Tottenham Hotspur picked up all three points in a wildly entertaining match at the Molineux Stadium Sunday, dispatching Wolves on a late winner by the final score of 2-1.
There was no need to wait for this match to simmer as both sides came out of the gate in a full sprint. Wolves pushed hard in the first few minutes of the match, earning a couple of corners as they relied on Jota and Adama Traore to dribble behind the fullbacks and cut in. Spurs took it in stride and managed to get on the break after a corner with Dele and Son Heung-Min, but couldn’t put together an attack.
Spurs got the first goal of the match just eight minutes in. After a clearance by Rui Patricio, the ball fell to Lucas Moura. What followed was a wonderful display of individual skill to find a yard of space to at least cross the ball...or so we thought. Lucas opted to blast a shot top shelf past Patricio, who didn’t stand a chance to stop it. Just like that, Spurs were up 1-0.
Wolves weren’t fazed by the goal and continued their attack. The individual battle between Jan Vertonghen and Traore was one that built throughout most of the first half. The Belgian seemed up to the challenge as he didn’t allow much space for Traore to operate. On the other side, Jota had more success against Davinson Sanchez, particularly in the 25th minute when he found Raul for a shot 15 yards out. The shot was just wide of the net.
Spurs missed a golden opportunity to double their lead in the 37th minute as Lucas found Eric Dier free, who fired it to Dele at the top of the 18. Dele flipped the ball over the defense to Dier on a run perfectly, giving him a chance on net. The midfielder beat Patricio near side but only found the woodwork with his shot. An amazing chance wasted.
Wolves tried to get one last chance in the dying embers of the first half as Ruben Neves fired one long for Jota, but the pass was well long and went out to touch. One of the most entertaining halves of football was brought to an end shortly after that as Spurs managed to get to the break with their one goal lead.
Wolves wasted no time getting back on the attack as Traore dribbled behind Vertonghen and ripped a cross in front of net for Jota that had too much steam on it to head it into the net. A subsequent attack just moments after was eventually snuffed out by Paulo Gazzaniga.
The frenetic pace of the match started to slow down around the 60th minute as both sides got sloppy with challenges. Joao Moutinho and Davinson Sanchez both picked up yellow cards for dumb fouls, followed by an especially stupid foul by Jonny Otto to stop Lucas breaking free on a counter.
After 65 minutes of defending, Spurs couldn’t keep the clean sheet any longer. Traore received a pass about 30 yards out from net and dribbled into a position where he had space to take a shot. He could not have struck it any better, burying the shot past Gazzaniga to level the match at one goal each with over 20 minutes to play.
Surprisingly, 75 minutes passed and Spurs had yet to make a sub, even though the midfield was getting overrun in much of the second half. Dier looked dead on his feet, especially after making a bad tackle on Traore to earn a yellow card.
Wolves almost got the winner in the 84th minute after Harry Kane was booked for a foul on Traore. The set piece was a well worked for a header that forced Gazzaniga to make a one handed save. The rebound attempt was sent into the stands to end yet another Wolves opportunity.
Jose Mourinho finally went to the bench in the 87th minute, putting Christian Eriksen into the match for Lucas. The move proved to be a master stroke as Eriksen earned a corner off of a long free kick. The corner ended up being the winner as the Dane found Vertonghen about 12 yards out for a ridiculous header that slotted into the low corner past a diving Rui Patricio. Wolves certainly tried to pull level again on a Jota rip from 20 yards, but it went wide of the net.
Thoughts on the Match
- That match was a neutral fan’s dream. A wildly entertaining affair from start to finish.
- SUPER JAN FOR THE WIN! That was the most FIFA headed goal ever.
- Lucas’ goal was fantastic. When he’s on, he is off the charts with his skill.
- Fair play to Wolves. They’re a really good side and fun as hell to watch.
- For a few moments in the second half, I felt like I was watching a replay of the Battle at the Bridge. So many fouls. So many bookings.
- Three absolutely massive points given the results yesterday and today. Spurs will now have an opportunity to go into Christmas in the Top 4 with a win next weekend.
- F*ck Chelsea.