Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Goals either side of half-time from Harry Kane and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was enough to see off a stubborn Wolves side and hand Spurs the initiative in the chase for a Europa League place come the end of the campaign.
Spurs were aware there was no room for further errors in an already inconsistent season, and so it proved. Kane’s speculative right-footed attempt came back off the foot of a post, while Fábio Silva drilled at Hugo Lloris from an acute angle then saw another effort deflected behind by Eric Dier as early opportunities were exchanged.
Rui Patrício clung to Gareth Bale’s dipping free-kick, then Roman Saïss blocked the Welshman’s route to goal as Tottenham pressed. Meanwhile, Silva was off-target after Adama Traore had scurried forward and fashioned an opening.
Heung-Min Son tested Rui Patrício after Dele’s cross had been flicked on by Bale, but when Kane was sent clear by Hojbjerg, the England skipper held off the attentions of Conor Coady before dispatching beyond Rui Patrício in the final moments of the opening period for his 26th goal of the season.
Saïss passed up a glorious opportunity to restore parity immediately after the restart – nodding directly at Lloris after finding himself free. And that almost came at further expense for the visitors’ – Rui Patrício palming over from Reguilon as Spurs swiftly countered.
Both Kane and Dele hit the woodwork within a matter of five crazy seconds – this after the latter had seized on some hesitant Wolves defending. But just after the hour, it was two. Rui Patrício saved from Bale – Hojbjerg on hand to pick up the pieces from close range.
Kane tested Rui Patrício as Spurs looked to put icing on the cake. The victory saw them leapfrog West Ham United into sixth place. They return to Premier League action on Wednesday, May 19 when Aston Villa visit the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (6pm). The Lilywhites conclude their campaign on Sunday 23 when they face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium (4pm).
Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris (Capt), Japhet Tanganga, Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier, Sergio Reguilon, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Giovani Lo Celso (Harry Winks 69’), Gareth Bale (Moussa Sissoko 90’), Dele Alli (Tanguy Ndombele 82’), Heung-Min Son, Harry Kane Subs not used: Joe Hart (GK), Matt Doherty, Davinson Sanchez, Steven Bergwijn, Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura
Booked: Japhet Tanganga (foul)
Goals: Harry Kane 45’, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg 62’
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Rui Patrício, Nélson Semedo, Conor Coady, Roman Saïss, KI-Jana Hoever, João Moutinho, Leander Dendoncker, Morgan Gibbs-White (Rúben Neves 73’), Vitinha (Willian José 64’), Adama Traoré, Fábio Silva (Theo Corbeanu 82’) Subs not used: Rayan Aït-Nouri, Marçal, Willy Boly, John Ruddy (GK), Luke Cundle, Maximilian Kilman
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Assistants: Lee Betts and Constantine Hatzidakis
Fourth Official: Peter Bankes
VAR: Stuart Attwell
Assistant VAR: Matthew Wilkes