Tottenham 4 Leicester 3
Harry Kane’s dream week got even better on Saturday as the Tottenham striker followed his first England call-up with a maiden Premier League hat-trick as embattled Leicester were defeated in a thrilling 4-3 encounter.
The eyes of the footballing world were trained on the 21-year-old at White Hart Lane in his final club match before linking up with Roy Hodgson’s men for the matches against Lithuania and Italy.
Kane could not be heading away in much better form, having netted his first top-flight treble to help drag out-of-sorts Spurs to a victory in which Jeff Schlupp’s own goal proved just enough to keep rock-bottom City from leaving north London with a result.
Goals from Jamie Vardy, Wes Morgan and David Nugent gave Leicester hope as Mauricio Pochettino’s side toiled, although they started well enough as Kane followed-up a tap-in with a drive which deflected in off Robert Huth.
Christian Eriksen hit the post as Spurs upped the ante, yet Vardy netted on the break to give the Foxes renewed belief as the home side wilted.
Nigel Pearson’s men deservedly levelled five minutes after the break when Morgan was allowed to head home unmarked from a corner, but City’s comeback was soon taken off track.
Nugent was adjudged to have taken down Danny Rose and Kane stepped up to slot home the resulting spot-kick to give him a hat-trick, taking him clear as the Premier League’s top scorer – a feat made all the more impressive given the first of those 19 goals did not arrive until November 2.
Schlupp’s late own goal and Nugent’s strike at the other end led to an entertaining finale which leaves Leicester’s survival hopes looking bleaker than ever.
Pearson plumped for an adventurous 3-4-3 formation here and that tactic forced an early wobble which led Kyle Walker to collide with his own goalkeeper.
Hugo Lloris was left in a heap and medics raced onto the pitch to tend to the goalkeeper, who left the field on a stretcher with what is believed to be a gashed knee.
It led to Michel Vorm replacing the Spurs captain, who was barely down the tunnel when the feeling inside White Hart Lane changed from concern to elation.
Not many defenders could produce the flick Eric Dier attempted, with the centre-back’s looping ball falling for Kane to slot home from close range.
Nugent had a snap shot as City attempted to respond, before Kane’s fizzing strike deflected in off Huth, wrong-footing the returning Kasper Schmeichel.
Nugent drove an effort wide as the visitors attempted to claw one back, yet they were all too open at the back and needed Schmeichel at his best to tip a low Eriksen shot onto the post.
Nacer Chadli blazed over the rebound, allowing the visitors to peg them back in the 38th minute as Vardy stretched to impressively turn home Nugent’s cross.
Walker had to clear to prevent the striker heading home a second as half-time approached, with Rose producing an exceptional sliding tackle to deny Nugent as he was preparing to pull the trigger.
Leonardo Ulloa headed over as half-time was finally called – a period from which City returned from strongly.
Nugent turned over under pressure from Walker and – from the resulting corner - Morgan was left unmarked to power home a header.
Nabil Bentaleb was partly culpable for the 50th-minute leveller and things could have been worse for the midfielder had his slap on Ulloa been spotted.
Huth headed just wide as Spurs continued to wobble – a slide which was halted when Nugent was adjudged to have brought down Rose.
It looked a soft decision but Kane did not mind, sending Schmeichel the wrong way from the spot to bring up his first top-flight treble.
Kane scooped over as a chance for a fourth passed him by and Chadli turned over at the far post, before substitute Marcin Wasilewski headed over under pressure at the other end.
Things were made tougher for Leicester when Schlupp directed past his own goalkeeper, with the ball bouncing off him after Schmeichel saved an Eriksen effort.
Nugent’s late strike led to a nervy ending, but Spurs just held out.