Written By: Abidoye Babatunde
Tottenham lost their second consecutive Premier League match when they let a lead slip late on at Wolves.
Here’s what we made of the action from Molineux.
Hello Spursiness my old friend
Even with nine men, Tottenham weren’t terrible in Monday’s London derby defeat and the scoreline undoubtedly flattered Chelsea, but it was going to be interesting to see how Ange Postecoglou’s side would react to their first setback of the season.
Spurs sides of old might still have been feeling sorry for themselves and with some big players missing, a blip could easily have snowballed into something much worse.
For 90-plus minutes there was no sign of ‘Spursiness’ at Molineux, with the visitors putting in a thoroughly professional performance and looking like they were going to get straight back to winning ways.
However, a stoppage time defensive lapse in concentration allowed Pablo Sarabia to equalise for Wolves and just when it looked the sides would be settling for a point, Mario Lemina popped up to snatch all three for the hosts. For many Spurs fans, that all-too-familiar sinking feeling returned for the first time this season.
If Postecoglou is going to be successful with the Lilywhites, improving how they respond to setbacks is going to be key, and this result showed that there is work to be done.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Much was made of the three key men Spurs would be without for this and future games, with James Maddison and Micky van de Ven both out with potentially long-term injuries, and Cristian Romero suspended.
Without Maddison and also Richarlison, Brennan Johnson lined up alongside Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski in attack, and the former Nottingham Forest man made the most of the opportunity when he netted his first goal for the club just 135 seconds into the game.
But Spurs didn’t create a great deal else over the course of the afternoon and perhaps lacked the creativity Maddison brings to the table, suggesting his absence will be greatly missed in the coming weeks.
In defence, Ben Davies and Eric Dier deputised as well as could be expected as makeshift centre-backs, but Wolves had a few chances over the course of the game and might have equalised sooner had they been a bit more clinical.
With games against Aston Villa, Manchester City and West Ham to come, Postecoglou will be hoping to at least have Romero and left-back Destiny Udogie back as soon as possible.
Building a fortress
Wolves were worthy of at least a point here but it was looking like being another one of those games where finishing would let them down.
However, one thing manager Gary O’Neil appears to have instilled in this team is resilience and they kept going in the second half, with O’Neil using his bench to good effect.
It was one of his substitutes – Pablo Sarabia – who got the equaliser with a brilliant finish for just his second goal for the club, before going on to assist Mario Lemina – probably Wolves’ best player on the day – for the dramatic late winner.
Wolves have now beaten Manchester City and Tottenham at home this season, while also holding Aston Villa and Newcastle to draws.
Making Molineux a tough place to go is something O’Neil will have targeted when he came through the door, and they are going the right way about it.
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