Son Heung-min ended his goal drought as the South Korea star responded to being dropped by hitting an incredible 13-minute hat-trick in Tottenham’s 6-2 rout of Leicester on Saturday.
Son came off the bench to score Tottenham’s last three goals, including a pair of brilliant long-range finishes, in an emphatic victory that lifted them into second place in the Premier League.
It was the ideal response from Son after he had been axed for failing to score in his previous eight appearances.
Just days after Tottenham boss Antonio Conte had warned that no player was undroppable, Dejan Kulusevski came in for Son, who finished as the Premier League’s joint top scorer last season.
Explaining Son’s omission, Conte said: “We needed to start making rotations because playing all the same players in all the games is not good.”
Son’s eye-catching treble showed he won’t sulk when Conte wants to take him out of the firing line, but the 30-year-old will have taken private satisfaction at reminding the Italian of his enduring class.
It was the perfect evening for Tottenham, who bounced back after losing for the first time in eight games this season on Tuesday when Sporting Lisbon scored twice in stoppage-time to seal a 2-0 win in the Champions League.
Tottenham’s fifth win from seven league games moved them above Arsenal and level on points with leaders Manchester City.
Although Arsenal would leapfrog their north London rivals with a win at Brentford on Sunday, Conte’s men go into the international break in fine fettle.
Bottom of the table Leicester’s sixth successive defeat will pile pressure on boss Brendan Rodgers after his outspoken criticism of the club’s failure to back him in the transfer window.
Beleaguered Leicester had taken the lad when Davinson Sanchez conceded a spot-kick with a needless lunge on James Justin.
Hugo Lloris saved Youri Tielemans’ penalty, but VAR showed the Tottenham keeper had stepped off his line before the kick, giving the Belgian midfielder a retake that he gratefully converted.