Foxes register 2-0 away victory on Sunday
Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers relished the side’s “outstanding” performance following a 2-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur in their Premier League fixture on Sunday.
Jamie Vardy’s penalty and a Toby Alderweireld own goal moved the Foxes four points behind leaders Liverpool as for once Harry Kane and Son Heung-min failed to dig Spurs out of trouble.
Jose Mourinho’s men were top of the table until a last-minute winner for Liverpool gave the champions a 2-1 victory on Wednesday but they are now six points behind Jurgen Klopp’s team.
Leicester have six wins from seven away games in the Premier League this season and fans will begin to dream of a repeat of their 2016 title triumph.
“I thought over the course of the game we were outstanding and it was a very good win for us,” Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers told Sky Sports.
But he added: “We have to start winning at home. The group is learning all the time and that’s why we’re nowhere near the finished product.”
Klopp described Spurs as a “counter-attacking monster” but their deficiencies when not allowed the ability to break were exposed by Leicester’s clever game plan.
The Foxes did not leave themselves exposed and posed the greater threat in transition.
A cagey first half of few chances saw James Maddison’s long-range shot well held by Hugo Lloris, while Kane headed over Son’s corner.
But Tottenham were undone by a moment of madness by Serge Aurier in the closing seconds of the opening period when he barged into Wesley Fofana just inside the area.
A VAR review was needed before referee Craig Pawson pointed to the spot and Vardy drilled home his sixth spot-kick of the league season.
Mourinho saw enough in the first 45 minutes to throw on Gareth Bale for the second half — his first Premier League appearance since early November.
But in keeping with the Welshman’s second spell in north London since rejoining on loan from Real Madrid, Bale struggled to make an impact.
Only a few millimetres denied Leicester a second in a bright start to the second half for the visitors as Maddison latched onto a ball over the top from James Justin and fired beyond Lloris, only for a VAR review to rule the goal out for offside.
Mourinho had sacrificed Tanguy Ndombele to bring on Bale and then lost his other midfield creator, Giovani Lo Celso, to a hamstring injury.
Lucas Moura replaced the Argentine to form a front four alongside Kane, Son and Bale, but Spurs became disjointed and were easily picked off by the Leicester counter-attack.
Tottenham inflicted more damage on themselves for the second goal as Vardy’s header at the back post was turned into his own net by Alderweireld.
Kasper Schmeichel produced a sensational stop to deny Son at the back post, which would have given Spurs a lifeline 20 minutes from time.
Leicester should have won by an even more comfortable margin as Youri Tielemans blazed over and Harvey Barnes saw appeals for a second penalty turned away.
But two goals were enough for Rodgers to get the better of Mourinho for the first time in his managerial career and show that Leicester deserve to be taken seriously as contenders for a top-four finish.
“It is not a good week in terms of results,” said Mourinho. “We could be here as the ones that broke Liverpool’s record at Anfield and going into this game on a high.
“We started this game from the low of that disappointment and not getting what we deserved from that match, but Leicester also lost in their last match but came with a positive attitude. It’s a game that we’ve lost with the penalty and the own goal.”
Manchester United blitzed Leeds 6-2 to climb to third in the Premier League.
The first league battle in 16 years between bitter rivals United and Leeds was keenly anticipated but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men proved far too strong at an empty Old Trafford.
Red Devils, who made a stuttering start to the season, now have 26 points — five behind leaders Liverpool with a game in hand.
They are a point adrift of second-placed Leicester, who beat Spurs 2-0 earlier to complete a miserable few days for Jose Mourinho.
United have won all six of their away games in the Premier League this season but had won just one match at home before Sunday.
Leeds were expected to provide a stern examination of United’s rickety defence but Scott McTominay scored the earliest double in Premier League history, putting his side 2-0 up inside three minutes.
Marcelo Bielsa’s determination to play in the same wide-open style no matter the opposition backfired as the visitors were 4-0 down in the 37th minute, with further goals from Bruno Fernandes and Victor Lindelof.
Liam Cooper pulled one back for Leeds late in the first half but United were back on the rampage after the break.
Daniel James made it 5-1 and Fernandes scored his second from the penalty spot before Stuart Dallas reduced the deficit.
A buzzing Solskjaer said the performance was “fantastic” from the first minute.
“Just imagine if there were 75,000 people in, it would have gone down in history as one of the great performances against Leeds,” he told Sky Sports. “We had to earn the right by running as much as them, that’s a challenge. It could have been 12-4 — It’s that kind of game.”
But the Norwegian refused to get carried away with talk about United’s league position after their sixth win in seven league games.
“We are not even at the halfway point,” he added. “The league position is not something we look at. We look at the improvement of the team. Now we are getting fitter and stronger. Our fans needed that one.”
Sam Allardyce’s return to the Premier League as West Brom manager got off to a terrible start as the Baggies were outclassed 3-0 by local rivals Aston Villa, who moved up to ninth.
Anwar El Ghazi put Villa ahead inside five minutes before Jake Livermore’s red card for a lunge on Jack Grealish gave Allardyce’s men a mountain to climb.
Dean Smith’s side dominated the entire match but had to wait until six minutes from time to double their lead when Grealish teed up Bertrand Traore for a composed finish before El Ghazi rounded off the scoring from the penalty spot after Grealish had been fouled in the box.
West Brom remain second bottom, three points off safety.
Bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United doubled their points tally for the season but were cruelly denied a first win of the campaign after Brighton’s Danny Welbeck cancelled out Jayden Bogle’s opener in a 1-1 draw.