Tottenham vs Leicester City reaction: Roy Hodgson watches on as Harry Kane sees off battling Foxes

Tottenham 4 Leicester 3

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The Independent Football

England manager Roy Hodgson was in the stands as Harry Kane delivered an attacking master class for Tottenham to see off battling Leicester City at White Hart Lane.

The 21-year-old spent three months on loan at the King Power Stadium in 2013 and has now scored more goals against the Foxes this term than he could manage in 13 Championship appearances for them.

After unremarkable spells with Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich City and Nigel Pearson’s Foxes, Kane has been in scintillating form for Spurs this season and has now scored 29 goals for Mauricio Pochettino’s men.

Following two early strikes from the recently called-up England man, Jamie Vardy and Wes Morgan dragged bottom club Leicester back into it on either side of half-time before Kane sent Kasper Schmeichel the wrong way from the penalty spot in the 64th minute.

READ MORE: Tottenham 4 Leicester 3 - match report

Roy Hodgson was in the stands to watch Harry Kane

Jeffrey Schlupp’s bundled own goal seemed to have put the hosts out of reach, but David Nugent gave White Hart Lane regulars a late fright after a laughable mix-up at the back for Tottenham.

Defeat to Manchester United last week handed Louis van Gaal’s men the ascendancy in the ‘rat race’ for Champions League qualification, leaving Spurs six points adrift of fourth place.

Failure to secure a top-four spot again, having been deprived of a place at football’s top table since 2011, may force Daniel Levy to start work on another reconstruction of the Spurs management.

Judging by the mood of the home faithful pre-match, Pochettino is already fighting a losing battle to appease the North London locals but this uneasy victory over lowly Leicester is at least a start.

Harry Kane puts Spurs ahead

He was given more reason to be concerned inside the first two minutes as France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was stretchered off following a heavy collision with the energetic Vardy.

Replaced by Michel Vorm, the 28-year-old may now be set for lengthy lay-off.

But things soon improved for the Argentinian boss as some horrendous defending from Leicester, after Andros Townsend’s corner, allowed Kane to convert easily just three minutes later.

Much to Pearson's dismay, Erik Dier’s deft flick was enough to wipe out the entire Leicester defence, all five of them, before falling at Kane’s feet.

The 21-year-old scored just two goals in 13 matches while on loan with the Foxes two years ago, as they narrowly missed out on promotion in the Championship play-offs, but continued his stunning breakthrough season with an England call up in the week.

Kane, who has haunted Pearson since leaving the King Power Stadium in 2013, then punished Leicester further, curling in a second of the afternoon via a fortuitous deflection off Robert Huth’s knee.

Leicester players look dejected after Kane's second

Barring an unlikely change in fortunes, Spurs are now in a head-to-head duel with Southampton for sixth place - and a spot in the dreaded Europa League.

As usual this campaign has become one of damage limitation for the top flight’s nearly men.

Nevertheless, they were in rampant mood in the early stages and could have been three up on 22 minutes as the impressive Christian Eriksen glided through Leicester’s midfield with ease before forcing Schmeichel to knock the ball onto the post.

In 102 meetings between the two sides, only one match had ended in a goalless draw, 67 years ago, so it would not have come as a surprise to many when the visitors hauled themselves back into it.

Wes Morgan hauls Leicester level

Despite efforts from Nugent, shooting wide from a tight angle, and Esteban Cambiasso, firing a tame shot straight at Vorm from 30 yards, luck seemed to be against them.

Pochettino had his head in his hands moments later, however, as Vardy applied the finish to Nugent’s searching cross after tireless work on right flank by the former England man.

Pearson, barking orders from the sidelines, then watched on as Leicester were denied a penalty following Danny Rose’s clumsy tackle on Nugent in the box. The jury is still out.

The former Hull City boss has problems of his own in the East Midlands with his side rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table and seven points adrift of safety.

£8m summer signing Leonardo Ulloa was guilty of a poor miss moments later, with a timid header straight into the substitute keeper’s gloves, as the Foxes turned the screw just before the break.

Pearson, a man who has sworn at both supporters and journalists alike during a tumultuous campaign, continues to cling onto his job despite a series of ill-advised episodes.

Nigel Pearson watches on

The main reason, perhaps, lies in the fact that his players are clearly behind him and continue to do him proud – albeit without their due rewards.

Without a victory since the narrow 1-0 win over fellow-strugglers Aston Villa on 10th January, luck hasn’t been on Leicester’s side in recent months.

The penalty, after Nugent’s non-challenge on Rose, and then Schlupp’s calamitous own goal in the 84th minute perfectly summed up the self-destructive tendencies which will most likely see them relegated.

After the match, Pearson baited the FA to fine him once more by calling referee Mike Dean 'the most arrogant man he's ever met'.

Many in the East Midlands were glad to see the back of Kane in 2013 after an insipid loan spell at the King Power Stadium. What they would do to have him back now.