Wolves 1 (Traore 67) Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Moura 8, Vertonghen 90)
Despite dominating much of the proceedings, Wolves’ 11-game unbeaten run in the Premier League came to an end with defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Molineux.
Adama Traore’s piledriver from the edge of the area midway the second-half looked to have earnt his team a well-deserved point after Lucas Moura opened the scoring after just eight minutes, but Spurs completed their smash-and-grab into added time when Jan Vertonghen headed a corner past Rui Patricio to take his side above Wolves in the Premier League table.
Reverting to the side which started the 2-2 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion the previous Sunday after seven changes were made for the visit of Besiktas in Thursday night’s Europa League victory, Wolves started the contest brightly, with Diogo Jota’s driving runs into the Spurs defence giving the visitors a cause for concern.
But with just under ten minutes on the clock, it was the visitors who took the lead. After failing to clear the danger from a Tottenham attack, the ball fell to the feet of Moura who broke into the Wolves box – beyond the outstretched leg of Jonny – before firing a powerful effort beyond the reach of Patricio and high into the roof of the net.
The hosts were aiming to get straight back into the contest through the boots of Traore. The speedy winger was played in down the right before powering past Vertonghen and cutting inside to leash low left-footed effort towards goal. However, Paulo Gazzaniga got down well to keep Traore’s shot from crossing the goal line.
Wolves continued to put the pressure onto Spurs during an evenly matched first-half at Molineux, with Raul Jimenez coming close to getting his side back into the tie when he glanced a Moutinho cross from the right wing across goal, but his header narrowly missed the target.
Moments later, Jimenez passed up Wolves’ best chance to get themselves level in the match. Crisp one-touch passing and movement saw the hosts move quickly from defence to attack, and after Jota was fed down the left he squared the ball to the Mexican in the area who took a touch to control before firing just wide of the upright.
Despite Wolves dominating possession and creating many of the chances, Tottenham could – and maybe should – have extended their lead when Dele Alli flicked the ball over Conor Coady and onto the boot of Eric Dier who had made a run into the Wolves box, but the England midfielder struck the base of Patricio’s upright with his first-time effort.
Half-time: Wolves 0 Tottenham 1
Wolves’ first-half attacking intensity was replicated right from the start of the second period, with Jota having a slice of misfortune to somehow not get his side back on level terms. Traore raced down the right and lifted a perfect cross towards the Portuguese forward, but the ball appeared to bounce off Jota and Spurs were able to clear.
Moments later, a great save from Gazzaniga was all that denied Jimenez from scoring, as Wolves continued to rank up the pressure. The Spurs keeper quickly got down to his right to palm an effort from the Mexican number nine wide of the goal. Alli then went close for Tottenham, but his curling effort from the edge of the Wolves box untroubled Patricio.
The host’s dominance finally paid off midway through the second-half. Jimenez picked up the ball in the Spurs half before laying it off to Traore on the edge of the visitor’s box, and after a taking a moment to settle himself, the winger unleashed a rocket of a shot across goal and beyond Gazzaniga into the corner of the net.
There was a nervy moment in defence for Wolves when Heung-Min Son appeared to be offside as he ran onto a lofted through ball, and as many in gold and black stopped, Son played the ball across to Harry Kane who went down in the area under the challenge from Romain Saiss. After a VAR check, a corner was awarded, and the home side gave a huge sigh of relief.
With Spurs struggling to contain Traore – with Toby Alderweireld, Dier and Kane all going into Stuart Atwell’s notebook for taking out the winger – Wolves almost took the lead when Moutinho’s free-kick found the head of Saiss, but Gazzaniga was able to palm the Moroccan’s glancing effort away from goal, before Jota fired over from a tight angle.
With the game heading to added time, Spurs scored the goal to secure the three points for the travelling side. Christian Eriksen, who was only on the pitch a matter of minutes, curled a corner onto the head of Vertonghen who guided his effort into the bottom right corner of Patricio’s goal.
Wolves had one final chance in their bid to claim a draw out of a match they fully deserved to win when Jota lashed a long-distance shot just wide of the post.
Full-time: Wolves 1 Tottenham 2
Wolves: Patricio, Doherty, Dendoncker, Coady, Saiss, Jonny, Neves, Moutinho, Traore, Jota, Jimenez.
Unused subs: Ruddy, Bennett, Kilman, Vinagre, Neto, Cutrone, Ashley-Seal.
Tottenham: Gazzaniga, Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Dier, Sissoko, Moura (Eriksen 89), Alli (Winks 90), Son (Foyth 90), Kane.
Unused subs: Whiteman, Sessegnon, Skipp, Lo Celso.
Referee: Stuart Atwell