Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Catalogue of errors for Tottenham as Antonio Conte’s men booed off in dysmal defeat to Wolves

Harry Kane of Tottenham

Tottenham’s defensive problems were on full show against Wolves as they gifted Bruno Lage’s side both goals in a poor 2-0 defeat at home.

Tottenham were looking to make up ground in the top-four race after losing 3-2 to Southampton in midweek. But they did the opposite as a catalogue of errors allowed Wolves to leapfrog them into seventh spot.

Antonio Conte made three changes to the starting eleven, with Rodrigo Bentancur given his first Tottenham start by replacing Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in midfield. The manager also decided to change his wing-backs as Matt Doherty and Ryan Sessegnon replaced Emerson Royal and Sergio Reguilon.

Lage, meanwhile, gave teenage midfielder Luke Cundle his first Premier League start. Fellow youngster Rayan Ait-Nouri replaced Marcal on the left flank.

Spurs started poorly and were behind with just six minutes on the clock. They dealt with an initial free-kick from Wolves but did not clear in the second phase. Hugo Lloris came out to punch away, but only managed to find Wanderers striker Raul Jimenez, who was waiting in the box. The Mexican chested down before volleying into the corner comfortably.

The home side did show a bit of promise 10 minutes later as Bentancur sent Son Heung-min through with an accurate pass. But the forward hesitated and cut inside onto his left before hitting a tame effort into Jose Sa’s hands.

Spurs kept on making mistakes and Lloris was at fault again in the build-up to Wolves’ second goal. He put Ben Davies under pressure with a wayward pass and the west Midlands outfit pounced. They had a shot ricochet onto the post, with midfielder Leander Dendoncker on hand to tap home from close range.

Wolves continued to dominate and Conte was forced to use his bench just 28 minutes in. He hauled Sessegnon off and brought on January signing Dejan Kulusevski.

The Swede handed Spurs a bit of spark but Wolves were constantly threatening Lloris’ goal. Harry Winks gave the ball away this time, allowing Daniel Podence and Nelson Semedo to play a one-two. Podence then forced a decent stop from Lloris.

The first half ended 2-0 to Wolves and Conte’s men were booed by their home fans while heading down the tunnel.

Jimenez had a great opportunity to increase Wolves’ lead after the interval. Centre-back Davinson Sanchez gave the ball away in a dangerous position, allowing Podence to play Jimenez in. The attacker should have scored but Davies and Lloris did just enough to keep him out.

Spurs began to sense a little bit of fragility in their opponents’ backline as the game opened up and that saw Son play in Harry Kane. The England skipper shot on his left foot but Sa kept it out with his feet.

The north London outfit hit the post with 65 minutes gone. A corner fell to Winks outside the box and his effort was deflected, but Wolves were saved by the woodwork.

Steven Bergwijn has rejuvenated his Spurs career in recent weeks and Conte turned to the Dutch winger to make an impact. He replaced Lucas Moura with less than 20 minutes left. Lage also looked to bring on some fresh legs as Hwang Hee-chan replaced Podence.

Spurs had some guilt-edged chances late on but could not beat Sa, resulting in defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The final whistle was met with plenty of boos around the ground as Spurs fans demonstrated their disappointment.

The result leaves them in eighth place on 36 points. Wolves, meanwhile, are breathing down the necks of the Premier League’s top six.