Wolves 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur Match Review

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Wolves fought back from an early goal to claim a well-earned point against Tottenham. They fell behind after 57 seconds when Tanguy Ndombele took advantage of some lax closing down to strike from distance, however after the goal Wolves dominated large spells of the match without too much to show for it. They got their rewards on 82 minutes when Romain Saiss scored a rare goal from a corner to earn the home side a point.

This was a game in which both sides needed a win coming into it. Wolves had lost three of their previous 4 matches, whilst Spurs had dropped a huge nine points which saw them slip down the table to 7th

The match started in the worst possible fashion for Wolves as a ball was cleared out to midfielder Ndombele, who marked his fine form with a fine finish from 22 yards out. Whilst a great effort, the defending from the home side left a lot to be desired as they were slow to close down and left a wall of bodies for Rui Patricio to try and see-through, leaving him vulnerable from the shot.

After the goal Wolves had to press forward and get at Spurs, which they did somewhat. The away side still held a potent threat on the break and almost caught Wolves out when Sergio Reguilon had a chance to double the advantage but shot his effort straight at Patricio. Wolves were productive in and around the Spurs box, causing a few scrambled crosses as the trickery of Daniel Podence and Adama Traore was causing issues. Pedro Neto, as usual, was also involved in much of the chaos in the Spurs backline as he found himself in the penalty area with several defenders around him and found space at times to even get in a cross. 

It was a lot of bark with no bite, and that was a fact Wolves couldn’t get away from, despite their best efforts their attacking play wasn’t yielding the chances the fans, Nuno, and the team needed. They were too slow to get the ball forward and were almost too patient when it came to attacking upon recycling possession.

As has been the case with so many games this season (I almost feel I could copy and paste the second half reviews) Wolves were much quicker in the second period. Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves were combatants and creators in midfield, with the prowess of Roman Leaders they started the war cry in the middle of the park which sent Wolves on their way. Moutinho was superb in winning back possession and Neves’ passing was deserving of an assist (we’ll come to that later).

Fabio Silva thought he’d won a penalty when he was seemingly brought down by Eric Dier, upon second viewing with VAR it was still fairly unclear although we have seen them given for CERTAIN teams this season. 

Nelson Semedo, the receiver of much criticism this campaign, but in his best performance yet as he was solid in defence and almost unplayable going forward, he and Traore found themselves in space more than NASA’s best squadron of astronauts. However, the end product was far from out of this world. Traore maybe had some chances where an earlier crossed would’ve sufficed, although these are slim pickings in a match where the wingers at least caused plenty of trouble for the fullbacks.

It looked for all the world as if this would be yet another game of what-ifs for the team in ‘Old Gold’ as all their possession in the Spurs half seemingly counted for nought. As if wished upon by the footballing gods, our prayers were received. Wolves went against their usual short-corner routine and Pedro Neto whipped in a sumptuous ball which was gratefully met by Romain Saiss, who flicked it into the far corner to rescue what was a well-earned point.

Wolves could’ve won the game late on as Neves produced a stunning 60-yard cross on to the head of young Fabio Silva, but the 18-year-old nodded his effort into the ground and Lloris found himself with an easy save to make. If it was Jimenez would he have scored – he did convert a similar effort against Everton let’s not forget. Silva, despite the miss, had another excellent game and doesn’t look out of place in the Premier League. With some refining, he is sure to become a star. Yes, the pass deserved a goal and a seasoned striker would’ve scored, but he’s a young lad and patience is needed. 

The game ended with a decent point, and what was probably a fair result. Wolves failed to make their dominance on the ball count and that will aunt them in games to come over the course of the season.

 

Man of the Match – Romain Saiss

To be honest I could’ve picked Neves, Moutinho, Semedo, Marcal and many others – but I think the Moroccan deserves some approval for this match. Dominant at the back, superb in possession and grabbed the equalising goal – for me he’s a solid shout for it today, although there were many others who deserved it.

 

Final Thoughts

We do need a striker, don’t we? As good and promising as Silva is there is no getting away from the fact we are missing a proven goalscorer to make the most of the chances we create. The four at the back offers us so much going forward and we just need some tweaks to the lineup to really push forward as a team. With United in a couple of days, another draw might look good, for now, we’ll have to see what team Nuno conjures up next.

Tom Parker is part of the Talking Wolves editorial team – you can follow him on Twitter here.