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An unnoticed aspect of Tottenham's 3-1 loss to Wolves

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Feature
1.71K   //    31 Dec 2018, 06:07 IST

Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Disappointed Fans
Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Disappointed Fans

Tottenham Hotspur kept their Premier League title hopes very much alive in the recent fixtures after their Away loss to Man. City. They won 8 out of their next 9 matches before the game against Wolverhampton. This included 4 Away wins and an unbeaten streak at Home. The title chase received a major boost when the Spurs scored 11 goals in 2 games against Everton and Bournemouth. In the match at Goodison Park all of their Fab 4 of Dele Alli, Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-Min scored goals with Kane and Son finding the back of the net twice each.

Tottenham came out of these contests with their GD increased by 9 points. The highlight of these wins was their lightning-fast movement during Counter Attacks for which the quicker surfaces gave support. This aspect seemed very much hampered in their Saturday night clash against the Wolves at the Wembley Stadium.

Captain Kane managed to give his side the lead in the 22nd minute with a left-footed inswinger to find the left corner of the net. The lead up to the goal can be described as a counterattack of sorts but it wasn't the quick paced ones we've come to expect of them. The turf was on a slow-ish side especially in comparison with the ones in their previous 2 contests. The Spurs were seemingly struggling to swiftly move the ball forward, especially around the midfield areas. The first Wolves goal in the 72nd minute didn't have anything to do with this facet as Willy Boly headed them equal off a corner. But, the last 2 goals which were the killer blows were after they dispossessed Tottenham in and around the midfield.


Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

Yes, Wolves were sniffing around to get the ball back. Yes, Spurs lost the ball in compromising areas and offered them the opportunity. But, another reason on top of these went unnoticed albeit contributing to the result equally. If you had a look at how the 2nd placed team in EPL lost possession leading to both of the winners, you'd notice that they were actually starting up for a counter. They were not able to move the ball as quick as they would've liked and with Wolverhampton players closing in they couldn't go for the long ball to take the surface out of the equation.

Tottenham Hotspur were nearly stuck in the middle and the Wolves seized upon it perfectly, stealing the ball twice in under 10 minutes to complete a shock upset. Raul Jimenez slotted on through the legs of a defender after receiving a good ball from Cavaleiro. In the 87th minute Matt Doherty won the ball right at the half line and with the Spurs pushing forward in pursuit of an equalizer Helder Costa had fewer players to contend with. Costa smoothly evaded couple of Tottenham defenders and finished off any hope of a comeback.

Sometimes a seemingly simple fact of the sport like the speed of surface throws of the game of a team even if they're at the top of their game. Saying that every sport is about adapting to change, no matter how minute and Tottenham failed to do so. They weren't good enough on the day and the Wolves were good enough to capitalise.

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