Tottenham 1-3 Wolves: Stunning final 20 minutes sees Wolves stun Spurs
Spurs fans shocked, Wolves fans jubilant. With the away fans in full voice throughout the game, it was a satisfying journey home for the Wolves faithful after seeing their side battle from behind to secure an impressive victory in Wembley.
There were chants of “We’re on our way back” and “Nuno’s the Special One” as spectators emerged from the impressive national stadium at the end of the match, the contingent of Wolves fans significantly outnumbered in personnel only as there was only one set of supporters interested in making themselves heard.
This is not the first upset the newly-promoted side have caused this season, having already taken points from Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United this season, their 2-1 victory while hosting Chelsea the most memorable of all - until now.
It was a less than spectacular first half for Wolves though; Tottenham dominated throughout and saw the vast majority of the ball, but created very little in the way of chances.
Their first significant shot came just before the 20 minute mark, with Christian Eriksen’s curling goal-bound shot forcing Rui Patricio into a magnificent, acrobatic save.
However, just a few minutes later, Harry Kane delivered a shot from a similar position, smashing home an effort that rocketed past the outstretched hand of Patricio to put the hosts in front.
It could have been even worse for Wolves after Son Heung-Min tried to replicate Harry Kane’s effort, whipping an edge-of-the-box effort just over the bar to the relief of Wolves’ shot-stopper who could only stand and watch.
Ultimately, in a half short of many clear-cut chances, it came to a close with the score 1-0, meaning that Wolves, despite failing to demonstrate anything close to their full potential, were very much still in the game.
The atmosphere remained relatively subdued going into the second half, with the Wolves fans very much in full voice compared to the Tottenham backing, which was disappointing to say the least, and the game remained on a knife-edge, Wolves continuing to be content with letting Tottenham have the majority of the ball early on in the second half, knowing that they always had a chance if they could keep the score down.
After all, Spurs’ last two results had ended in very convincing victories, first beating Marco Silva’s Everton 6-2, before thumping five past mid-table Bournemouth. Keeping the score low and maintaining a chance to secure a result was the best approach possible from Nuno’s side.
And with just half an hour left, there was a growing sense of tension amongst the home support, knowing that they were never safe without that second goal to kill the game.
Nuno Espirito Santo was the coach to make the first move in what was becoming a tactical chess match, bringing on Helder Costa for the explosive Adama Traore, a change that actually proved rather popular amongst the Tottenham supporters, who had witnessed Traore’s dribbling and trickery torment their defence throughout the match.
Eight minutes later, Nuno made another substitution, again turning to a Portuguese international to try and salvage the game, bringing on the experienced Joao Moutinho, who had performed so admirably in his last outing against Fulham, in place of Dendoncker.
And his introduction proved decisive, with his passing game adding much-needed composure and control to the Wolves midfield, his side, by this point fielding five Portuguese players, immediately undergoing their best spell of the game once he was brought on.
That passage of play coincided with a roar from the away supporters, who were suddenly given newfound belief that they could get back into the game and upset Liverpool’s nearest title rivals.
And four minutes later, after putting Spurs under sustained pressure, Moutinho delivered an inch-perfect cross, which was met by the head of Willy Boly, who thumped home, too powerful for the hand of Hugo Lloris.
That goal sent the Wolves fans into raptures, most of whom would have taken a draw at the start of the game, let alone at half time when they trailed 1-0, and would have been sufficient to send the away supporters home satisfied.
However, there was plenty more for Wolves to shout about just 10 minutes later; adopting a counter-attacking style, Portugal’s Ivan Cavaleiro eventually played in Raul Jimenez, on loan from Benfica, who managed to squeeze the ball into the back of the net, his light effort accurate enough to beat Lloris.
It was relatively unexpected despite the fact that Wolves had by now found their footing and were going toe-to-toe with Spurs, if not outplaying them, and the shock was evident on the faces of many Tottenham fans present in the arena. What was already a relatively quiet home crowd became nearly silent, many not sure how to react to their sides capitulation having become so accustomed to witnessing victories.
That second Wolves goal also signalled the moment for many Spurs fans across the stadium to depart, wanting to get out and beat the impending traffic, despite the fact that there were still 7 minutes plus stoppage time left on the clock.
And if that wasn’t bad enough for the hosts, Wolves managed to seal the victory just three minutes later, Helder Costa getting on the end of a wonderful Matt Doherty’s pass that sent the Portuguese winger through on goal, whipping the ball into the far left corner, beyond Lloris for the third time on the night.
Cue floods of Spurs fans storming out of the stadium as the Wolves players yet again bounded gleefully towards the worshipping Wolves fans, whose joy could be witnessed even from a hundred metres away. It was a remarkable day, that Wolves fans who were present will remember fondly for many years to come.