Tottenham Hotspur held off a spirited second-half display from Wolves to register a 1-0 win in Sunday’s fixture at Molineux.
Tottenham continued their unbeaten start to the new Premier League campaign with a determined 1-0 victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Nuno Espirito Santo’s return to his old club.
The hosts were on an all-out attack from the offing and put pressure on Spurs defence, who had to clear two threatening crosses in the opening 40 seconds. Wolves had the most of the possession throughout the game and were more dominant hardly gave Spurs midfielders any time on the ball with intense press and forced the Lilywhites’ deep into their own territory.
Wolves were more energetic moving forward. However, Tottenham took the lead after picking up the Wolves backline loitering at the opposite end when Sergio Reguilon split their defence with a beautiful pass. Jose Sa raced off his line in a poorly executed attempt to get to the ball ahead of Dele Alli, who made sure that the Portuguese brought him down from a clumsy slide. Alli stepped up and sent the Wolves keeper the wrong way.
Wolves ensured that Spurs spent the rest of the period moving deep into their own box. Adama Traore leading the charge for the home team. The best chance of the game fell to the Spaniard at the hour mark; Ruben Neves threaded a wonderful ball breaking the Spurs defensive line to set him up for a clear run at goal, but the winger was denied by Hugo Lloris’ brilliant save.
Soon after, Harry Kane made his much-awaited introduction and almost sealed the game for Spurs with a second goal, but Sa came up with a great stop to deny him and Steven Bergwijn on the rebound. While it was not the most accomplished of performances, Nuno got another crucial three points to bring a sense of optimism for Lilywhites’ faithful. Let’s take a look at Tottenham player ratings.
Hugo Lloris: 8/10
He made his historic 300th league appearance for Spurs and made it a memorable one by keeping a hard-earned clean sheet. He was tested time and time again by Wolves attackers but stood firm and made a couple of brilliant saves. The captain rose to the occasion and sprinted towards Traore to preserve his side’s narrow lead.
Japhet Tanganga: 6/10
The youngster was ran ragged by Traore and had a terrible afternoon. The winger frequently got the better of Tanganga; Traore’s pace, power, strength, and dynamism were too much for the youngster. He also picked up a silly yellow card to put himself under even more pressure.
Davinson Sanchez: 6.5/10
Sanchez struggled to deal with Traore and Jimenez, who got in behind the defender several times. He often loses his focus and concentration, which is a major concern; he had a shoddy start but improved as the game went on.
Eric Dier: 6.5/10
The better of all the defenders, Dier was dominant in the air and marshaled the backline. Took an unnecessary risk when he came out of defence to leave the defence vulnerable only to get dispossessed by Neves, who created the best chance of the game, but Lloris came to his rescue. Apart from that, he’s had a solid day in the office.
Sergio Reguilon: 7/10
Another 3 in the pocket. pic.twitter.com/w73Wme2lMN
— Sergio Reguilón (@sergio_regui) August 22, 2021
He laid a cute pass to set up Dele Alli through on goal; he was bursting forward to support the attack but was exposed at the back frequently by the combo of Nelson Semedo and Trincao. He needs to improve the defensive side of his game.
Oliver Skipp: 7/10
The youngster put a decent display in a passive midfield; He was being watched by England manager Gareth Southgate. He worked hard, and covered most of the ground, played some tidy passes and dug into tackles when necessary. As a result picked up a booking for a reckless challenge on Traore.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: 7.5/10
He was tenacious and put in a decent shift for the team, off the ball. He was assigned the job to double-up on Traore to prevent him from running through the midfield and create havoc. He shielded the defence to a large extent over the game and almost got a late goal with an amazing piece of skill.
Dele Alli: 8/10
Marked the return of Delle Alli of old by scoring his first Premier League goal since March 2020; made the characteristic runs into the box and cleverly earned the penalty. Alli dispatched a confident penalty sending Jose Sa in the wrong direction. He was deployed in a much deeper role by Nuno, perhaps to bring the link-up play for the turnovers.
After two games Dele Alli (1) has already surpassed his Premier League goals tally from last season (0).
On penalty duty with Harry Kane on the bench. ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/QxliKWLhag
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 22, 2021
Lucas Moura: 5/10
After an inspiring display against Man City, the Brazilian went hiding in the match and was nowhere to be seen. He struggled to adjust to the game’s intensity and was caught out in possession too often, hooked off for Giovani Lo Celso in the second half.
Steven Bergwijn: 7.5/10
An impressive display from Bergwijn; he was creative with his dribbles and set up Kane and Son for their opportunities. On one occasion, he took the shot himself instead of squaring it to Alli in acres of space; he needs to improve his final pass and decision-making.
Son Heung-Min: 6/10
He was left isolated and didn’t looked settled throughout the game but was a threat on the break with his runs in behind the Wolves defence. He played with a strapping maybe he wasn’t at his full burst.
Giovani Lo Celso: 5/10
He wasn’t up to match speed after coming on for Lucas Moura. Didn’t get on the ball much and mostly took part in the defensive work.
Harry Kane: 7/10
Harry Kane subs on to make his return for Spurs pic.twitter.com/0a66n07LNG
— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 22, 2021
He brought calmness, composure and quality on the ball with him during his short cameo. He had a chance set up by Bergwijn, but the angle was too tight for Kane. Spurs need to get this saga over as soon as possible.