LONDON: Tottenham cut Leicester’s lead at the Barclays Premier League summit to five points as two goals each from Harry Kane and Dele Alli secured a win at Stoke which was as comprehensive as it was timely.
Sunday’s fractious draw with West Ham saw Claudio Ranieri’s men drop points for the first time since March 1 and Mauricio Pochettino’s men capitalised in style at the Britannia Stadium.
Making light work of the pressure and scrutiny, Kane and Alli each netted a brace as Spurs despatched of Europa League hopefuls Stoke 4-0.
“Leicester City, we’re coming for you” bellowed the raucous travelling support after Kane’s ninth-minute opener, which Christian Eriksen came close to adding to as half-time approached with a strike that rattled the crossbar.
Alli’s exceptional flick put the Danish playmaker through and the roles reversed in the 67th minute when the England midfielder collected a stunning pass and coolly lifted the ball over Shay Given.
Kane ensured Alli’s miss-of-the-season contender moments later mattered little by slotting home Spurs’ third, taking his tally for the season to 24 – one more than rudderless Aston Villa have managed this term.
Alli volleyed home an exceptional fourth late on as Tottenham produced a display which shows Leicester they would be pushed to the end.
Leicester’s progress has been complicated by England striker Jamie Vardy being charged with improper conduct by the Football Association which could end up costing him an extra match ban.
The charge relates to Vardy’s angry reaction to referee Jonathan Moss after his second-half dismissal in the Premier League leaders’ 2-2 draw with West Ham on Sunday.
Leicester have also been charged with failing to control their players after referee Moss awarded the Hammers’ an 83rd-minute penalty.
Vardy angrily confronted Moss after his second yellow card, awarded for diving following a tangle with Angelo Ogbonna. The FA had awaited the official’s report into the incident but have now decided to charge Vardy who is already due to miss Sunday’s visit of Swansea.
He could be hit with a further ban as Chelsea’s Diego Costa was given an additional one-game suspension for his reaction after he was dismissed in their FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Everton last month.
He was also handed a £20,000 fine and a warning as to his future conduct.
The Foxes players were also furious with Moss after he gave the Hammers a spot-kick after Wes Morgan and Winston Reid came together with seven minutes left.
The FA are also still studying comments from West Ham’s Andy Carroll after the forward hit out at Moss following his decision to award Leicester a stoppage-time penalty.
Leonardo Ulloa scored to rescue a draw and extend Leicester’s lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League to eight points, which Tottenham will cut if they beat Stoke on Monday.
Vardy and Leicester have until 6pm on Thursday to respond to the charge.