Date : –  22nd September 2021 Kick off : –  19.45
Competition : –  League Cup Third Round Venue : –  Molineux
Crowd : –  ??
Referee : –  Peter Bankes (Liverpool) Linesmen : – Mr. Ian Hussin; Mr. Neil Davies
Fourth official : –  Mike Dean
Weather : – Dry, with slight chill in the air
Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Stan Cullis Stand end
Playing time : –   90 + 12 minutes


    Dendoncker  37m 48s   Ndombele  13m 03s
    Podence  57m 14s   Kane  22m 39s
  Hwang (first penalty)   Kane
  Moutinho   Reguilon
     Neves   Gil
     Dendoncker   Hojbjerg
  Silva  (foul on Tanganga)  16   Ndombele  (foul on Podence)  83
  Neves  (dissent)  47     


21.   John RUDDY 22.   Pierluigi GOLLINI
14.   Yerson MOSQUERA  ( 16.   Conor COADY  9)  25.   Japhet TANGANGA  (  3.    Sergio REGUILON  90+7)  
15.   Willie BOLY 6.   Davinson SANCHEZ
23.   Maximilian KILMAN 4.   Cristian ROMERO
  33.   Ben DAVIES
2.   Ki-Jana HOEVER 20.   DELE Alli  (  5.   Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG  82) 
8.   Ruben NEVES   29.   Oliver SKIPP
32.   Leander DENDONCKER  28.   Tanguy NDOMBELE   
3.   Rayan AIT-NOURI  ( 22.   Nelson SEMEDO  75)  28.  
10.   Daniel PODENCE    (  28.   Joao MOUTINHO  84)  18.   Giovani LO CELSO  (  7.   Heung-Min SON  62) 
17.   Fabio SILVA    ( 37.   Adama TRAORE  46)  10.   Harry KANE 
26.   HWANG Hee-Chan 11.   BRYAN Gil
Substitutes Substitutes
13.   Louie MOULDEN 40.   Brandon AUSTIN
9.   Raul JIMINEZ 2.   Matt DOHERTY
11.   Machado TRINCAO 14.   Joe RODON
  44.   Dane SCARLETT


Manager : –  Bruno Lage Manager : –  Nuno Espirito Santo
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Spurs started this League Cup match at Wolves with a good tempo and raced into a 2-0 lead, getting pulled back to 2-1 at the break and with the home side equalising in the second half before Tottenham went on to win on penalties.

With two defeats coming into the match, Nuno Espirito Santo was getting a bit of heat from the media and he had more injury issues than he would have hoped for as he returned to his old club.  Changes were made to give some players a rest, but a more attacking look to the side paid dividends as Spurs took hold of the game.  At the start, Spurs were getting caught offside and then Wolves began to get into Spurs territory, but Davinson Sanchez won the balls in the air that were played in and Romero took the force of Dendoncker’s shot from outside the area with his head.  Mosquera went down off the ball and his debut finished after only nine minutes as he left the pitch on a stretcher which brought Conor Coady on in his place.

When Oliver Skipp won the ball on the halfway line and prodded it to Tanguy Ndombele, little looked on, especially when Podence got a touch to the ball.  It went in the direction of Coady, but his half-hearted attempt to clear the ball cannoned off Tanguy’s shins and sent him clear into the box.  He was quickly closed by Boly, but stopped his run, sending the Wolves defender on towards the dead-ball line on the left of the goal allowing the Spurs midfielder to put the ball onto his right foot and find the net by slotting it under Ruddy’s body from eight yards out.  It was an unexpected lead given our recent form, but Ndombele showed exactly what he is about when the team is set-up to suit him and he is fit.

Tottenham’s start continued with Kane putting a cross too high for Dele at the far post and Silva’s frustration bringing him an early yellow card when he cleared out Tanganga.  Gil made a good left wing run and found Dele’s head, but his glancing header was headed just wide and Kane was narrowly offside as Davinson looked to put him through.  When Sanchez played the ball forward to Ndombele in the centre circle, he turned away from Podence and played a pass that was cut out, but won back by Skipp.   Giovani Lo Celso knocked it back to Dele, whose through ball sent Kane in on goal and he swept the ball low past Ruddy’s right hand side as the keeper came out as he got into the box.  It was more like the clinical Harry Kane that we have seen over the past few years and put Tottenham 2-0 ahead with only 23 minutes gone.  His first touch with the outside of his right foot took the ball forward and away from the nearest marker, who was Boly on his left. 

The home players were a little tetchy and were obviously rattled, almost conceding a third when Lo Celso played the ball wide left to Bryan and his ball into the box for Dele was controlled and he tried to take it round Ruddy, but ran out of room and the ball went off for a goal-kick.  Wolves attacked a corner that they won and Dendoncker won it, giving Pierluigi Gollini something to do in getting to the ball and then kicking upfield for Lo Celso, who got into the box only to be denied by the recovering Dendoncker.  When a free-kick was played into the Spurs box and it was cleared but Podence was on the floor as the ball was cleared.  

Dele put a ball across the face of the goal with nobody there to tuck it away after good work by Tanganga and then Davies’ cross was cleared by Coady as Dele looked to reach it.  When the home team won another corner, with Romero nipping in to take the ball away from Hwang Hee Chan, Dendoncker got to it again coming over Ndombele around 12 yards out and this time put his header wide of Gollini into the top left hand corner of the keeper’s goal to bring Wolves back to 2-1.  Coming seven minutes before half-time, it was a set-back for Tottenham, but one that they managed until the break.

