Dele spot on to sink Wolves - report and reaction
Wolves 0-1 Spurs
Sun 22 August 2021, 16:04|Tottenham Hotspur
Dele Alli’s early penalty was enough to secure all three points at Molineux on Sunday to continue our perfect start to the new Premier League season.
The midfielder tucked home from 12 yards on nine minutes after he was brought down by Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa and, despite some strong pressure at times from the home side, our defence held firm again to give Head Coach Nuno Espirito Santo a win on his return to his former club.
The move leading up to the penalty was well-worked, Sergio Reguilon slipping a tidy pass in behind the Wolves defence for Dele who was upended by Jose Sa as he went to go around the goalkeeper and the midfielder picked himself to send him the wrong way from the spot.
But we were also thankful to a fine performance from Hugo Lloris, who set a new club record with his 300th Premier League appearance, making one stop in particular to deny Adama Traore who was clean through on goal in the 61st minute.
Four minutes later, a trio of chances fell to Steven Bergwin and Heung-Min Son but a combination of two Jose Sa saves and a Max Kilman block denied us and, at the other end, Joao Moutinho swept a long-ranger just over and Dele did really well to block Francisco Trincao’s fierce drive.
Harry Kane stepped off the bench late on for his first appearance of the season and went close to doubling our lead, only to be denied by Jose Sa, who also kept out Eric Dier’s glancing header from Giovani Lo Celso’s corner. The last chance saw Fabio Silva’s header gathered on his goal-line by Lloris to preserve his well-deserved clean sheet on his milestone match and ensure another big three points.
Chances galore in lively encounter
The early goal proved to be a decisive moment in the game, but both sides had plenty of chances in what was an entertaining affair. Despite going behind, Wolves had the better of the first half in terms of possession and carved out a couple of chances.
On 26 minutes, Traore got the better of Japhet Tanganga down the Wolves left, his low cross was flicked by Joao Moutinho to Raul Jimenez who sent his shot from 15 yards just over the crossbar. Then just before half-time, Ruben Neves hit a 25-yard volley low along the ground which Lloris gathered comfortably.
A lively start to the second half saw chances for both sides. Kilman prevented Son from finding an unmarked Bergwijn on a Spurs counter-attack and there was a huge save from Lloris to keep our lead intact on 61 minutes. Dier lost possession inside the Wolves half to Neves, who immediately released Traore in on goal but Lloris stood firm and saved the effort with his legs.
The skipper then set up our next flurry of chances with a long clearance to Bergwijn, his shot was saved by Jose Sa, who then blocked from Son on the rebound before Kilman superbly blocked Son’s second attempt and Wolves escaped. Wonderful skill from Bergwijn helped him break away down the left on 81 minutes, finding Kane but Jose Sa saved his effort and blocked from Bergwijn on the rebound. The Wolves stopper then kept out Dier’s glancing header.
Wolves were always a threat and kept plugging away, winning a corner in the final seconds which Fabio Silva met with a header, but it was snaffled up by Lloris and a battling win was in the bag.
Important win in Hugo’s landmark game
Lloris wrote his name into the club record books with his 300th Premier League appearance – and marked it with a typically-composed performance to keep a clean sheet and lay the foundations for our second successive 1-0 win of the domestic season. The skipper took over from Darren Anderton, who made 299 appearances between 1992-2004.
In all competitions, this was the 100th meeting between Wolves and Spurs and this was the first time we had won consecutive Premier League matches against them since winning both meetings in 2003/04.
Nuno – who managed Wolves 115 times in the Premier League – stuck with the same team that secured a memorable victory against Manchester City last weekend.
Reaction on Spurs TV
'We defended well'
Head Coach Nuno told Spurs TV after the game: "We defended well against a tough team that can cause problems, but in the final situations we managed to keep a clean sheet, Hugo did amazing, the boys did amazing (with their) hard work. We had the chance to kill the game, we didn’t do it, and then it’s until the last minutes with bodies in front of the ball to take what we came here for."
Highlights on Spurs TV
Wolves 0-1 Spurs
Spurs (3-4-3): Jose Sa, Kilman, Coady (c), Saiss (Silva 84), Semedo, Moutinho (Dendoncker 72), Neves, Marcal, Traore, Jimenez, Trincao (Ait-Nouri 84). Substitutes: Ruddy, Hoever, Gibbs-White, Cundle, Marques, Campbell.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Tanganga, Dier, Sanchez, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Lucas (Lo Celso 67), Dele, Bergwijn (Winks 90+1), Son (Kane 72). Substitutes: Gollini, Doherty, Davies, Sessegnon, Gil, Scarlett.
Goals: Spurs – Dele 9 (pen).
Yellow cards: Spurs – Tanganga, Skipp, Hojbjerg, Kane; Wolves - Jimenez.
Referee: Stuart Attwell.
Venue: Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton.
Weather: Sunny intervals, gentle breeze, 21 degrees.