Talk of a Tottenham title challenge was severely tempered on Wednesday night as Robert Huth stunned White Hart Lane with a late goal for Leicester City.
The game could have marked a turning point in the Lilywhites' mentality yet they were handed a harsh reality check, conceding an 83rd-minute goal in a game that was regarded a must-win given their rivals' results.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino looked understandably agitated on the sidelines as he was undone by opposite number Claudio Ranieri’s tactical mastery. The Argentine had a right to be frustrated, watching on as his side created no less than 21 chances, with just five of them on target and zero finding the back of the net.
BECOME A WRITER
Do you have what it takes? Sign up today and send over your 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay3
Article continues below
Admittedly, Spurs need not hit the panic button just yet. Whilst they will rue the missed opportunity of not capitalising on their rivals’ slip-ups, the fact Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City all drew means they haven't lost much ground.
Nevertheless, West Ham sit one point behind them in fifth place, though Spurs have the far superior goal difference.
A further positive is that the defeat was just their third all season, but the question remains of whether the Leicester result was just a blip on the radar or an indication of Spurs' flailing mentality.
It's been a theme this season that Pochettino's side have failed to take advantage of opportunities presented to them by the form of those around them at the top.
However, centre-back Jan Vertonghen has moved to calm fans after the loss, insisting that the level of upset surrounding the disappointing result is a mark of how far the club has come in terms of its expectations.
"We have been playing very well this season so every time we don’t win it becomes an ‘incident’. That’s a very good sign" the Belgian said, according to the Guardian.
It may take until the end of the season to know the true importance of the defeat, but for now, it's vital that Spurs forget and move on.