Son Heung-min snapped his goal drought on Saturday as the South Korean superstar retaliated to being benched by scoring an amazing hat-trick in 13 minutes in Tottenham’s 6-2 thumping of Leicester.
Son scored Tottenham’s last three goals, including two superb long-range finishes, in an emphatic win that propelled them to second place in the Premier League.
Son’s reaction was great after being released for failing to score in his previous eight games.
Son, who was the Premier League’s joint-leading scorer last season, was replaced by Dejan Kulusevski only days after Tottenham manager Antonio Conte stressed that no player was irreplaceable.
Conte explained Son’s exclusion by stating, “We needed to start making rotations because playing all the same players in all the games is not good.”
Son’s eye-catching treble showed that he would not pout if Antonio Conte decides to remove him from the starting lineup, but the 30-year-old will have taken quiet joy in reminding the Italian of his lasting class.
It was the ideal evening for Tottenham, who bounced back after suffering their first loss in eight games this season on Tuesday. Sporting Lisbon struck twice in stoppage time to secure a 2-0 Champions League victory against Tottenham.
Tottenham’s fifth victory in seven league games pushed them over Arsenal and tied them with Manchester City for the league lead.
Although Arsenal would overtake their north London rivals with a victory at Brentford on Sunday, Conte’s squad enters the international break in excellent condition.
Underside of the table The sixth consecutive loss for Leicester will increase the pressure on manager Brendan Rodgers after his vocal criticism of the club’s reluctance to support him in the transfer window.
Davinson Sanchez’s unnecessary shove on James Justin resulted in the awarding of a penalty kick to struggling Leicester.
Hugo Lloris stopped Youri Tielemans’ penalty, but VAR revealed that the Tottenham goalkeeper had left his line before to the attempt. The Belgian midfielder was awarded a retake, which he happily converted.
Harry Kane has tormented Leicester with 19 goals since a poor loan stint early in his career. Prior to this match, he has scored 19 times against them.
In the eighth minute, England’s captain Kane scored his 20th goal after escaping Timothy Castagne’s sloppy marking to meet Kulusevski’s cross with a brilliant far post header.
Eric Dier scored with a beautiful glancing header from Ivan Perisic’s corner in the 21st minute, exposing Leicester’s vulnerability in aerial duels once again.
In the 41st minute, James Maddison met Castagne’s cross with a half-volley that arced over Lloris and into the far corner to draw Liverpool level.
Wilfred Ndidi allowed himself to be dispossessed by Rodrigo Bentancur deep within his own half in the 47th minute, which was the turning moment.
The Uruguayan midfielder raced forward and blasted a shot past Danny Ward from the outside of the penalty area for his first goal for Tottenham since joining the club from Juventus.
Son replaced Richarlison in the 59th minute before stealing the show with his long-awaited goal in the 73rd.
Son moved with intent after receiving Bentancur’s pass 30 yards from the goal and fired a stunning shot into the top corner, but it was just the beginning.
Son reproduced his long-distance prowess in the 84th minute when, after being picked out by Kane, he curled a magnificent shot past Ward from 20 yards out.
Two minutes later, Son ran onto Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s ball for a slick finish that passed a VAR review for offside as he gleefully held up three fingers in celebration.