LONDON — We were on site at Tottenham on Sunday as Mexico’s Raul Jimenez played the hero as players from both Spurs and Wolves hailed the star striker who scored a superb late winner.
To make sure you have every angle covered for the marquee Premier League games, our new feature “In the Mixed Zone” will take you behind-the-scenes and into the tunnel areas to hear from the star players moments after their magic has decided games or drama has ensued.
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The idea is to set the scene of being inside the tunnel area in Old Trafford, by the dugouts at Stamford Bridge and in the swanky new players area in Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium as Premier League stars walk out of the dressing room and break down the game with media members around the world. We will tell you what they are saying and the kind of antics going on amid the hubbub of the mixed zone as players from both teams have their say on the 90-plus minutes of action we’ve just witnessed.
Here’s what players from Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham were saying after Wolves sealed a dramatic comeback win to boost their UEFA Champions League hopes.
JIMENEZ THE HERO
Raul Jimenez scored a superb late winner to make it 3-2 and players from both teams were hailing his display after the game.
Jimenez was as humble as ever when speaking after the game, pointing to the great performance by the team.
“It’s an amazing feeling. We knew that we are a very good team that can do these kind of things. This is our spirit, this is what we want. That’s what characterises us,” Jimenez said. “Every game we play, we fight to the end, the last minute. We keep winning, getting up in the table and keep going. We are proud of this game and we have to keep going to achieve more goals. We are looking at top five, if we can keep fighting like this, never give up – we know that it’s going to be difficult but we can do it if we play like today.”
Wolves defender Matt Doherty lauded Raul Jimenez and his strike partner Diogo Jota as they combined for Jimenez’s game-winner.
“The last goal there typified what they can do. The ball gets cleared and it is two against I don’t know however many it was but they made it look easy in the end. The way Raul cut back and stuck it in the top corner. We’ve got a really good team with top class players at a really good age.”
Conor Coady, Wolves’ captain, praised Jimenez’s desire to improve every single day and wants the Molineux club to keep hold of him amid interest from plenty of Europe’s top clubs.
“He is a fantastic football to have at this club. He is a huge asset to the football club and we want to keep him here for many, many years,” Coady said. “His all round game, he is such a good professional, he wants to work hard every single day. It is his all-round game he has improved, he is a sensational footballer.”
We asked Tottenham’s Eric Dier, who did his best to shut down Jimenez, about the qualities of Mexico’s star striker and the England international called him “one of the best strikers in the Premier League, he does everything very well. I can see how valuable he is to them.”
Wolves are now just three points off fourth-place Chelsea and they jumped ahead of Tottenham in the race for Champions League qualification, which could move down to fifth place if Man City’s European ban is upheld by UEFA.
Even if fifth place is enough to reach the UCL next season, Spurs look unlikely to finish in fifth on current form as Jose Mourinho’s side battle with injuries and the mood was extremely downbeat after the game. The photo of Harry Winks below basically sums up their mood.
A few players did stop to speak with the media and Jose Mourinho was in a combative mood after fans seemed to ironically cheer him bringing on youth team striker Troy Parrott in the 90th minute. Thinks are unraveling very quickly for Mourinho at Spurs.
Something worth noting, and perhaps what spurred them on late in the game, is that Wolves’ players have now been given a few days off to do as they please.
Raul Jimenez and Rui Patricio were waiting to get a cab together to head away on a vacation as the Wolves players were all making their arrangements for a rare week-long break between games. Given their commitments in the Europa League all season long, they have the luxury of having seven days until their next game against Brighton on Mar. 7.
I think we can all agree that Wolves’ very small squad have 100 percent earned their break.