Wolves leave Wembley with the points
Spurs 1-3 Wolves
Sat 29 December 2018, 16:52|Tottenham Hotspur
Three second-half goals saw Wolves come from behind to inflict a 3-1 defeat on us at Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Harry Kane put us ahead mid-way through the first period with a stunning drive but that was the only time we were able to pierce Wolves’ resistance as they defended extremely well and limited us mostly to long-range shots.
After the interval, we lost our way and failed to muster a single shot at goal, while the visitors levelled it up through Willy Boly on 72 minutes, took the lead with a Raul Jimenez goal seven minutes from time and produced a counter-attacking third four minutes later to hand us our first defeat in eight matches in all competitions.
An early sight of goal saw Heung-Min Son fire well wide on eight minutes before Kieran Trippier stepped up to take a free-kick in a dangerous area, but drilled his 25-yard shot straight at Rui Patricio.
Most of Wolves’ good work was coming down their left flank through Adama Traore and they won four corners during the opening half, the first seeing Ryan Bennett head over the bar. The visitors were denying us space inside their own half, closing down our front four whenever the ball was coming in to them, although when Christian Eriksen found a yard of room in the 19th minute, his dipping 25-yard drive was superbly tipped over by Patricio.
He also got a good hand to Kane’s effort three minutes later, but this time couldn’t keep out the shot as we opened the scoring. There was a coming together between Harry Winks and Ivan Cavaleiro on half-way, referee Stuart Attwell waved play on and Son pushed the ball forward to Kane. He advanced down the right flank, chopped inside Boly and then hit a searing left-foot rocket which flew into the top corner.
We continued to have the majority of possession and Son went close with a long-range effort which just missed the top corner and, while the visitors were getting forward and sending the ball into our box on occasions, they failed to carve out an effort on target by the time the half-time whistle blew.
The second period started in a similar vein in the early stages, but before too long the entire pattern of the game changed as we misplaced a couple of passes, lost a bit of intensity to our game and Wolves capitalised. They started to enjoy more of the ball, pushed us back and began creating chances, Cavaleiro firing well wide before Matt Doherty scuffed his shot from the edge of the area after substitute Helder Costa’s pull back.
And when they won a 72nd-minute corner, Joao Moutinho delivered a cross which Boly powered into the net despite Hugo Lloris’ despairing dive. The goal didn’t really spark us into life either, instead it was Wolves who grabbed the next one to go ahead for the first time in the game in the 83rd minute. Cavaleiro picked up the ball in the left channel and played it inside to Jimenez, who shifted it onto his right foot and sent a low shot through Toby Alderweireld’s legs, past Lloris and into the bottom corner. The points were then wrapped up four minutes later as we were hit on the counter, Doherty playing a pass in behind our defence for Costa to run onto and, with just Lloris to beat, he slotted it home.
Although we were leading at the interval, we weren’t at our free-flowing best and it always felt that the next goal was going to be key to the game. As Wolves grew in confidence, an equaliser looked most likely and it came from the head of the formidable Boly, who rose highest to send his effort past Lloris and begin the visitors’ comeback.
"Always, every single defeat is disappointing, but these type of games always happen during the season and of course, it’s difficult," said Mauricio Pochettino afterwards.
"I thought we were in control but in the last 15, 20 minutes it was disappointing in the way we conceded the first goal and then it was difficult to find the energy to be in the game, we started to be wrong in the way we tried but now we need to move on and be ready for the next game."
Reaction on Spurs TV
Spurs 1-3 Wolves
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Trippier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Davies, Winks, Sissoko, Son, Dele (Lucas 68), Eriksen, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Walker-Peters, Foyth, Rose, Skipp, Nkoudou.
Wolves (3-4-2-1): Patricio, Bennett, Coady (c), Boly, Doherty, Dendoncker (Moutinho 68), Neves, Jonny, Cavaleiro (Gibbs-White 85), Traore (Costa 59), Jimenez. Substitutes (not used): Ruddy, Vinagre, Saiss, Bonatini.
Goals: Spurs – Kane 22; Wolves – Boly 72, Jimenez 83, Costa 87.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Davies, Eriksen, Kane; Wolves - Jonny.
Referee: Stuart Attwell.
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London.
Weather: Light cloud, moderate breeze, 13 degrees.