Wolves 2-3 Tottenham: Spurs cling on to win despite late penalties
Wolves 2-3 Tottenham: Spurs cling on to win thriller after Ruben Neves and Raul Jimenez penalties ensure exciting finish after Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane put visitors into three-goal lead
- Erik Lamela opened the scoring for Spurs before Lucas Moura doubled their advantage three minutes later
- Harry Kane looked to have made sure of the three points with a third for the visitors just after the hour mark
- Ruben Neves reduced the arrears from the penalty spot after Raul Jimenez was fouled inside the penalty area
- Wolves were awarded a second penalty, scored by Jimenez, after Juan Foyth conceded his second penalty
- It was a nightmare debut for the defender but the home side missed a number of chances as Spurs held on
- Dele Alli, who this week signed a new deal with Spurs, was left out of the squad for the Molineux showdown
- The victory sees Tottenham climb above Arsenal into fourth, while defeat means Wolves remain in 11th
Spineless? Soft? Pathetic? Prior to this match, Gary Neville’s damning analysis of Tottenham Hotspur’s historical fragility created much debate.
The sharp-tongued Sky pundit had said that, back in the day, Tottenham could be leading 2-0 and their opponents would still believe they could win 5-2.
Here at the Molineux Stadium, Mauricio Pochettino’s men got away with it. They led by three goals then conceded two clumsy spot-kicks and had to see out a cagey final 10 minutes.
Erik Lamela is congratulated by his Tottenham team-mates after scoring the opening goal in their victory over Wolves
Lucas Moura netted Tottenham’s second goal of the night when he headed beyond the helpless Rui Costa three minutes later
The Brazilian forward is embraced by Harry Kane as he celebrates his goal at Molineux during the Premier League victory
Wolves thought they were back in the game but Raul Jimenez’s goal was wrongly ruled out for offside against Matt Doherty
MATCH DETAILS, RATINGS, TABLE AND MATCH ZONE
Wolves (3-4-3): Patricio 6; Bennett 6, Coady 6.5, Boly 6; Doherty 6, Moutinho 6 (Gibbs-White 62, 6), Neves 6, Jonny 6; Cavaleiro 5.5 (Bonatini 62, 6), Jimenez 6.5, Costa 6 (Traore 84)
Subs not used: Ruddy, Vinagre, Hause, Dendoncker
Goals: Neves (68 pen), Jimenez (79 pen)
Manager: Nuno Espirito Santo 6
Tottenham (4-3-2-1): Lloris 7; Trippier 6.5, Foyth 5, Alderweireld 6, Davies 6; Sissoko 6, Winks 6, Dembele 6 (Son 7, 6.5) (Eriksen 59, 6); Lamela 7.5, Moura 7 (Sanchez 79); Kane 6.5
Subs not used: Gazzaniga, Llorente, Aurier, Skipp
Scorers: Lamela (27), Moura (30), Kane (61)
Booked: Foyth, Winks
Manager: Mauricio Pochettino 6.5
Referee: Mike Dean 6
Star man: Erik Lamela
Season at a glance
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Erik Lamela opened the scoring for Spurs after a good passing move. For more from Sportsmail’s Match Zone click here
Wolves left feeling hard done by, having had a legitimate goal ruled out for offside in the first half. As far as they are concerned, they deserved a draw at the very least.
Still, Pochettino will take the positives from this.
For one, they bounced back from last week’s 1-0 loss to Manchester City and dealt with the difficult loss of midfielder Moussa Dembele after only three minutes. They also played with patience until the deadlock was broken midway through the first half and had three different goalscorers in Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane.
Yet the two late penalties, both conceded by Premier League debutant Juan Foyth and scored by Ruben Neves then Raul Jimenez, showed some signs of weakness. Spurs survived, just.
First, though, this was a weekend when the footballing family came together for Leicester City and Wolves played their part to perfection, too. Before a ball was kicked or a whistle blown, the West Midlands club made a show of solidarity for their East Midlands counterparts.
