THAT HAPPENED! Tottenham Hotspur went to the Molineux to face Wolverhampton Wanderers for the second time in a month, this time in the third round of the League Cup. Spurs went up 2-0 in the first half thanks to goals from Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane, but Wolves charged back with goals from Leander Dendoncker and Daniel Podence, sending the match to penalty kicks.
Tottenham took their PKs well, and despite Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg having his shot saved, Wolves missed two and keeper Pierluigi Gollini saved one as Spurs progress to the fourth round.
These notes will be quick, but man there’s a lot to unpack here from this match.
Quick notes and reactions
- The purple kits are DOPE in person.
- A real Jekyll and Hyde performance from Tanguy Ndombele. The guy was EVERYWHERE in the first half, dribbling dudes, making things happen. Took his goal well. But got skinned by Dendoncker for Wolves’ first goal and was pretty profligate with his passing in the second half. I regret to inform you that this match will not change the Ndiscourse one iota.
- This was a good opportunity to see how Skipp would do as PEH’s replacement, not when he plays alongside him. The results were good against a Wolves B-team — Skippy probably put in his best shift in a Spurs shirt today. Solid tackles, good use of space, recycled the ball well. I think he tends to hold on to the ball just a fraction too long at times, but he was looking forward and trying progressive passes. Looked good to me.
- When Spurs have looked good this season it’s because they’ve pressed. Tottenham again came out pressing the way they did against Chelsea, and they looked really, really good in the first half. That might have as much to do with including Tanguy and Lo Celso as it does the overall tactical system, but it’s worth noting.
- Set pieces have been Spurs’ bugaboo this season and it showed again today. That has to be a point of emphasis for Nuno going forward.
- Lo Celso is getting a ton of crap. He wasn’t especially great today, but he also wasn’t really the problem and I feel like he’s getting scapegoated. He needs to be moved back into central midfield, he doesn’t look especially comfortable on the wing.
- Harry Kane still looks like he’s aged about five years between last season and this. That explosive pace he had earlier in his career is gone, and he’s just not moving well. But he took his goal very well.
- The defense was pretty bad. Cuti Romero and Davinson Sanchez were both pretty awful, Ben Davies was shocking especially with his crosses, and Japhet Tanganga was playing on the knife’s edge between aggressive and overaggressive.
- Credit to Pierluigi Gollini — I wasn’t sure he had it in him, but he did well in the shootout. It’s always a crapshoot and Wolves shot themselves in the foot, but Gollini made one important save.
- Bryan Gil looked super fun and I really really wanted him to score that one chance.
- Wooooo on to the next round COYSCOYSCOYSCOYSCOYS