First-half double sees Wolves claim victory - report and reaction
Spurs 0-2 Wolves
Sun 13 February 2022, 16:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Two goals inside the opening 20 minutes consigned us to a second consecutive defeat at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as Wolves left north London with the points on Sunday afternoon.
The visitors took the lead on six minutes when Hugo Lloris punched away Leander Dendoncker’s effort but only as far as Raul Jimenez, who controlled on his chest and volleyed home from 12 yards out. And they doubled their lead after 18 minutes with a real scrappy goal as we had chances to clear our lines but Dendoncker pounced on the loose ball to slam home from close range.
The pattern for the remainder of the game saw Wolves content to sit deep and try to hit us on the break which led to plenty of possession for us but no real clear chances to show for it. Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa denied Harry Kane, Dejan Kulusevski fired just wide from 15 yards and Sa then tipped Cristian Romero’s header over the bar in the 89th minute, but it just wasn’t our day.
Paying the price for slow start
One of the more defensively solid teams in the Premier League in recent weeks, Wolves were always going to be a difficult side to break down so conceding two early goals made it a really tough afternoon for us. Both goals were disappointing to concede from our perspective. The first came after Ruben Neves hit a 25-yard drive which Lloris parried out, Dendoncker prodded the rebound back towards goal and Lloris chose to punch clear but it went straight to Jimenez who finished well. Heung-Min Son then had a good chance when he was in behind the Wolves defence but cut back onto his left foot and his shot lacked any power.
Wolves extended their lead after some poor defending. Lloris’ pass out to his left was behind Ben Davies, the defender’s clearance then only went as far as Neves 30 yards out, he found Nelson Semedo whose ball into the area reached Daniel Podence. His shot was blocked by Davinson Sanchez, hit Rodrigo Bentancur, bounced off the post and Dendoncker reacted quickest to poke home.
With a two-goal advantage, Wolves were content to drop in and hit us on the counter. Kane fired just over, Lloris made a fine save low down to deny Jimenez, Son’s angled drive was easy for Jose Sa and the first half ended with two headed opportunities – Kane straight at Jose Sa and Lucas Moura glancing a near-post corner well over.
The visitors almost went further ahead early in the second half when Sanchez gave away possession, Luke Cundle slid in Jimenez but Davies was across quickly to knock him off balance and Lloris was able to smother his eventual shot. The rest of the second period was played predominantly in the Wolves half as we searched for a way back into the contest, ultimately without success. Max Kilman made a great tackle to deny Son who looked to get on to Kulusevski’s through ball and seconds later, Son put Kane in down the left but Jose Sa was equal to his effort.
After Rayan Ait-Nouri had hit an angled drive into the side-netting on 71 minutes, Kulusevski fired just wide from 15 yards after Davies had won a header from the left into the area. Then, after Kane and Romero saw chances missed, we were almost gifted a late goal when Jose Sa spilled a deflected cross but Kulusevski couldn’t take advantage of the loose ball and with it went any hope we had of a late comeback.
Full debut for Bentancur
Head Coach Antonio Conte made three changes from the midweek loss to Southampton as Rodrigo Bentancur came in for his first start following his deadline day move from Juventus, while former Wolves man Matt Doherty and Ryan Sessegnon started in the wing-back positions. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Emerson Royal and Sergio Reguilon dropped to the bench – it was the first time Hojbjerg had ever started a Premier League game on the bench for us. He missed the Liverpool match in December completely, but had otherwise started every other league game since his arrival from Southampton in the summer of 2020.
Reaction on Spurs TV
'We created many chances'
Antonio told Spurs TV: "It was a difficult day, because we conceded two goals after only maybe 15 minutes. The performance was good, maybe one of the best since I was here, but at the end, we’re talking about a bad result, 2-0 down. We created many chances to score. It’s very difficult to comment on this game. We played against a team that is very good defensively - they’ve only conceded 17 goals, the second best in the Premier League after Manchester City. I think we created many chances to score, despite the solidity of this team."
Highlights on Spurs TV
Spurs 0-2 Wolves
Spurs (3-4-3): Lloris (c), Sanchez, Romero, Davies, Doherty (Royal 82), Bentancur, Winks, Sessegnon (Kulusevski 28), Lucas (Bergwijn 71), Son, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gollini, Rodon, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, White, Scarlett.
Wolves (3-5-2): Sa, Kilman, Coady (c), Saiss, Semedo, Dendoncker, Neves, Cundle (Trincao 84), Ait-Nouri, Podence (Hwang 81), Jimenez (Silva 86). Substitutes (not used): Ruddy, Hoever, Marcal, Jonny, Chiquinho, Toti.
Goals: Wolves – Jimenez 6, Dendoncker 18.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Lucas, Kulusevski, Bentancur; Wolves – Ait-Nouri.
Referee: Kevin Friend.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Consistent rain, moderate breeze, seven degrees.