Mourinho’s approach has to be questioned as Spurs blow chance to see off Wolves
All good things come to those who wait.
It seemed like an eternity for Wolves but eventually, at long last, they got a much deserved equaliser to deliver another blow in what has become an unhappy Christmas for Jose Mourinho.
Romain Saiss’s 86th minute leveller meant Tottenham have taken just one point from their three games over the festive period and, even in this topsy turvy season, they are in danger of dropping out of the title race even before New Year.
Tottenham led for 85 minutes as Tanguy Ndombele gave them a lead after just 57 seconds in what looked to be a heartwarming story of forgiveness and redemption at Christmas time.
But eventually even Mourinho’s attempts to park the bus came unstuck as Wolves’ never-say-die spirit meant they never gave up on finding an equaliser and got their reward.
It was deeply frustrating for Mourinho but maybe should serve as a warning that if you sit deep and try to see it out rather than trying to kill off a game then sometimes you will get punished.
Wolves finished with fist pumps, celebrations and high fives on the touchline because this was much deserved after a frantic and terrific end-to-end contest full of drama.
Incredibly, Fabio Silva could have even won it at the death as he had a great headed chance deep into injury time but put the ball straight at Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris.
That was just typical of an enthralling game which finished honours even but Tottenham must feel they blew a big chance to make up a little bit of ground on leaders Liverpool.
Ndombele got them off to a flier and his story is nothing short of remarkable – and should serve as a reminder to Dele Alli that there is a way back.
Alli, sat up in the stands as one of the substitutes but tucked under a blanket, is being frozen out just like Ndombele was last season as the £54m signing looked finished after just one year in English football.
But Ndombele produced one of his best performances in a Spurs shirt with a marauding midfield display which started in fantastic fashion.
Tottenham, in their racing green third kit, made a flying start. Heung-Min Son forced Wolves keeper Rui Patricio into conceding a corner. Son put the ball over, Wolves only half cleared and Davies fed the ball to Ndombele on the edge of the box.
Ndombele did not hesitate, he got his timing spot on and hit a brilliant half volley, drilling the ball through a crowd of players and past Portugal No1 Patricio.
What a start. Yet Ndombele was not finished and looked in the mood. Ndombele’s cross set up Sergio Reguilon and his header flashed wide before the France midfielder made a driving run to put in Reguilon who forced a good save from Patricio.
In fairness to Wolves, they came back well. Raul Jimenez, a welcome spectator up in the stands a month after fracturing his skull at Arsenal, is sorely missed as Wolves miss a focal point in attack.
Wolves’ £35m teenager Silva hit the side netting, Daniel Podence forced a terrific save from Hugo Lloris but Tottenham had an even bigger let off within a minute of the restart.
Silva darted into the box, got a toe to the ball before Eric Dier who then kicked the bottom of his boot. Referee Paul Tierney waited for VAR to check it and, incredibly, no penalty was given and Podence was booked for protesting. Video replays showed it was a huge let off.
Wolves kept pressing and pressing but it began to look as if time and luck had run out. But then, in the 86th minute, Pedro Neto put over a near post corner, Saiss ran across the Spurs defence and flashed a header past Lloris and into the far corner.
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