NO wonder Antonio Conte likes his favourite Son when he’s angry.
The Italian claimed on Thursday that he was in favour of Son Heung-min being in a rage over his eight-game goal drought.
He then proceeded to drop the South Korean to the bench for this game – the first time that has happened to Son when fully fit in a league match in more than two years.
You wondered whether it would prove to be a master stroke from Conte – or kill the forward’s confidence completely.
It proved, of course, to be the former as Son netted a stunning hat-trick in 13 second-half minutes as a sub to put this helter-skelter clash to bed.
Leicester had gone ahead through Youri Tielemans’ penalty – at the second time of asking – before Foxes nemesis Harry Kane levelled.
Eric Dier then continued his good week, following his England recall, by putting Spurs ahead, only for James Maddison to restore parity.
Rodrigo Bentancur opened his Tottenham account just after the break, before Son stole the show with a blistering treble.
It moved Spurs second in the league, level on points with leaders Manchester City.
While Foxes chief Brendan Rodgers had to endure chants of ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning’ as his side’s winless start to the campaign continued.
Son’s relegation to the bench came as no surprise as Conte warned he would make changes to re-energise his side.
But despite bringing in four fresh players into the team, they still made a sluggish start.
It was thanks to Davinson Sanchez – brought back in for Cristian Romero – making an unnecessary foul on James Justin just as the England man had dribbled into the box.
Hugo Lloris saved Tielemans’ initial effort but was adjudged by VAR to be off his line and so the Belgian had another bite at the cherry, which he converted.
It was the perfect start for Brendan Rodgers’ men.
Yet they only had to look back to last week when they went 1-0 up even quicker than they did here at Brighton, only to be battered 5-2 in Graham Potter’s last game as Albion boss.
Their fragility showed again as within two minutes, Spurs were level thanks to the Fox Hunter Kane.
The England captain always fills his boots against Leicester and he made it 20 in all competitions against them as he headed home a cross from Dejan Kulusevski following a short corner.
Kulusevski took a lot of credit for the delivery, justifying Conte’s decision to bring him back into the team at the expense of Son, who had not been benched when fully fit for a league game since July 9, 2020.
Conte did not have to wait long to see his side go ahead as man-of-the-moment Dier flicked home a corner at the near post on 21 minutes.
His manager had urged him to up his goal tally when discussing his improvement a few weeks ago, having failed to net for the last three campaigns.
Now Dier has two in nine games already this term, as Leicester amazingly made it TWENTY-FIVE goals conceded from set pieces since the start of last season.
Ivan Perisic supplied the corner having intriguingly been deployed as a right wing-back for the first time by Conte at Spurs, making the hosts far more dangerous down the flanks.
The ball was in the Leicester net again minutes later, as another Perisic corner saw Wilfred Ndidi put past own keeper.
Yet this time ref Simon Hooper ruled the goal out due to an alleged foul from Sanchez on keeper Ward.
Leicester may have been all over the shop defending set-pieces but they still posed a threat up top.
Patson Daka fired a warning shot and then with four minutes to go to the break, Maddison levelled beautifully, hooking in Timothy Castagne’s cross.
It gave yet another reminder of the Foxes playmaker’s considerable talents – even if, unlike Dier, he continues to be overlooked by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate.
There was still time before the break for Ward to turn a Sanchez header – from, what else, a set-piece – onto the crossbar and for Maddison to waste a great chance at the far post.
The breathlessness continued in the second half though as Bentancur picked Ndidi’s pocket, ran towards the Leicester box and fired past Ward for his first-ever Spurs goal.
Still Leicester would not lie down and Lloris had to pull off a top stop to beat out Daka’s header.
Just before the hour, Son was finally on the pitch to steal the limelight well and truly.
His first offered no hint of a lack of confidence as he ran at the backpeddling Foxes backline and unleashed a right-footed effort over Ward from the edge of the area.
Famed for being strong on both feet, Son curled home a peach of a second with his left 11 minutes later to make it five.
And he had his hat-trick shortly afterwards – once VAR had overturned the on-pitch offside call – as he slotted home on the counter.
The Son is most definitely shining once again.