Ait-Nouri a low ball put into the box that ran through to the other side and Hoever fired it back, with Fabio Silva unable to get enough contact on the ball to trouble the Spurs defence.  Wolves were over-hitting crosses in their excitement, as Kilman put one out for a throw on the other side of the pitch.  Ait Nouri did get a shot on target, with his low drive taken well by Gollini falling to his left.  Spurs hit back with an unusual suspect turning up in the opposition box.  Japhet Tanganga was sent into the are by Kane’s pass and he struck a rising shot that went over the top from an acute angle.  Wolves had one more chance before half-time when Kilman put a cross in that Hwang dived to meet with his head, but got under it too much and sent what was a presentable opportunity over the bar.

Wolves made a change at half-time, bringing on the raging bull Adama Traore for the hugely disappointing Silva, who looks like a move to England came too soon for him.  Straight away the fresh winger was racing down the right to be firstly tackled by Bryan for a throw-in and then when he got a cross in Sanchez was there to head it away.  Hwang managed to sky a shot from six yards over the top and there was a little controversy the Korean was on the floor as the ball was cleared.  Neves felt strongly that they should have had a penalty, but too strongly for the referee who booked him for his protestations.  He was slightly more vociferous than the Molineux crowd at this point.

As expected Wolves made a greater effort in the second half and Sanchez was dominant in the air at the back, while Skippy was tigerish in the tackle in midfield.  It was Skipp who played a free-kick to Davies on the left and his cross was touched out as far as Dele, who set up Kane on the right, but the tight angle was tricky, although he forced a block at the near post.  Ruddy looky ruddy lucky when he managed to fumble a long effort from Ndombele around the post, without knowing a lot about it.

With 58 minutes gone, Ndombele was dispossessed by Hwang just inside the Spurs half and the ball was moved forward to Dendoncker, who slipped it to his left for Podence to drill his shot beyond Gollini’s dive to his left as the keeper tried to cover his near post.  It was a soft goal to let in and it allowed the two goal advantage to slip away with just over half an hour still to play. 

However (not Hoever), Spurs looked to reinstate the two goal lead with Dele finding Bryan in the Wolves area, but he was crowded out and then the play switched immediately to the other end, where Troare put a ball across goal without an old gold shirt in sight.  Sonny came on to replace Gio as Spurs looked to try and finish it in 90 minutes and when Skipp won the ball, Tanguy nearly found Bryan, but the pass was intercepted.  Japhet hit the crowd behind the goal when his shot flew too high and then Harry should have found the net but for a bit of luck for Ruddy.  Son curled in a cross from the left and Kane got his head to it, barely six yards out and Ruddy threw up an arm, not really knowing much about it when he managed to keep the ball out. 

Ait-Nouri suffered an injury and needed a lot of treatment before limping off, so there was likely to be a goodly amount of added time to negotiate.  A half-block on Traore’s shot took all the sting out of it.  Nuno brought off Dele and put Hojbjerg on, Tanguy got booked and Podence went off with Moutinho coming on to try to win it at the end.  In fact, it was Neves who nearly won it, as his shot came off Ndombele as he hung a leg out behind him and that was just enough to take it off the top of the bar and over.  Neves had an action replay in the last minute of normal time as his free-kick took a deflection and went just over the top.  With little added time remaining, Bryan broke away and his inviting cross was not snapped up and there was just enough time to substitute Tanganga with Reguilon as penalties beckoned.

And spot-kicks it was as the whistle blew on a 2-2 draw.  Hwang stepped up first and buried his into the corner to Gollini’s right, although the keeper got a touch to it and then Kane drove his the same way but a little higher leaving Ruddy no chance even though he went the right way.  Moutinho stuttered before sending the Spurs keeper the wrong way, putting it to his left, with Sergio Reguilon taking the second Spurs pen and leaving Ruddy going right as he put it in the top left corner of the keeper’s net.  That was where Neves was aiming, but got it too high and it sailed over the angle and into the crowd.  Bryan found the same spot as Regi beating the keeper’s dive to go the right way and then Dendoncker stepped up, hitting a low penalty to Gollini’s right, but it was not hard enough and too near the keeper, who got everything behind it and clasped it to his chest.  3-2 to Tottenham and Hojbjerg had the opportunity to wrap up the win with his kick, but while he hit it harder than Dendoncker, he probably put it a bit nearer to the keeper, who blocked it.  It fell to Coady to save the game for Wolves and he tried a straight down the middle penalty, which sold Pierluigi, who dived to his right, but the Wolves defender’s shot was too high and bounced back out off the face of the crossbar to give Spurs a place in the Fourth Round.

Going straight to penalties is a lottery and we have been on the receiving end before (remember Colchester ?), but it was our turn to progress this time and an away tie at Burnley awaits.

It was a better performance with the players looking a bit more at it, but it was only Wolves who have had trouble scoring and got two. Still work to be done and hopefully, things will come together a bit more on Sunday when Spurs play the South Londoners.

Grayling Barraclough


Spurs wore their third kit for this season for the first time – a light purple and lime green shirt, light purple shorts and light purple socks.


Preston North End 4 Cheltenham Town 1
Fulham 0 Leeds United  (Won 6-5 on pens) 0
Watford 1 Stoke City 3
Brentford 7 Oldham Athletic 0
Burnley 4 Rochdale 1
Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Swansea City 0
QPR  (won 8-7 on pens) 2 Everton 2
Manchester United 0 West Ham United London 1
Woolwich Wanderers 3 AFC Wimbledon 0
Norwich City 0 Liverpool 3
Chelsea (won 4-3 on pens) 1 Aston Villa 1
Millwall 0 Leicester City 2
Wigan Athletic 0 Sunderland 2
Manchester City 6 Wycombe Wanderers 1
Sheffield United 2 South Coast Big Club  (Won 4-2 on pens)