England and Spurs talisman looked to have made sure of the three points when he fired home from close range on the hour
Kane is embraced by his Spurs team-mates after adding gloss to the scoreline midway through the second half
Ruben Neves got Wolves back int he game with a penalty after Juan Foyth brought down Raul Jimenez inside the penalty box
The Portuguese star sprints back to the halfway line with the ball after reducing the arrears with just over 20 minutes to go
It had been just seven days since Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s tragic death at the King Power Stadium, a little more than an hour’s drive down the M6 from the Molineux.
Wolves’ players wore Leicester blue in the warm-up, wreaths were laid on the pitch and the programme was packed with tributes to the Thai businessman’s legacy.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side themselves have been set the goal of winning the Premier League within seven years by Fosun International, the ambitious group that own the club. So far, their first season back in the top flight has been so-so.
Wolves went into this with a rather miserable record. They had failed to win any of their last 24 Premier League games against teams in the top half of the table, having drawn 10 and lost 14.
Tottenham, meanwhile, had not been beaten by a newly-promoted side in 38 matches. On paper, there only seemed to be one outcome.
The home side were dramatically awarded a second penalty when Foyth was adjudged to have fouled Jonny Castro
Jimenez sent Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris the wrong way to put Wolves within a goal of a point but they fell just short
Tottenham were arguably lucky to escape more punishment when an apparent foul by Davinson Sanchez was not awarded
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino tries to arrest his side’s second-half collapse by issuing instructions to his players
Still, records are there to be broken, and the visitors were forced into a reshuffle within three minutes. Dembele went down following a heavy challenge by Helder Costa and was wheeled away on a stretcher. The silver lining was his replacement, Heung-min Son, ran Wolves ragged.
The South Korean created the opener in the 27th minute when he played a superb one-two with Lamela. With only Rui Patricio to beat, the Argentine attacker slotted the ball through the Wolves goalkeeper’s legs for 1-0.
Less than three minutes later, Son found Kieran Trippier, who pulled off one of those pin-point crosses that made him so popular at the World Cup. He found an unmarked Moura and the 5ft 7in Brazilian headed home for his fifth strike of the season.
Before half time, Wolves had the ball in the back of the net through Jimenez, though it was chalked off by the assistant’s flag. Replays showed it was an incorrect call as Matt Doherty was clearly onside.
Son Heung-min appeals to the referee after going down under a challenge during the Premier League clash at Molinuex
Wolves captain Conor Coady tries to dispossess Lucas, who doubled Spurs’ lead and put them in command on Saturday
Spurs and France midfielder Moussa Sissoko tumbles under the challenge of Wolves counterpart Joao Moutinho (right)
Toby Alderweireld looks to find a team-mate with a pass as Spurs tried to hold off a fightback from the home side on Saturday
Wolves were left wishing they had the use of a Video Assistant Referee. They had it all to do in the second half and Jimenez stung the palms of Hugo Lloris after the restart. The Tottenham goalkeeper then denied a powerful drive from Neves.
On the hour mark, though, Spurs struck again. Kane saw his first shot saved by Patricio but scored with his second from the rebound for 3-0. Job done, Tottenham though.
Yet in the 68th minute, Wolves were awarded a penalty by referee Mike Dean when Foyth clumsily clipped Jimenez. Neves took it and sent Lloris the wrong way.
Then they were awarded another spot-kick when Foyth took out Jonny. Jimenez stepped up this time and made it 3-2 with 10 minutes remaining.
It handed Wolves a lifeline but it was too little, too late for the comeback.
Harry Winks, who was handed a start in central midfield, looks to travel with the ball beyond Helder Costa in the first half
The two managers, Spurs boss Pochettino and Wolves coach Nuno Espirito Santo, embrace ahead of the action on Saturday
Both sides came together for a minute’s silence ahead of kick-off to remember those who have fallen in previous conflicts
Tottenham’s players wore t-shirts with the message ‘TogetherWithLeicester’ following the tragic helicopter crash last week
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