Spurs survived a nervy ending to defeat Wolves 3-2 at Molineux in their third match in six days. Despite the home side converting two second half penalties, goals from Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane, were in the end, enough for Spurs to take all three points.
Saturday night success.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 4, 2018
Juan Foyth made his first Premier League start for Spurs after impressing midweek against West Ham in the Carabao Cup. Harry Winks came into the central midfield with Eric Dier still injured whilst Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli were both rested after recently returning from injury. Meanwhile Nuno Espirito Santo made one change to the Wolves side that lost to Brighton with Ivan Cavaliero coming in for Adama Traore for his first Premier League start.
Spurs went into the game unbeaten in their last twenty-eight against recently promoted teams, winning thirty-five of them, but were forced into an early substitution after Mousa Dembele went off with an ankle injury. Heung-min Son came on in his place with Moussa Sissoko moving into the centre of midfield next to Winks.
The first chance of the encounter went to Raul Jimenez. After a quick throw the Wolves striker, on loan from Benfica, did well to turn and get a shot away but his effort sailed over the Spurs bar.
Spurs went close soon after, with Harry Kane forcing a good save from Rui Patricio. The move started with Son and Lucas Moura, before Kane was played through on goal whilst under pressure from Wily Boly. The England captain fired his shot across goal but the Wolves goalkeeper did enough to get down low and save before Jonny Otto cleared for Wolves.
With just under half an hour played Spurs broke the deadlock and the goal came after some patient build up play from Mauricio Pochettino’s team. The ball was moved quickly from left to right with Kieran Trippier, Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela all getting involved. Lamela cut back inside to make a one-two with Son, which allowed the Argentine to be put through after a clever run and an excellently weighted pass. Lamela took the ball down brilliantly in his stride and stroked it home through the legs of the helpless Patricio to put Spurs 1-0 ahead.
Just like he did in Spurs’ last away Premier League match, Lamela scored the opening goal of the encounter.
— Fantasy Premier League (@OfficialFPL) November 3, 2018
The second for Spurs came immediately after through a sublime team goal, which all stemmed from Lamela working hard in the centre of midfield to win the ball back. Every Spurs player had a role other than Kane, Foyth and Lloris before the ball ended up with Kieran Trippier on the right hand side. Trippier, who has not been at his best defensively this season, put in a measured cross right onto the head of Lucas Moura who was unmarked in the Wolves area and could not miss. That was Spurs’ second goal in three minutes and completely changed the complexion of the match.
There was then a controversial offside decision in the match, which fortunately went in the favour of Spurs. Matt Doherty was judged to have been offside by the assistant referee, when he was clearly onside, after being put through by Joao Moutinho. The Irish full back then headed back across to Jimenez who fired in but, luckily for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, the goal did not stand for Wolves.
Into the second half, Jimenez again had a chance to score but Hugo Lloris blocked his goal-bound effort. The Spurs captain was once more called into action to make an even better save from Ruben Neves’ shot. The deflected effort looked to be going into the bottom corner but Lloris turned it behind to keep Spurs two goals ahead.
Whereas Spurs’ two goals had both been after patient build up play, their third came after a direct pass up field. Harry Kane won the header from Lloris’ long clearance and, after some trickery in the area, Lamela pulled the ball back for Kane to dispatch. He was thwarted by Patricio with his first attempt but scored with the rebound to give Spurs what they thought must’ve been an unassailable lead.
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 4, 2018
Spurs Survive Late Wolves Fightback
Leo Bonatini and Morgan Gibbs-White were introduced as Nuno’s side attempted to make a fight back and it was good combination play from both that led to the first penalty for Wolves. After initially winning the ball off Bonatini, Kieran Trippier then gave possession away before Juan Foyth caught Jimenez in the penalty area. Ruben Neves sent Hugo Lloris the wrong way and in the process scored his first goal inside the penalty area in a Wolves shirt.
Wolves then had a golden chance to restrict the deficit to two through Helder Costa. The Portuguese international was played through by eighteen year old Morgan Gibbs-White but, under pressure from Lloris, could only prod wide.
However it was not long until Wolves made up for the missed chance as Foyth gave away a second penalty of the game soon after. Jonny Otto, who played for Spain against England in their Nations League game in October, had too much pace for the young Argentine and was barged over by Foyth. It was not Neves who took the resulting penalty though, instead Raul Jimenez stepped up. The penalty once more sent the Spurs keeper the wrong way and ensured that the final fifteen minutes were going to be nervy for the Spurs players and fans.
However Wolves did not seriously trouble Spurs again and Mauricio Pochettino’s men ran out 3-2 winners much to the delight of the travelling Spurs faithful. For the second game in a row Spurs scored three goals away from home and with that win moved above Arsenal to fourth in the Premier League table.
Wolves v Spurs Lineups
What the Managers Said
Spurs Manager Mauricio Pochettino
On Juan Foyth
“He is so young, it’s his first game in the Premier League. I think he played well. He always tried to play and was relaxed and calm. I think his performance was very good and I am happy with him.” (BBC Sport)
On the Character of the Spurs Side:
“I think the team is a team that always is going to show their face in every game. We can win or we can lose but we are so intense. Today the effort was fantastic because the ball in play was so high. We came from Manchester City that ran more than 120km and against West Ham similar and now the same. It means that the team has a very strong character.” (football.london)
Wolves Manager Nuno Espirito Santo:
“It was a disappointing result, but a fantastic reaction in the second half. Tottenham counter-attacked twice and that defined the game. We had the character to go back in the game when everybody thought the game was lost. The boys gave everything, took risks. We had chances. Maybe we would have deserved a draw.” (BBC Sport)
Wolves v Spurs Man of the Match
Not for the first time this season, Erik Lamela was the best player on the pitch for Spurs. His goal and assist against Wolves means that he has now been involved in eleven goals in his last twelve appearances for Spurs. The Argentine has been deployed more recently in a central position for Spurs, mainly because of injuries to Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli, and has excelled there, earning a recall to his national team in the process.
What’s next for Spurs?
Next up for Spurs is their must win match against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League on Wednesday. Then they travel to Selhurst Park on Saturday to play Crystal Palace in the evening kick off in the Premier League. After that there will be no Spurs fixture for two weeks due to the November international break.
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