Wolves 1 Spurs 2: Late Vertonghen Strike Snatches the Points
Tottenham claimed a vital three points at Molineux on Sunday as a late winner from Jan Vertonghen saw Jose Mourinho’s side edge past Wolves. Even ardent Spurs fans might concede that it was scarcely deserved but sometimes it’s about winning ugly and it’s good to see us scrap and win a tight contest.
The victory could yet prove crucial in terms of Champions League qualification as we now get within touching distance of Chelsea who remain in fourth after going down at home to Bournemouth on Saturday.
Moura the Same
Lucas Moura continued his happy knack of claiming important goals for the club as he opened the scoring on eight minutes. The danger seemed to have passed after Son Heung-Min saw his shot saved by Rui Patricio but Lucas picked up the loose ball and rifled a bullet past the Wolves keeper.
From there, it was largely a rearguard action as the home side got into the game and began to dominate. Tottenham maintained the advantage at the break but had to absorb more Wolves pressure in the second period. The equaliser felt inevitable and while it came from an unlikely source, it was a strike that would battle it out with Lucas’ effort for goal of the game.
Adama Traore produced that rare moment and many suspected that there would only be one winner from that point. Paulo Gazzaniga kept Wolves out with the save of the match on 84 minutes as the pressure built.
Wolves pressed but late on, Jose Mourinho produced a substitution that led to what is being predictably referred to as a ‘masterstroke’. Christian Eriksen came on and immediately set up our second corner of the game. The Dane strode over to take it and while we all confidently expected the first man to clear it to safety, it drifted deeper out to Jan Vertonghen who guided his low header into the bottom left hand corner.
This was on 91 minutes and with three injury time minutes left to play, there was still time for Diogo Jota to blast a late effort wide before the final whistle came. It was a dramatic end and after the game, the manager pointed to our reaction once Wolves had equalised.
Speaking to Tottenham’s official website, Jose Mourinho said:
The good thing was that in our difficult period and when they scored the goal we managed to stay in the game, stay focussed in the game, didn’t make more mistakes and then we put ourselves in the situation where we could win the game because the game was open, players were tired and the game was a bit broken.
We knew we could win the game.
Having been 14th in the table when Jose Mourinho took over in November, Spurs have risen to fifth on the back of Sunday’s victory. Those three points saw us leapfrog Wolves and also Manchester United who were held 1-1 at home by Everton.
The significance is obvious and with Chelsea losing at home to Bournemouth, Tottenham can go into fourth place if they beat Frank Lampard’s men at the new White Hart Lane on Sunday December 22nd.
From there, it’s the busy Christmas schedule with three games in less than a week. Starting on Boxing Day when Spurs host Brighton and Hove Albion, Mourinho’s men will head up to Norwich two days later before another away trip to Southampton on New Year’s Day.
Facing three sides in the lower half of the table, including two in the relegation zone offers an excellent opportunity as we run down 2019. The league placings could be greatly changed by the time 2020 kicks off so let’s just hope we can take advantage.