A first-minute goal from Tanguy Ndombele looked to have been enough to secure victory against Wolves at Molineux on Sunday evening, until the hosts pegged us back with a late equaliser for a share of the spoils.
It took just 57 seconds for the opening goal to come, after Heung-Min Son had seen a close-range effort blocked for a corner by Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio. Son’s set-piece went past everyone in the area, Ben Davies collected the ball at the far post and laid it back to Ndombele who drilled home a low right-foot shot from 22 yards.
The home side spent the rest of the game searching for an equaliser and had a handful of chances including a glancing header from Romain Saiss from a corner early in the second half. Hugo Lloris was equal to that one and it looked like we were going to hold out, until Wolves won another corner in the 86th minute and this time, Saiss again attacked the near-post area and flicked a header past Lloris into the far corner.
We stepped it up in the closing stages but couldn’t force an opening and instead almost lost the game deep into stoppage time when Fabio Silva got on the end of a cross but headed down and into the arms of a grateful Lloris.
Wolves pressure pays dividends
Ndombele’s fine early goal was the perfect start as we looked to end our three-game winless run in the Premier League. But we were unable to build on that and, with the home side gradually stepping up the pressure as the game wore on, one goal didn’t feel enough.
After our opening strike, Lloris saved twice from Daniel Podence and Silva flashed a shot into the side-netting as Wolves sought a first-half equaliser but we held firm and perhaps should have done better with one counter-attack, Ndombele leading the charge which ended with Sergio Reguilon firing straight at Patricio.
Wolves stepped up their intensity after the break and our skipper was alert to preserve our lead, bravely diving at the feet of Silva on the hour mark when it looked like he was going to pounce on a ricochet in the area and reacting quickly shortly after, rushing out to clear ahead of Podence from a quick free-kick.
It wasn’t one-way traffic by any means and we had quite a bit of the ball but just couldn’t really create too much with it. The hosts kept coming though and finally got their reward through Saiss’ glancing header, with the point moving us back up to sixth in the table.
Century up for Winks
Harry Winks made a return to the starting line-up in the league for the first time since September and it marked his 100th Premier League appearance since making his first as a late substitute in a 1-1 draw at home to Liverpool in August, 2016.
Meanwhile, Davinson Sanchez was also back in the league starting XI for the first time since October. Jose Mourinho made three changes to the team that started against Stoke in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night. Reguilon, Ndombele and Son came back in for Dele Alli, Gareth Bale and Lucas Moura. Japhet Tanganga was back on the bench after recovering from injury.
Our early goal was the 11th time we have scored in the first minute of a Premier League match. Only Chelsea have scored more with 12.
Reaction on Spurs TV
'You have 89 minutes to score more goals'
Jose told Spurs TV afterwards: "I think it was a solid performance from the defensive point of view. To play against Wolves... I don’t remember Hugo making an important save that meant a lot, but when you score in the first minute you have 89 minutes to score more goals, we didn’t, and we weren’t even close to scoring many more goals."
Wolves 1-1 Spurs
Wolves (4-2-3-1): Patricio, Semedo, Coady (c), Saiss, Marcal (Ait-Nouri 75), Neves, Moutinho (Otasowie 84), Neto, Podence (Vitinha 90+1), Traore, Silva. Substitutes (not used): Ruddy, Hoever, Perry, Cundle, Kilman, Corbeanu.
Spurs (3-5-2): Lloris (c), Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Doherty, Winks, Ndombele (Sissoko 70), Hojbjerg, Reguilon (Bergwijn 63), Son (Lamela 83), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Hart, Aurier, Alderweireld, Rodon, Tanganga, Dele.
Goals: Wolves – Saiss 86; Spurs – Ndombele 1.
Yellow cards: Wolves – Podence, Coady, Marcal, Semedo; Spurs - Winks.
Referee: Paul Tierney.
Venue: Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton.
Weather: Clear skies, light winds, 0 degrees.