Spurs’ top-four hopes dealt big blow as Wolves twice come from behind to win
Wolves dealt a big blow to Tottenham’s Premier League top-four hopes and enhanced their own as they twice came from behind to win 3-2 in north London.
Spurs had twice led through Steven Bergwijn and Serge Aurier, but Wolves hit back each time as Matt Doherty and Diogo Jota levelled before Raul Jimenez scored the winner.
The result moved the visitors above Spurs in the table and to within just three points of Chelsea, who occupy the final Champions League qualification place.
Jose Mourinho, who is shorn of key players across all areas of the pitch, will see this as a big opportunity missed, and after back-to-back defeats against top-four rivals they surely cannot now be considered favourites to get there at the end of the season.
Wolves made light of their Thursday night Europa League trip to Espanyol and carried on a remarkable record in London, where they are now unbeaten in nine games since their return to the Premier League in 2018.
Spurs head coach Mourinho has said in the absence of any strikers how important it is for his side to score first and he got his wish in the 13th minute as the hosts made an impressive start.
Harry Winks, captain for the day with Hugo Lloris not in the matchday squad, started a move that saw Aurier cross for Dele Alli, whose shot was saved by the feet of Rui Patricio, with Bergwijn in the right place to ram home the rebound.
They were unable to keep that lead for too long as Wolves were the beneficiaries of some sloppy defending from the hosts.
Ruben Vinagre got in too easily down the left and his cross was not cleared by Japhet Tanganga, allowing Doherty to squeeze home from six yards.
It was a setback for Spurs, but they responded well and looked the more dangerous.
Alli almost scored an impressive goal when he attempted an overhead kick from inside the six-yard box but he hit it straight at Patricio.
Mourinho’s men did regain the lead before the interval, through, through Aurier. Alli played in the right-back, who cut inside and curled a superb left-footed effort into the far corner in the 45th minute.
They should have extended their lead 10 minutes after the restart as Alli, playing as the false nine, was in yards of space but he put his header from Ben Davies’ cross agonisingly wide.
And that proved pivotal as two minutes later Wolves again drew level.
Referee Stuart Attwell played advantage when Adama Traore was fouled and the winger slipped in Doherty whose cross-shot was only palmed by Paulo Gazzaniga, allowing Jota the simplest of tap-ins.
Wolves completed their comeback in the 73rd minute as they stunned Tottenham on the counter-attack. Jota beat three men and slipped in Jimenez, with the Spanish striker cutting inside Tanganga and firing home in style.
Spurs had no answer and were unable to avoid what is a damaging defeat.