Leicester City 2, Tottenham Hotspur 1
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino admits he is concerned at his team’s lacklustre starts after they slipped to a Premier League defeat at Leicester.
Spurs fell behind for the fourth match in succession when Jamie Vardy lobbed Hugo Lloris and Riyad Mahrez doubled the Foxes’ lead before half-time.
Talisman Harry Kane pulled a goal back late on but it was not enough to prevent Pochettino’s stuttering team from suffering a third defeat in five top-flight games.
“We did not play in the way we normally play. The first half was a poor performance and it was difficult after that to get back into the game,” said The Tottenham boss.
“We feel very disappointed in our performance. We started the game not in the right way and we conceded the opportunity to them to score. At 2-0 down it is difficult. We need to improve the way we start.“
Spurs’ sluggish start mirrored that in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to struggling West Brom, while last week they also trailed before winning at Borussia Dortmund and lost against rivals Arsenal.
Defeat to Leicester saw them miss the chance to climb ahead of the Gunners and Chelsea into third, at least until those two teams play on Wednesday evening. Pochettino has previously all but conceded the title and Tottenham could be 16 points behind leaders Manchester City before the weekend.
The Foxes, showing further signs of recovery under new manager Claude Puel, are up to ninth, seven points behind fifth-placed Spurs.
Vardy put Leicester ahead in the 13th minute when he floated a finish over Lloris and into the far corner with an improvised first-time volley from Marc Albrighton’s clipped ball in behind the Spurs defence. It was the England striker’s seventh goal of the season but only his second in 11 matches.
Mahrez twisted the knife in first-half stoppage time with a glorious 20-yard strike across Lloris after drifting in off the right flank in trademark style.
Moussa Sissoko, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen missed chances for the visitors before Erik Lamela, off the bench after more than a year out injured, set up Kane to give them hope with 11 minutes left.
Substitute Fernando Llorente could have snatched a draw for Spurs but prodded over.