Tottenham overcame Wolves 3-2 on penalties to advance to the fourth round of the EFL Cup following an entertaining 2-2 draw on Wednesday.
Tottenham escaped a fright after squandering a 2-0 lead against Wolves to advance on penalties in the Carabao Cup. Ruben Neves, Leander Dendoncker and Conor Coady failed to convert their spot-kicks after successful efforts from Harry Kane, Sergio Reguilon and Bryan Gil in the shootout, enabling Spurs to progress to the fourth round.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side almost won the game when Harry Kane and Tanguy Ndombele put them up, only for Dendoncker and Daniel Podence to level things up, but the North Londoners held tight to take the game to penalties.
Wolves struggled to get a foothold in the first half and were caught out by Ndombele for Spurs’ opening goal. Nine minutes later, Kane doubled the lead when Dele Alli slid in a perfect through-ball to send him clear to hit the bottom-right corner past Ruddy.
Spurs threatened to open up Wolves for the best part of the first half with some intricate and lovely football in midfield. The hosts were the second-best but pulled one back with Dendoncker heading in from Rayan Ait-Nouri’s corner.
Tottenham grew complacent in the second half to Wolves’ benefit, as they soon equalised in the 58th minute when Hwang Hee-chan nudged the ball for Dendoncker and fed Podence, who gracefully placed it past Pierluigi Gollini.
Gollini, though, had the last laugh as he made a crucial stop during the penalty shootout to inspire the third round victory. A much-needed win for the Spurs after two consecutive defeats. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Nuno Espirito Santo’s men after a relieving victory over Wolves.
Pierluigi Gollini: 7/10
It is difficult to blame Gollini for either goal, but he was glued to the position for Podence’s slick finish and could not keep out Dendoncker’s powerful header. Still, Gollini had the last laugh as he became the hero by saving Dendoncker’s penalty to take his team to the next round.
Ben Davies: 7/10
A really nice and tidy job by the left-back. Got up on the field to deliver some dangerous crosses on a few instances, but he mostly stayed in his place and defended well. Even handled the pace and power of Adama Traore after the Spaniard’s introduction in the second half.
Davinson Sanchez: 6.5/10
Started the game well but was bullied a fair few times throughout the game, and his decision-making was poor on the day. Looked lost on the left side of central defence. He looked bewildered and was hesitant to track back for Podence’s goal. Made a costly error as he attempted to outmuscle Ki-Jana Hoever but gave him a free run on the byline instead, resulting in a huge opportunity.
Cristian Romero: 8/10
Romero doesn’t simply go for easy passes, he seems to enjoy threading one between the lines for the forwards to run on. He defended admirably, for the most part. However, Romero probably should have done a little better in the build-up to Wolves’ second goal as he failed to cut out Leander Dendoncker’s through pass to Podence.
Japhet Tanganga: 7/10
Was relieved not to face Adama Traore again after last month’s howler. Returned from suspension to produce another aggressive and solid performance. Was dynamic and made some flying runs to push upwards. Tanganga combined well with Kane to set himself up but blasted over the goal after regaining the possession.
Oliver Skipp: 8/10
A man of the match display from the Tottenham academy graduate. Skipp was dominating the midfield with crunch and clean tackles, interceptions, or forward-thinking runs and line-breaking passes. He contributed to both the Spurs goals and managed the game well, covering every blade of grass.
Dele Alli: 7.5/10
A much better performance from Dele Alli, who refreshed everyone’s memory on his technical ability by threading a sublime weighted pass to set Kane through on goal. He faded out and drifted wide a lot in the second half. Need his quality patterns of passes in the middle, not on the flanks.
Tanguy Ndombele: 7/10
Tanguy Ndombele has scored his first goal since the 3-1 win over Sheffield United back in January.
The Frenchman's revival continues. 💪 pic.twitter.com/ll7gjSoT05
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 22, 2021
Fantastic first half display. A lot of tracking back, tackling, pressing, demanding and commanding people around. Ndombele earned his goal and took it admirably, showcasing strength and poise. Unfortunately, he showed the error-prone side of his game and was probably to blame for both Wolves goals, as he was all over the place on both occasions.
Giovani Lo Celso: 6/10
Offered nothing coming from the right of the front three, which is not his favoured position. A talented player without a doubt, but Tottenham have yet to find his best position.
Bryan Gil: 7/10
A wildcard that wreaked havoc to the Wolves backline with his old-school wing-play but eventually faded. He took his spot-kick effectively and helped Davies in subduing Adama Traore before switching to the right wing. He looked raw, but signs are promising.
Harry Kane: 7/10
Getting a goal against a Premier League opponent would do a world of good to his confidence in the upcoming games. A much better balance of falling back to pull strings while getting in the box at the right time. On another day, Kane could have had a hat-trick, although he took his goal gracefully.
Harry Kane's game by numbers vs. Wolves:
84% pass accuracy
3 shots on goal
3 shots on target
2 aerial duels
2 chances created
Back on form. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/NUp9raGwxW
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 22, 2021
Son Heung-min: 7/10
Son helped Spurs getting a foothold with his creativity and desire to push forwards to attack the flanks; he picked out a sensational cross for Kane to score late on.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: 6/10
Hojbjerg was brought on to stabilize the midfield and did a great job at that. However, he missed his penalty, which was probably struck too close to Ruddy.
Sergio Reguilon: N/A
Came late on, converted the spot-kick from 12-yards.