Tottenham’s torment continues as Wolves win at a canter

Brian Jeeves

Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Report

Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolverhampton Wanderers made a mockery of Tottenham’s top-four asperations by inflicting a third successive Premier League defeat upon Antonio Conte’s troubled charges thanks to early goals from Raul Jimenez and Leander Dendoncker. 

Following their midweek disaster against Southampton, Conte rang the changes. In came Rodrigo Bentancur, former Wolves man Matt Doherty and Ryan Sessegnon in place of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Emerson Royal and Sergio Reguilon.

But it made little difference as similar defensive frailties were soon exposed. Hugo Lloris saved from Ruben Neves and Dendoncker in quick succession, but while his backline dawdled, Jimenez reacted to fire the West Midlanders ahead.

Raul Jimenez celebrates opening his opening goal for Wolves at Tottenham (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Spurs had been warmly received by their fans, but the mood swiftly changed. Heung-Min Son lost his stride, and subsequently the opportunity after finding himself with a clear path toward goal. And the atmosphere soon darkened further. Dendoncker drove home from close range after the ball had rebounded off Bentancur and an upright. Spurs with a mountain to climb with less than twenty minutes played.

Leander Dendoncker has just netted Wolves’ second in N17 (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Already at sixes and sevens, Spurs were pressed further back. Jimenez forced Lloris into another flying save. Meanwhile, Conte – clearly unimpressed – replaced Ryan Sessegnon with Dejan Kulusevski. In truth, any of the starting eleven might have been hooked by the agitated Italian.

Wolves continued to counter with great effect. Lloris clawed out a Daniel Podence effort. Meanwhile, Son – Tottenham’s best hope of salvation – was twice thwarted by Jose Sa as the host’ frustration grew at a rate of knots – The North Londoners roundly booed off the field at the break.  

Lloris dived at the feet of Jimenez immediately after the restart. Meanwhile, half-chances for Harry Kane and Son came to nothing as the out of sorts home side flattered to deceive. 

Harry Winks saw his venomous strike deflected wide after the visitors had only half-cleared, while Son was a whisker away from just outside the box. However, at best, Tottenham’s threat was minimal. 

Jose Sa produced a save for the cameras, turning over Cristian Romero’s late header. But by that point many of the N17 faithful were already on the High Road, no doubt wondering when Tottenham will provide a team worth of their modern surroundings and mindful that a return to those halcyon Champions League nights remains little more than a pipedream. 

Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League action on Saturday, February 19 when they face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium (5:30pm).

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (Capt), Sanchez, Romero, Davies, Doherty (Royal 82′), Bentancur, Winks, Sessegnon (Kulusevski 28′), Lucas (Bergwijn 71′), Son, KaneSubs not used: Gollini (GK), Rodon, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, White, Scarlett

Booked: Lucas Moura (foul), Dejan Kulusevski (foul), Rodrigo Bentancur (foul)

Goals: None

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Jose Sá, Kilman, Coady, Saïss, Nélson Semedo, Dendoncker, Neves, Cundle (Francisco Trincão 84′), Aït-Nouri, Jiménez (Fábio Silva 86′), Podence (Hee-Chan Hwang 81′) Subs not used: Hoever, Marçal, Jonny Otto, Chiquinho, Ruddy (GK), Toti

Booked: Rayan Ait-Nouri (foul)

Goals: Raul Jimenez 6′, Leander Dendoncker 18′

Referee: Kevin Friend

Assistants: Adrian Holmes and Simon Beck

Fourth Official: Simon Hooper

VAR: Andre Marriner

Assistant VAR: Marc Perry

Attendance: 56,452

Brian Jeeves