Wolves vs Tottenham saw Dele Alli score the game’s only goal, but perhaps more importantly it also saw Harry Kane make his 2021-22 Premier League debut, at Molineux Stadium on Sunday.
The performance was hardly vintage by Tottenham’s standards, but Nuno Espirito Santo improved to two wins from two games in the Premier League as he returned to his former home of four seasons.
Wolves vs Tottenham final score, stats, results
Goals scored: Wolves (None); Tottenham (Alli 10′ – PK)
Shots: Wolves 25, Tottenham 8
Shots on target: Wolves 6, Tottenham 6
Possession: Wolves 58, Tottenham 42
3 things we learned, Wolves vs Tottenham
1. Kane still “one of our own”: Kane made his season debut in the 71st minute, and to the surprise of some (many?) he entered to a rousing chorus of “Harry Kane, he’s one of our own.” At the end of the day, the Tottenham fans know their side is better with Kane, arguably the best no. 9 in the world, in the side and that still trumps the hurt feelings and failed transfer plots.
🗣 HARRY KANE, HE'S ONE OF OUR OWN.
Tottenham supporters sing as Harry Kane comes on at Wolves. #WOLTOT
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) August 22, 2021
2. Dele a bright spot again: Nuno’s arrival has given Alli a new lease on life, and he appears intent on making the most of it. The 25-year-old midfielder was a bundle of energy, work rate and pressing in the season-opening win over Manchester City, and on Sunday he saw out the game-winning penalty from start to finish to reward his new manager with three more points.
3. 2 games, 0 goals for Wolves: On the plus side, Wolves have conceded just two goals from their first two games and, for long stretches, looked like the clear-cut better side in both games. On the negative side, Bruno Lage’s side is yet to score a goal after making all of one high-percentage scoring chance. It’s a work in progress at Molineux, and there’s something to build on, but the points aren’t going to win themselves.
Man of the Match: Dele Alli – He was always too good to let his career taper off because one manager really didn’t rate him.
There’s no two ways about this one: Wolves completely dominated in every statistical category and through the run of play. Alas, that only matters when you score the goal(s).
Dele earns it, converts it
Fewer than 8 minutes were gone before Alli won the penalty kick and converted it for a 1-0 advantage.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Sergio Reguilon slipped a clever diagonal around the back of the Wolves defense, setting Alli off in a foot race with goalkeeper Jose Sa. Alli was comfortably first to the ball and all Sa die was cut his legs out from under him after arriving late.
Alli took the penalty, sending Sa to his right and slotting the ball to the left.
Kane nearly puts it away
Kane needed all of nine minutes to find his first scoring chance of the season, and it’s one he probably should have done better to put away.
Steven Bergwijn danced down the side line and played the ball to Kane in a bit of space near Sa’s right-hand post, but the ball got stuck under his feet and the shot was tame and without placement in the end. Still, Kane went straight back into the fray and straight into the scoring chances.
Tottenham defend desperately
Given the disparity in possession and shots, Spurs were always going to face an onslaught of pressure and chances as the second half wore on, and somehow they got it over the line.
Francisco Trincao tried to curl a low strike toward the far post in the 58th minute; comfortably saved by Hugo Lloris.
Traore raced in one-on-one with Lloris in the 61st minute, 20 yards between himself and the next-closest soul; shot hit right at Lloris, who couldn’t do anything but make the save.
Nelson Semedo got on the end of a ball to the near post in the 62nd minute; the redirect finish was inches wide of the post.
Traore a terror for Tottenham
In the first half, most of Wolves’ dangerous moments came courtesy of Adama Traore, who terrorized the Tottenham full backs up and down both flanks in the first half, but it hardly resulted in a shot from anywhere inside the penalty area.
Raul Jimenez had the best chance for Wolves in the 27th minute, after Traore went around Japhet Tanganga on the left and cut the ball back toward the top of the box. The Mexican international is still in search of his first goal since returning from the fractured skull he suffered in a Premier League game last November.