EPL

Joao Gomes double gives Wolves win at Tottenham to dent hosts’ top-four push

By Sports Desk February 17, 2024

Tottenham’s top-four hopes suffered a blow after a Joao Gomes brace fired Wolves to a deserved 2-1 away win in north London.

Spurs had claimed back fourth spot from Aston Villa with a last-gasp victory over Brighton last weekend but struggled to break down Gary O’Neil’s side.

Gomes headed Wolves ahead in the 42nd minute and, while Dejan Kulusevski levelled for Tottenham straight after half-time, Pedro Neto’s wonderful solo run settled the contest.

Neto raced half the length of the pitch before he teed up Gomes to side-foot home with 63 minutes played to earn the visitors to a fourth win from their last five matches.

There was a big contingent of South Korea fans inside the stadium with two of the nations’ best going head-to-head and Hwang Hee-chan should have scored in the fifth minute.

Wolves worked the ball out wide to Nelson Semedo, who was denied by Guglielmo Vicario and Hwang inexplicably sliced over the rebound from close range.

Spurs threatened for the first time soon after when Ben Davies fired over on the turn before the visitors created another promising opportunity but Rayan Ait-Nouri curled straight at Vicario.

The stop-start nature to the contest continued although Tottenham enjoyed a rare foray into the away penalty area with 36 minutes played only for Kulusevski to side foot well wide from James Maddison’s pass.

Wolves had frustrated the hosts’ well, while also proving a threat and made their dominance count with 42 minutes on the clock.

From Wolves’ second corner of the match Pablo Sarabia picked out Gomes, who headed into the top corner after being given too much space.

It was a deserved breakthrough but sparked a frantic finish to the half with Vicario pushing wide a curler by Sarabia, who was offside before the same player flashed an effort off target.

Ange Postecoglou’s team did test Jose Sa through Emerson Royal but it stayed 1-0 at the break.

It meant Tottenham had failed to score in the first half of five consecutive home matches, although they quickly hit their straps after half-time.

The equaliser arrived 34 seconds into the second half and it was all about Kulusevski.

Richarlison knocked the ball into the path of the Sweden international, who dribbled past Craig Dawson close to the byline before he poked under Sa for a superb sixth goal of the season.

Spurs were pushing for a second but Wolves remained dangerous, especially on the break and Vicario impressively denied Sarabia after Semedo’s cross.

Back came Tottenham with Kulusevski’s low effort excellently tipped wide by Sa before Semedo blocked another shot from the Swedish forward in the 63rd minute.

It earned the hosts another corner but they were hit with a sucker-punch after a moment of individual brilliance by Neto.

Yves Bissouma lost possession on the edge of Wolves’ penalty area and Neto carried the ball half the length of the pitch before he cut inside Emerson and teed up Gomes, who slammed home for his second of the afternoon.

Tottenham attempted to respond straight away and Maddison curled over before Postecoglou turned to his bench with Rodrigo Bentancur, Brennan Johnson and Timo Werner sent on.

Chances remained at a premium until Kulusevski picked out the unmarked Davies deep into stoppage-time but the Welsh defender headed well wide to ensure Wolves completed the double over Spurs.

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