Wolves’ search for a first victory of their 2021/22 Premier League season is not without trying as Bruno Lage’s side did everything but score in their opening home game of the campaign against Tottenham Hotspur.
Despite dominating possession and chances created, Wolves were unable to give their new head coach the welcome he would have wanted at Molineux, with Dele Alli’s early penalty proving to be the difference as Spurs boss Nuno Espirito Santo returned to haunt his former club.
The hosts started the match the stronger of the two sides as Adama Traore and Francisco Trincao were using their pace to get behind the Spurs defence, but without threatening Hugo Lloris.
But first blood went to Tottenham inside the opening 10 minutes, as Alli sent Jose Sa the wrong way from the penalty spot after the midfielder was adjudged to have been tripped inside the box by the Wolves goalkeeper.
Wolves were making their own shouts for a penalty just moments later when Troare burst down the left and put a cross into the box which looked to have been going to Oliver Skipp, but Nelson Semedo was first to the ball and took a knock from Skipp inside the box, but referee Stuart Atwell was not moved.
Everything was going through Traore in the first-half, and the speedster was at it again just before the half hour mark when he turned Japhet Tanganga before racing to the byline and putting a ball across for Joao Moutinho who flicked it to Raul Jimenez on the edge of the box, but the Mexican’s curler with the outside of his boot narrowly missed over the crossbar.
Although Wolves had much of the ball throughout the half and looking threatening as they transitioned quickly up the pitch, Lloris was not troubled greatly in the Spurs goal apart from a pair of long-range efforts from Ruben Neves, which were both comfortably gathered by the visiting keeper, to keep his side ahead at the break.
Half-time | Wolves 0-1 Tottenham
Wolves began the second-half as they ended the first, closing Tottenham down at every occasion before launching a quickfire attack, but unfortunately for the hosts, they were unable to capitalise on their dominance, with Semedo coming the closest in the opening stages with a hit from long-distance which faded wide of the upright.
Lage’s side continued to catch the visitors on the break, but Trincao was unable to turn a Semedo cross into the back of the net as Lloris got down well, but Spurs were always a threat, with Maximilian Kilman having to be quick to block Heung-Min Son’s effort, who had been played in behind the Wolves defence.
Having been a thorn in Spurs’ side throughout the first-half, Traore had a glorious chance to equalise when he was played through by a magnificently timed Neves ball, but Lloris got out well to close the angle and deny Traore one-one-one.
It was then Jose Sa’s turn to be the hero at the other end as the keeper, making his home debut for Wolves, did well to deny Steven Bergwijn and Son, with a quickfire double, and then was tested from Harry Kane, but got down well low to deny the England captain.
Wolves were doing everything to drag themselves back level bar putting the ball in the back of the net, as Spurs were getting men behind the ball and putting their bodies on the line to keep a clean sheet and condemn the hosts to successive defeats to start the season.
Full-time | Wolves 0-1 Tottenham
Wolves | Sa, Semedo, Kilman, Coady, Saiss (Ait-Nouri 84), Marcal, Neves, Moutinho (Dendoncker 72), Trincao (Silva 84), Traore, Jimenez.
Unused subs | Ruddy, Hoever, Marques, Cundle, Gibbs-White, Campbell.
Tottenham | Lloris, Tanganga, Sanchez, Dier, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Dele, Lucas (Lo Celso 67), Bergwijn (Winks 90), Son (Kane 72).
Unused subs | Gollini, Doherty, Davies, Sessegnon, Gil, Scarlett.
Referee | Stuart Atwell
Attendance | 30.368