Football: Kane's maiden treble sees Spurs past Leicester

LONDON (AFP) - Harry Kane celebrated his first England call-up with a first Premier League hat-trick as Tottenham Hotspur edged Leicester City 4-3 at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

But it was also a game that illustrated the fragility of Tottenham's top-four challenge, with the hosts letting a 2-0 lead slip before a Kane penalty and a Jeff Schlupp own goal carried the London club over the line.

And it said much about Spurs' performance that as David Nugent claimed the last goal of the game for Leicester, manager Mauricio Pochettino angrily threw a water bottle to the ground in frustration.

The game had not started positively for Spurs either, as Hugo Lloris had to go off after sustaining a serious-looking gash to his right leg following an early collision with team-mate Kyle Walker.

The medical team took two minutes to strap up the France international's leg and Lloris received a standing ovation from the crowd as he was stretchered from the field.

It was not long, however, until Kane gave the home fans something to really cheer by putting Tottenham into the lead.

An Andros Townsend corner was flicked on by Erik Dier and after Kasper Schmeichel pawed the ball away, Kane reacted quickest to stab a shot between Esteban Cambassio's legs and in.

It was very soon 2-0, but there was some doubt about to whom the goal would be attributed.

Robert Huth attempted to clear a Spurs cross, only for the ball to fall to Kane at the edge of the box. He scuffed his effort, but the ball took a wicked deflection off Huth and looped past Schmeichel.

At that point, both Spurs and Kane were threatening to tear Leicester apart.

The striker had another goal ruled out, for offside, and Christian Eriksen forced Schmeichel into a fine save with an effort from just outside the box, the goalkeeper just about touching the ball onto the post.

NUGENT PENALISED

Kane was again central to all the hosts' key moves.

Such an impact, particularly against Leicester, only emphasised the impressive nature of his rise, given that the youngster spent an underwhelming spell at the East Midlands club as a teenager, scoring twice in 15 games.

He could have doubled that tally in the space of the first half, but instead Leicester surprisingly halved Spurs' lead on 37 minutes when Jamie Vardy turned in Nugent's inviting cross with a fine drive.

All of a sudden, Spurs were hanging on, during the kind of spell that Eriksen referred to in mid-week as "Spursy" and which Pochettino has been desperate to eradicate.

Danny Rose had to put in a desperate last-ditch tackle to prevent Nugent equalising shortly before the interval.

But the home side eventually succumbed as Leicester came out sensing blood after half-time, and soon drew it.

After a Cambiasso effort had been deflected narrowly over, Wes Morgan headed in from a corner to make it 2-2.

That was finally the spark for Spurs to look something like themselves, but it was not just greater aggression in their play that they showed. Nabil Bentaleb was lucky to stay on after appearing to strike Leonardo Ulloa.

There was another confrontation at the corner of the Leicester box in the 64th minute, albeit with less contact, as Nugent bundled Rose to the ground.

Referee Mike Dean hesitated before awarding the penalty, but there was no hesitation about Kane's finish as he completed his hat-trick.

Spurs then claimed another as Schlupp unluckily bundled in Eriksen's attempt on goal.

There was still more drama, with Nugent powering in Leicester's third goal in the last minute, but the Championship still beckons for Nigel Pearson's team.