Spurs survive late Wolves fightback to win and move into top four
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Premier League: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Tottenham Hotspur 3
Nervy Tottenham Hotspur survived a late Wolverhampton Wanderers rally as they returned to the Premier League top four with a narrow 3-2 win at Molineux.
Quickfire first-half strikes from Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura looked to have put Spurs on course for a comfortable win.
Harry Kane’s eighth goal of the season gave the visitors a 3-0 lead before they nearly crumbled under intense pressure from the hosts.
League debutant Juan Foyth conceded two second-half penalties to allow Ruben Neves and Raul Jimenez to convert from the spot before Spurs held out to sit fourth, three points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.
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It was mid-table Wolves’ third straight defeat but Nuno Espirito Santo’s side again demonstrated their threat in the top flight.
Spurs chief Mauricio Pochettino had the luxury of resting Dele Alli ahead of Tuesday’s must-win Champions League visit of PSV Eindhoven.
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But he may now be without Mousa Dembele after the midfielder suffered an early injury on Saturday.
Spurs had any momentum knocked out of them when they lost Dembele inside the first 10 minutes.
It took time for them to regroup and, when they did in the 19th minute, substitute Son Heung-min found Kane and his low effort was turned away by Rui Patricio.
But the visitors had regained their composure and netted two goals in three minutes.
Lamela was at the heart of the first after 27 minutes and, after a slow build-up, he swapped passes with Son to burst into the area and roll the ball under Patricio.
Three minutes later it was 2-0 when Moura powered in a free header from Kieran Trippier’s looping cross.
A devastating spell grabbed the initiative and Patricio saved Kane’s piledriver as Spurs looked to kill the game.
Wolves then thought they had a goal back when Jimenez fired in only for it to be disallowed when Matt Doherty was ruled offside.
Willy Boly planted a header wide five minutes before the break but Wolves’ struggle for goals was laid bare at Molineux.
The hosts tried to rally immediately after the break but Hugo Lloris denied Jimenez, Helder Costa and Neves in quick succession.
But Kane bagged a third after 62 minutes with Spurs looking in complete control.
Lamela’s persistence paid off when he found Kane and the England skipper emphatically converted at the second attempt after Patricio saved his initial effort.
Portugal goalkeeper Patricio’s excellent stop denied Kane a second from 18 yards shortly afterwards.
There seemed little hope for Wolves but they grabbed a lifeline with 22 minutes left when Trippier lost possession and Foyth fouled Jimenez in the box.
Neves buried the penalty and soon after, Costa should have made it 3-2 when he was slipped in but prodded wide with just Lloris to beat.
Jimenez did pull another back from the spot when Foyth brought down Jonny with 11 minutes left to set up a grandstand finish, only for Wolves to fall short.