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Match report: Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Tottenham Hotspur 1

Haran Naresh watched on from Molineux as Spurs beat Wolverhampton Wanderers Dele Alli’s first-half penalty was enough for Spurs to secure all three points against Wolves. Wolves started on the front foot, with Adama Traore cutting inside, beating Japhet Tanganga with ease before hitting his shot well wide. Spurs won a penalty in the ninth […]

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Molineux Stadium (credit Flippo/Wikimedia Commons)
By Haran Naresh 22 August 2021

Haran Naresh watched on from Molineux as Spurs beat Wolverhampton Wanderers

Dele Alli’s first-half penalty was enough for Spurs to secure all three points against Wolves.

Wolves started on the front foot, with Adama Traore cutting inside, beating Japhet Tanganga with ease before hitting his shot well wide.

Spurs won a penalty in the ninth minute when Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa came out to intercept a ball that was played in behind but ended up fouling Dele Alli in the box. Alli took the penalty himself and confidently side footed it into the bottom right-hand corner. Wolves had a strong case for a penalty themselves five minutes later when Oliver Skipp pushed Nelson Semedo in the box. Referee Stuart Attwell turned down the Wolves appeals and the VAR agreed with his decision. Wolves did not let this set-back affect them and continued to create chances. Raul Jimenez found himself in space and had an effort deflected wide. The offside flag was raised but this showcased the threat that the home side were carrying. Traore continued to be a problem for the Spurs defence, beating Tanganga with ease before finding Jimenez who shot just over the bar.

Spurs deployed a similar game plan to what they did against Manchester City, sitting deep before attacking on the counter. Ruben Neves connected cleanly with a volley but this was comfortably saved by Hugo Lloris. Unlike the game against City, Tottenham were struggling to contain Wolves despite defending in numbers. They were pinned back at the start of the second half with Nelson Semedo drilling a shot over the bar from just outside the area.

Son was played in behind in the 55th minute but his cut-back was put behind by Max Kilman.

In the 59th minute a long diagonal was delivered to Semedo who found Francisco Trincao but he was off balance and could only muster a tame shot that was well saved. Traore then missed a glorious opportunity to equalise for the home side. Neves won the ball high up the pitch from Eric Dier and played in Traore, who was through on goal but hit his shot straight at Lloris.

Spurs still possessed a threat on the break. Bergwijn burst away in space and hit a low shot that was saved by Jose Sa, who then quickly got up to save a follow up effort from Son. Somewhat understandably, Wolves could not sustain the pressure they had built and had a period where they struggled to create chances.

Harry Kane came off the bench to make his first appearance of the season and squandered a good chance when he was played in by Bergwijn and hit his effort straight at Sa from close range.

Sa then made an excellent save to deny Dier from a corner. Wolves exerted pressure late on but Spurs held on to secure the win. Nuno will not be pleased with Tottenham’s performance but will take pride from the way his side ground out the result. Tottenham take on Pacos de Ferreira in the second leg of their Europa Conference League play-off tie at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday. They then host Watford in the Premier League on Sunday.

Tottenham manager Nuno Espírito Santo speaking in his post match press conference: “I think Wolves have a very good team and created us enormous problems, big, big problems. One of those was Adama. Everyone knows Adama is unique and he’s very hard to stop.”

On Harry Kane: “I think he did well. He helped the team. He had a good chance. Harry is still in the process of increasing and improving his level of fitness because he’s one of the best players in the world. You could see the way he helped the team in terms of possession and the fine lines.”