Tottenham Hotspur are back threatening the Top Four after a late goal provided Jose Mourinho’s men a 2-1 defeat of Wolves at the Molineux on Sunday.
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Spurs are now three points back of fourth place Chelsea, who they play next week, while Wolves sit five points back of the Top Four in eighth.
This was a great away win for Mourinho’s Spurs, who ended Wolves
It was Vertonghen’s first league goal since opening day of the 2018/19 season.
Three things we learned
1. Show-stopper set up for next Sunday: The intensity of this match was high, but it’ll be nothing compared to what’s coming in a week. Jose Mourinho will lead his thriving Spurs into Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for a meeting with his longtime club (Chelsea) and its manager, who happens to be one of his favorite players (Frank Lampard). The Blues struggles have allowed many teams to have a peak at the Top Four, and Spurs will climb above Chelsea with a win. Start it now, please.
2. Planning pays off: Jose Mourinho knew his Spurs would have a 2-day advantage on rest, but still kept a bevy of stars out of a dead rubber at Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League. Harry Kane, Davinson Sanchez, Dele Alli, and Jan Vertonghen didn’t play in the 3-1 loss, while Lucas Moura and Heung-Min Son split minutes. Wolves went hard on Thursday against Besiktas, and it’s no surprise that Spurs were livelier, earlier, in producing the opener. That Vertonghen provided the late goal sure helps the argument.
3. Two of Nuno’s success stories provide equalizer: When you talk about the harnessing of individual talent, few have done as well as Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo. Two of his best bits of work have been done with Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore. The latter scored a bullet goal to level the score after the hour mark, set up by a dribble and run by El Tri star Jimenez.
Man of the Match: It’s one of the goal scorers for sure, but Vertonghen gets out edge for five aerials won and three tackles against a very intense Wolves side.
Wolves had an early corner, but Spurs produced the first two bits of danger and cashed in the second. Lucas dribbled into the right of the box and smashed a shot past Rui Patricio.
The Wolves keeper would slide to defy Heung-min Son moments later, Jose Mourinho’s men out of the gates hard.
Raul Jimenez fired wide in the 26th minute, one of Wolves first true forays into the box.
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Wolves were busy out of the break, and Raul Jimenez forced a good save out of Paulo Gazzaniga in the 48th minute.
The match had the intensity of a Top Four tilt, and Spurs forward Dele Alli nearly provided a show-stopping goal with a curling effort from the 18th before the hour mark.
Just when it felt safe to mark off a win for the visitors, Raul Jimenez dribbled to set up Traore for a belted equalizer worthy of the stage.
Vertonghen headed in a corner from deep outside the box, Patricio unable to get to the stoppage time shot.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 15, 2019