Wolves trailed twice before Raul Jimenez scored the winner
Raul Jimenez scored a smart winner as Wolves recovered to move above Tottenham in the Premier League and boost their hopes of earning a Champions League spot.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side trailed twice in north London before Jimenez latched on to Diogo Jota’s pass to finish with his left foot.
Spurs first led when Steven Bergwijn poked in and then from Serge Aurier’s curling effort before the break.
But Matt Doherty and Jota combined to bring Wolves level on both occasions.
Jota’s ball was fired home by Doherty after Spurs defender Japhet Tanganga failed to clear and then Jota tapped in from close range following Doherty’s low cross.
Dele Alli had missed the chance to send Tottenham into a 3-1 lead moments earlier when he headed wide while unmarked inside the box.
The win sends Wolves sixth in the table and three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
Can Wolves mount Champions League chase?
Both of these sides harbour hopes of reaching the Champions League next season but it is Wolves who boast the better form and now also the better platform to do so.
The task of qualifying for Europe’s premier competition could be made easier if Manchester City’s continental ban is upheld and fifth place comes into play.
Wolves, who could also book a place through the Europa League, showed resilience to twice come from behind and were largely inspired by their two wide forwards – Jota and Adama Traore.
Jota is in superb form and had a hand in all three of Wolves’ goals, with his pass sending Jimenez away to slot the winner beyond Paulo Gazzaniga 17 minutes from time.
The visitors, who are now level on points with Manchester United in fifth, had the phenomenal Traore to thank for bringing them level as he rode a heavy tackle by Tanganga to keep alive a move that ended with Doherty crossing for Jota to score from close range.
That was the Portugal international’s sixth goal in his past three games in all competitions, all coming in the last 10 days.
Spurs find goals, but struggle at the back
Serge Aurier scored his first Premier League goal of the season
Tottenham’s striker crisis is well documented and home fans will have welcomed the news England captain Harry Kane’s return from a hamstring injury appears ahead of schedule, but Jose Mourinho’s side need a short-term solution if they are to keep their European hopes on track.
Spurs, with Son Heung-min also absent after surgery on a fractured arm, have struggled to find a focal point in attack recently and opted for a fluid front three of Bergwijn, Alli and Lucas Moura, though it was Aurier who proved their most penetrative threat.
It was from the Ivory Coast international’s driven cross that Spurs took the lead, as Bergwijn pounced after Alli’s initial effort was saved to score his second Tottenham goal since a January move from PSV.
Alli then found Aurier in space on the edge of the Wolves penalty area and the 27-year-old cut inside before curling left-footed effort into the far corner.
But it was at the other end Tottenham struggled, looking indecisive on occasions with both Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen on the bench, as they failed to stop Wolves’ quick, attacking breaks.
Despite enjoying large spells of possession, Spurs failed to register a shot on target in the second half and Mourinho brought 18-year-old Republic of Ireland striker Troy Parrott on in added time.
His arrival earned a cheer from the home fans, but was too late to make a difference to the scoreline.
Mourinho has previously said Parrott, who had played five Premier League minutes before today, was “not ready” but the Portuguese must be hoping his young striker can prove him wrong in the coming weeks.
Man of the match – Diogo Jota (Wolves)
Diogo Jota is Wolves’ in-form man, scoring six goals in the past 10 days
‘The players didn’t deserve the defeat’ – Mourinho
Spurs manager Jose Mourinho speaking to Match of the Day: “I think unfair. The players didn’t deserve the defeat. We were punished by, I would say, mentality mistakes. You have to be ruthless against teams like Wolves that plays fantastically well on the counter-attack.
“We deserve much more than these results but this is what it is. [The front three] combined well, they did what they can. They did the plan that we worked on in the week. We had lots of arrivals in dangerous positions, but it is quite frustrating to see they don’t have that feeling.”
On leaving out Alderweireld and Vertonghen: “I think Eric Dier played very, very well, so when the player you bring in as a replacement plays very, very well the question could be why did you play Dier and not why did you leave out Toby and Jan.
“I tried to play with Davinson [Sanchez] and Tanganga, which are the two fastest players. Dier is because he is a midfield player, he has the possibility to come out with the ball and play as an extra midfield player. I thought they did very well apart from the goals, which are collective responsibility, not individual responsibility.”
Tottenham punished for ‘mentality mistakes’ – Mourinho
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, also to Match of the Day: “It’s amazing the energy levels that we put into the game. They recover very well. It’s a challenge, and when you really embrace the challenge you give everything you have, and this is what we are doing.
“We should start the game better. Tottenham is such an amazing team and can create so many problems. The second half was much, much better, more organised, better pressing and the movements for the goal was good.”
On beating his former manager: “It’s nothing special, was a very, very tough game. I have huge admiration for Jose Mourinho, for me he is a reference.”
Wolves ‘energy’ the key to beating Spurs – Nuno
Wolves prove the comeback kings – the stats
- Spurs have lost three consecutive matches in all competitions for the first time since May last year.
- Jose Mourinho has lost three games in a row for only the fourth time during his managerial career, doing so once with Porto, Chelsea and Manchester United.
- Wolves have won 35 points from losing positions in the Premier League since the start of last season, at least six more than any other side during this period.
- Wolves have both scored and conceded in 20 different Premier League games this season (W6 D9 L5), a competition high.
- Since the start of last season, Matt Doherty has netted eight Premier League goals for Wolves, the joint most of all defenders in the competition alongside Liverpool skipper Virgil Van Dijk.
- Steven Bergwijn is the first Tottenham player to score in his first two home Premier League appearances since Rafael van der Vaart in October 2010 and the third overall, after his fellow Dutchman and Jermain Defoe (February 2004).
- Raul Jimenez’s 13 Premier League goals this season have been worth 16 points to Wolves, the joint most alongside Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Tottenham host Norwich in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday (19:45 GMT) before visiting Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday (17:30), while Wolves are home to Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday (15:00).
- Match Stats
- Live Text
- 6D Sánchez
- 39TangangaSubstituted forNdombeleat 76'minutes
- 24AurierSubstituted forCarvalho Fernandesat 82'minutes
- 18Lo CelsoBooked at 59mins
- 8WinksBooked at 84mins
- 33DaviesBooked at 84minsSubstituted forParrottat 90+1'minutes
- 27Lucas Moura
- 30Carvalho Fernandes
- 11Rui Patrício
- 15BolyBooked at 71mins
- 28João Moutinho
- 37TraoréSubstituted forNetoat 74'minutes
- 9JiménezSubstituted forCastelo Podenceat 90+2'minutes
- 18JotaSubstituted forDendonckerat 79'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 10Castelo Podence
Home TeamTottenhamAway TeamWolvesPossessionHome66%Away34%ShotsHome13Away14Shots on TargetHome5Away4CornersHome4Away5FoulsHome12Away14
Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 3.