averaging one goal per game in his career with top Premier League and Serie A sides. Spurs are shipping half a goal more than this this season.
Previously, he was able to construct powerful defenses that were greater than the sum of their parts, like as at Chelsea, where they won the title with Victor Moses at right wing back until John Terry’s agility plummeted the next year.
Ben Davies and Eric Dier do not appear to have the defensive qualities that Conte needs to shore up his backline to compete in the Premier League and beyond.