Stellini says Spurs ‘have to change something’ after being thrashed 4-1 by Leicester

Spurs put in a truly woeful defensive display as they were hit for four and punished by an excellent Leicester City side.

Leicester – perhaps buoyed by their 4-2 win over Aston Villa last time out – started the game the brighter of the two sides, though, despite that start, it was Spurs who took the lead in the 14th minute. A corner from the Spurs right was flicked on by Ben Davies, only for Leicester’s Victor Kristiansen to play the ball straight into the path of Rodrigo Bentancur who reacted quickly to poke home from close range.


The lead would last just nine minutes though as Leicester got back on the front foot and leveled the scores in emphatic fashion. Son Heung-Min’s headed clearance dropped perfectly to Nampalys Mendy on the edge of the box, the Senegalese meeting the ball and lashing home an absolutely unstoppable strike past Fraser Forster for his first goal in English football.

Leicester then turned the game on its head and took the lead just two minutes later. Foxes defender Wout Faes put in a big tackle on the halfway line to dispossess Harry Kane, with the Belgian’s challenge flying upfield and finding the feet of Kelechi Iheanacho. The Nigerian – helped by some static Spurs defending – held the ball up on the edge of the box before finding the run of James Maddison who coolly slotted home to round off a frantic opening quarter.

The East Midlands outfit then added a third on the stroke of halftime, Iheanacho strolling towards the Spurs defence who again failed to put in a challenge on the 26-year-old, before he stroked the ball around Eric Dier and into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

Leicester thought they had a fourth midway through the second half, though Harvey Barnes’ effort was chalked off as he was adjudged to be offside by the narrowest of margins.

Barnes did get his goal with nine minutes to play though, the 25-year-old receiving the ball centrally from James Maddison, before being allowed time and space to turn and stroke the ball beyond Forster from 20 yards.

Speaking after the game, Spurs assistant manager Christian Stellini said that the side switched off after taking the lead,

“I think today something changed after we scored,” he said at the post-match press conference. “We turned off and in this league, you can’t turn off. You have to be consistent in all parts of the game. We struggled a lot after the first goal. We’re disappointed for that.”

Having beaten Manchester City last week, the Italian was asked if he had an explanation for Spurs lack of consistency, and he said that it was all down to their mentality.

“Not an explanation because if you know what happens, you can change this,” he said. “It happened also last season when we beat Manchester City we lost to Burnley.

“To be consistent is a long process, a mental process. You have to be better mentally, better in the approach. Today the approach was not bad. But after we scored the goal, something changed.

“We’re a team. The team has to change something. Not only individually. It’s about desire. You want to play this game, it’s about recovering energy mentally. When you play a team like Man City maybe you use all the energy you have. To recover this energy, it’s like a battle and how much this battle can contain. You have to recreate the same energy. To have this battle bigger you have to work. And we have to do it.”

January signing Pedro Porro had an afternoon to forget, and Stellini said that the defender ‘needs time’ to settle into the side and into the Premier League.

“Pedro, we think he was ready to play. For sure he’s ready to play in this league because he’s a great player with experience.

“We know also it’s not easy. The change in league, the type of football you have to play maybe he needs time. He can react with all the team. The team has to help a player like Pedro who arrives now and needs time to play in this type of league.”

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