Tottenham unable to hold on to their early lead as Romain Saiss rescues a point for Wolves at the Molineux.
With both sides suffering defeats in their previous Premier League fixtures, Wolves and Spurs were desperately in need of a win.
Nuno Espirito Santo made three changes to his side that lost 2-1 to Burnley and also changed formation from three at the back, with wingbacks, to a 4-3-3.
— Wolves (@Wolves) December 27, 2020
Brazilian Marcal replaced French loanee Rayan Ait Nouri, Max Kilman was swapped out for Adama Traore – who scored a stunner in this fixture last season – and the young midfielder Owen Otasowie made way for Wolves’ record signing Fabio Silva, who started the game as a loan striker.
Jose Mourinho similarly changed formation from 4-2-3-1 to a 3-5-2.
Davinson Sanchez started instead of Toby Alderweireld, Matt Doherty found his way back into the side against his old club, replacing Serge Aurier who gave away a penalty in last weeks loss to Leicester.
Ben Davies earned a Premier League start following his long-range strike against Stoke in the EFL Cup in midweek, and Harry Winks replaced an injured Giovani Lo Celso.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 27, 2020
Playing in their green away kit for only the second time this season, Tottenham kicked off.
A quick start for a side eager to earn their first win in four games.
Ben Davies played a lovely lofted pass over the whole of the Wolves team and Heung-Min Son was in behind.
Struggling to keep his footing, he forced a corner from Rui Patricio.
The Korean took the set piece and it seemed a poor cross, but fell to Ben Davies, who laid the ball to Tanguy Ndombele on the edge of the box.
His low shot found the bottom right corner, making its way through the crowd of players and putting the North London club into the lead just 57 seconds into the game.
The restart saw Spurs continue to hold possession and earn a few free kicks in promising areas.
However, none of these came to anything and eventually after ten minutes, Wolves started to find their way into the game.
With the away side happy to sit back, Wanderers began to attack.
Their first chance came in the 11th minute, when Spaniard Traore zigzagged his way through Spurs defenders and played the ball to Daniel Podence on the edge of the area.
His shot was fairly tame for Lloris though, and the captain was down quick to prevent an equaliser.
Wolves’ possession saw them vulnerable to a counterattack and ten minutes after the Podence opportunity, goal scorer Ndombele intercepted a pass at the edge of his own area.
The Frenchman’s pace and power saw him steam through the centre of the pitch, causing opposition players to collide with one-another.
With the options to pass to Kane and Reguilon, the midfielder chose the latter, who drilled a left footed shot towards goal.
It was easy pickings for the Portuguese goalkeeper however, as the shot was too central to cause any problem.
Despite this close chance for Spurs, it was the closest they came in the first half.
The home side, however, came close on a couple of occasions.
Teenager Fabio Silva hit the side netting from a low cross by ex-Barcelona fullback Nelson Semedo.
And just before the interval, a cross was poorly headed away by Davinson Sanchez and Daniel Podence was unable to find the corner with a volley.
An early goal separated the sides at the break.
𝗛𝗔𝗟𝗙-𝗧𝗜𝗠𝗘 ⏱ Tanguy's early strike hands us a narrow lead at the break.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 27, 2020
The second half began just as the first half did.
This time the home side started brightly, and inside just 20 seconds; Fabio Silva seemed to be clipped in the box by Eric Dier.
Despite frantic claims from the team in orange, VAR checked the challenge and the only thing Wolves were awarded was a corner.
Similarly, to the first 45 minutes, Tottenham sat back like they have so often this season.
Espirito Santo’s men were dominant with possession but unable to break the Spurs defence.
The occasional chance came for Wolves, with a deflected pass almost falling to striker Silva, but Hugo Lloris put his body on the line to prevent it being poked in.
They also had a few shots blocked and deflected by the Tottenham defence.
In the 79th minute, a failed clearance found its way to Ruben Neves – who is known for his shooting ability outside the box.
Lloris once again saved the day by diving low and cushioning the ball with his body to stop the net from bulging.
Mourinho’s side were clinging on, with just five minutes to go, when Ben Davies blocked an Adama Traore cross, which led to a corner.
Pedro Neto swung in the cross with speed and Romain Saiss lost his man in the box to meet the ball with a powerful guided header into the bottom left corner.
This time the Tottenham Hotspur captain could not save his team, and Wolves had earned their much-deserved goal.
Spurs seemed to wake up after the goal was conceded, but it was too late.
Wolves almost clinched all three points in the dying embers of the game, but Fabio Silva’s free header was hit into the ground and caught comfortably by the keeper.
The game ended a draw which saw Tottenham move up to fifth position on 26 points, and Wolves sit 11th on 21 points.
Overall, for Spurs, it was a disappointing result again.
It was almost a carbon copy of the game against Crystal Palace two weeks prior, and they were unable to hold on again.
Fans will be frustrated because it was a great opportunity for Spurs to regain some points on Premier League leaders Liverpool, and Spurs needed a second goal to kill off the game, which they did not push for.
Their next fixture is in three days against newly promoted Fulham, who currently sit in the relegation zone.
Spurs will be looking to bounce back from a poor run of form and hopefully win against former player Scott Parker’s men.
Match Report by Nathan Salmon