Spurs missed a handful of sitters at the King Power Stadium, their wastefulness gifting Leicester all three points in a night Mauricio Pochettino will try his best to forget.
It was harder for Fernando Llorente and Christian Eriksen to miss on their second half chances, but somehow they didn’t capitalize on golden opportunities, compounding Spurs’ suffering.
Though Spurs didn’t put in a performance worthy of a win, they should have walked away from Leicester with at least a share of the spoils. Done in by two clinical Foxes’ finishes, Tottenham were disconnected in most facets of the game, but still had enough chances to score four or five.
Harry Kane smashed home his 10th Premier League goal his last 10 appearances to give Spurs hope, but Llorente and Eriksen’s misses sealed the Lilywhites’ fate. Erik Lamela, playing for the first time in 13 months, assisted on Kane’s goal.
A wide open first half saw both teams share a number of clear-cut opportunities, with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Marhez finding the finishing touch. Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez were caught flat by Marc Albrighton’s precise cross-turned-through ball. It is unlikely that Vardy will ever replicate his first-time flick volley which lobbed over a helpless Hugo Lloris from about 12 yards.
It was the start of a bad-luck first half for Spurs, whose wastefulness in front of goal will not go down well with the gaffer. Moussa Sissoko and Dele Alli also missed sitters, both of whom were stopped by Kasper Schmeichel’s outstretched leg.
Kane sent Sissoko in alone only four minutes after Vardy scored the opener, but the Frenchman, as we’ve come to expect, lacked quality and composure at the pivotal moment. His shot was partially stopped by Schmeichel, who was helped out by Vicente Iborra’s goal-line clearance.
A similar chance fell to Alli later in the half, but the Englishman’s left-footed effort was again turned aside. The first half was played at a breakneck pace, with the Foxes and Spurs swapping momentum and chances.
Wastefulness is the best way to sum up Tottenham’s evening. While they looked dangerous going forward, the Lilywhites were tragic in front of goal.
For the first time in recent memory, Sanchez and Dier look slightly susceptible in trying to deal with Vardy, one of the Premier League’s quickest strikers.
Mahrez was then afforded acres of space, the Foxes’ playmaker running at the heart of Spurs’ defence. The Algerian cut into the middle and made no mistake with a lethal left-footed finish from distance. Mahrez travelled about 30 metres unmolested, without as much as an attempted tackle from Tottenham’s rearguard.
Slipping down the Premier League table, Spurs have won just a single match in their last five encounters.
Their domestic and European performances couldn’t be more contrasting, and questions will surely mount as Pochettino’s side continue to struggle in matches they’re expected to win.