After a tough draw at Stamford Bridge last week, Tottenham Hotspur returned home to face a Wolves side that gave them some trouble last season. It was something of an unconvincing performance, especially in the first half, but Tottenham dug deep and improved in the second 45.
Harry Kane became the player with the most Premier League goals for any one club in this match, heading home from close range off of a corner kick in the second half after hitting the bar earlier and providing Tottenham’s only shot in the first half. Spurs put in a stout defensive performance, and while Wolves had a few dangerous opportunities, none of them tested Hugo Lloris too much. Kane’s 250th career goal was enough as Spurs got full points today, winning 1-0.
Here are my match reactions.
- A somewhat unconvincing win, but still a very good three points. This was a fixture that Spurs lost last season, so I’m not going to squabble too much.
- I’ve been wondering why we haven’t seen the 5-3-2 from Conte, but it wasn’t especially good in the first half. Spurs’ midfielders weren’t getting balls forward, and it seems like it could benefit from someone who can ping long balls from deep. (Hi, Clement.)
- Pretty boring first half. Spurs seemed content to be patient and just wait for opportunities to come their way. Wolves had 12 shots, but many of them were low-percentage shots from distance. But Spurs never tested Sa either. One shot in that half from a Kane header which against a team like Wolves just isn’t good enough.
- There’s clearly been a referee directive to let more potential fouls go, but I don’t think it benefits a team like Spurs who can use free kicks to disrupt defensive patterns. Notable that Wolves were falling over with the lightest of contact, too.
- I had almost forgotten how dull the Sanchez-Royal combination on the right can be, and am not pleased to see it again.
- Spurs’ goal was a lovely bit of set piece design. Fantastic flick from Perisic to the back post and Kane was wide open. Well done, Mr. Vio for the set play design. Just a very well-worked goal.
- A little disappointed with Hojbjerg’s match today, and was surprised he wasn’t subbed off, especially after he picked up an early yellow. That card provided at least one scenario where a tactical foul might have prevented a chance for Wolves, but General Ho couldn’t do it because he’d have been sent off.
- I watched Ryan Sessegnon straight-up body Adama Traore in this match and I think I achieved nirvana.
- Pretty impressed again by Richarlison off the bench. Had some lovely dribbles, beat his man on a couple of occasions, and should’ve had a penalty after being brought down in the box.
- Another bad match for Son. He’s always been streaky though, and you’ve kinda just gotta let him play through it and come out the other side.
- One of the hallmarks of Spurs under Conte is that they do a good job defending when up a goal. The xG map is better than I expected, honestly. Look at all those little squares outside the area from Wolves!
xG map for Spurs - Wolves— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) August 20, 2022
extremely bend but don't break defensive performance from Spurs pic.twitter.com/3cbXgczTWn
- Next match: away to Forest. Could be a deceptively tricky one.