It took all 90 minutes, some added time and one heck of a nervy finish, but Tottenham Hotspur made the best of their trip to Molineux Stadium. The north Londoners took all three points from Wolverhampton Wanderers by the final score of 3-2.
The start of the match was not a happy one for Spurs. Ben Davies, while challenging the ball, managed to take out two guys with one tackle. The problem is that one of them was Mousa Dembele, who ended up rolling his ankle in the tackle. Dembele hobbled off, attempted to walk it off, but it was clear he was in pain and could not go. He had to be helped by trainers to the locker room on a stretcher, subbed out for Son Heung-Min.
After the injury, the chances were few and far between for the first 25 minutes of the match were rather uneventful. Several offside calls, one shot from Kane and a whole lot of running. Just as soon as I started writing this, Spurs got their breakthrough in the 27th minute. Erik Lamela played a lovely one-two pass to Sonny to put the Argentine in on net. Lamela kept his cool and calmly slotted it five-hole to make it 1-0 Spurs.
Spurs built off the momentum of Coco’s goal, getting free on an attack right away. Just three minutes after the opener, Kieran Trippier crossed a beauty of a ball into the six yard box, finding a waiting Lucas who headed the ball past Rui Patricio. 2-0, just like that.
Wolves came back in the 36th minute, with Raul getting in from a lovely passing combination to put one past Hugo Lloris, only for the linesman to raise his flag for offside. The replay showed that the call was a bad one and the goal should have counted. With no VAR, Spurs dodged a major bullet to keep their clean sheet.
Spurs freed up Erik Lamela again on a great through ball, looking for another goal. Lamela’s first touch failed him, however. He was forced to take it far too close to the touch line and tried to cross it back, airmailing everyone and ending the attack. The rest of the half was fairly uneventful and Spurs went into halftime with their 2-0 lead in tact.
Wolves started out as bright as can be in the second half, with two great chances to pull a goal back in the match. Both chances, one from about six yards and the second a low, long range blast tested Lloris. The French #1 was up to the challenge on both, parrying both away to keep his clean sheet.
Spurs spent most of the first fifteen minutes in the second half defending, making timely tackles to prevent a push from being anything other than a half-chance. Finally, Spurs got out of their own end and pushed on an attack. Lamela took a ball to touch in the 61st minute and passed back to Harry Kane. The striker’s initial shot was parried away by Patricio, but Kane recovered the rebound and scored a very difficult left-footed shot top shelf to make it 3-0.
Kane was in the mood at that point, getting a pass from Lucas in the 66th minute just outside the penalty area. He fired a powerful curling attempt for the far corner and it looked dead on, but Patricio denied him with an incredible diving save. Credit where it’s due, not many keepers make that save.
The 3-0 lead wouldn’t last too long, however. A rather silly foul by Juan Foyth, making his second start in a row, led to a penalty call. The replay confirmed it as the young defender did foul Raul. Ruben Neves stepped up to the spot and buried the penalty kick after sending Hugo the wrong way, ending the clean sheet to make it 3-1.
Wolves were still in the mood for scoring, working a series of passes to find Helder Costa on a through ball, leaving him one on one with Hugo. While Hugo didn’t get a piece of it, he forced Costa’s low attempt wide of the net.
In the 78th minute, Wolves made another push as Raul came in from left flank attempting to get past Foyth. Foyth attempted to block him out on a dribble but mistimed his move and ended up taking down Raul in the penalty area for his second penalty giveaway of the day. Raul buried the penalty to make it 3-2. As they say, game on. To respond to the lead being cut to one goal, Pochettino brought on Davinson Sanchez.
Wolves brought in dribbling machine Adama Traore to put extra pressure on Spurs in the final ten minutes of the match, forcing Spurs to try and hold possession as much as they could. Traore made his presence felt almost immediately, going at Ben Davies in the 85th minute and tried to chip it into the net. The attempt was just a little high over the crossbar and a jumping Hugo to end the attack.
The final few minutes of the match were nervy, to say the least. Traore got in a couple of times behind Davies and Eriksen, even drawing a free kick in the 94th minute. The cross was cleared out and, after holding our breath for what seemed like forever, Mike Dean brought the match to an end. Spurs had their three points.
Thoughts on the Match
- Deep breath, everyone. What should have been a rout ended up being one of those matches. Still, three points are three points.
- Lamela was fantastic today. I cannot overstate how happy it makes me to see him in this kind of form.
- Kane was definitely in the mood today, getting of almost ten shots today. His goal was a beauty and he could have easily had two if not for Patricio.
- Dembele’s injury did not look good. As someone who has rolled his ankle many times in many different directions, I cringed hard. Here’s hoping it’s not as bad as it looked.
- Foyth’s first penalty giveaway was pretty clear. That second one was softer than my toilet paper. Awful call in my opinion, but I’m sure others will disagree.
- As for his whole match, Foyth was handling himself well until the penalties. After the first one, you could tell he was rattled.
- The attacking band as a whole were dangerous today. I was hoping for a good old-fashioned whipping, and they did their job with three goals.
- Wolves are a good side and showed their resolve today, so I’m not taking these points for granted. I would happily take Neves or Traore on Spurs today.
- As it stands, Spurs jump Arsenal into fourth place on 24 points out of 33. We’re just three back of Liverpool, though City probably jump them tomorrow.