Premier League: Stuttering Spurs held to 'frustrating' draw by Wolves

Tottenham has now taken just two points from its last four games and is fifth in the Premier League, six points behind leader Liverpool.

Romain Saiss of Wolves celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at Molineux.   -  Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur scored after just 57 seconds against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday but Jose Mourinho's men paid for defensiveness during the rest of the game when the host deservedly equalised in the dying minutes.

Seeking to revive its faltering push for a first Premier League title, Spurs had a dream start when French midfielder Tanguy Ndombele received the ball well outside the box to drill a low shot past Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio.

Spurs dug in for the second half, demonstrating their new defensive steel under Mourinho to repel marauding runs from Adama Traore and trickery by Fabio Silva in the penalty area.

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Just as it seemed the London club would hang on, Wolves' relentless attacking paid off as defender Romain Saiss met a corner ahead of Harry Kane in the 86th minute to head the ball in for 1-1.

"We conceded a poor early goal ... When you are not focussed for a half second, it's a goal," Saiss said. "After, it's harder when you play a team like Tottenham to come back. Even with the draw, we deserved more because we created a lot of chances."

"I'm proud, really proud, because it's very hard how we started the game," said Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo, who fielded seven Portuguese countrymen in his starting lineup.

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"After that, we played a good game."

Wolves has made a habit of comebacks, while Spurs are repeatedly failing to hold leads, to the anger of their demanding manager Mourinho.

Spurs, who topped the league earlier in December, have now taken just two points from their last four games and are fifth in the Premier League, six points behind leader Liverpool.

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Wolves, who is now 11th on 21 points, was watched by its Mexican striker Raul Jimenez for the first time since he fractured his skull last month.

Without him, Wolves has struggled and is looking to Portuguese teenager Fabio Silva for goals.

He came close in the first half with a snap shot that went just past the post, was charged down by Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the second, and missed another close-range chance at the end which would have won the game for Wolves.

-Mourinho unhappy at Spurs' lack of ambition-

"It is disappointing, of course," Mourinho said, acknowledging frustration after Tanguy Ndombele's goal after 57 seconds was cancelled out by Romain Saiss' late header.

"We had control of the game. But we had 89 minutes to score more goals, and we didn't. And it was not just about not scoring goals, it was also about not being dangerous, not being ambitious, and for me that's the problem."

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"I am frustrated with the result. We had control of the game. But we had 89 minutes to score goals, and we didn't," Jose Mourinho said, chiding his team for lack of ambition.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

Spurs sat back at Molineux in the second half, giving Wolves space and confidence to press for an equaliser as happened at Crystal Palace in another 1-1 away draw earlier this month.

The side has dropped more points in the last 10 minutes of matches this season than any other Premier League side. The draw at Wolves left Spurs in fifth place and six points behind leader Liverpool when a win would have put the club third.

-Inquest Planned-

"Of course tomorrow we are going to have a similar meeting as other meetings we have had," a weary Mourinho said.

"And of course after tomorrow, we are going to practice the same thing we have practiced after similar situations ... Of course, it (conceding late goals) is a concern, but I repeat, it is more of a concern the fact that we score early goals and we don't do matches."

Mourinho said Gareth Bale, who is on loan from Real Madrid and was substituted with a calf injury in a mid-week League Cup win at Stoke, would probably be out for a few weeks.

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In contrast to Spurs, Wolves has been comeback specialists under Portuguese manager Nuno Espirito Santo, who once played as a goalkeeper under his countryman when Mourinho managed Porto.

"It has not only to do with fitness, it has to do with belief, with the spirit of the boys," he said of Wolves' knack of late revivals, praising them for not giving up against Spurs. "The effort was huge ... It required a big heart."

Without Jimenez, the Wolves boss said, "it's up to the team to find solutions to find things that usually Raul gave us. Everyone has to step in and contribute."

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