Tottenham Hotspur – Wolverhampton Wanderers: Wolves make Spurs pay for their lack of creativity and eventual fatigue (1-3)
Nuno Espírito Santo’s side defended incredibly well against Spurs’ usual attacking patterns. Then, as Spurs tired, Wolves grew into the game and scored three goals to return to winning ways in the Premier League.
Tactical analysis and match report by Peter M.
In the search for his sixth consecutive league win, Mauricio Pochettino named an unchanged midfield and attack. His only adjustments came in defense, where Kyle Walker-Peters, Juan Foyth and Danny Rose, all made way for Kieran Trippier, Davinson Sánchez and Ben Davies.
After three successive wins, Wolves stumbled back into tricky form and were thus hoping to end the year on a high. Unlike, Pochettino, Nuno chose to rotate more in midfield, starting a different pairing altogether. Rúben Neves and Leander Dendoncker – the latter of which was awarded his full Premier League debut – replaced João Moutinho and Romain Saïss. Up front, Morgan Gibbs-White made way for Ivan Cavaleiro.
Spurs try to utilize planned attacking patterns
As expected, Spurs had full control of the ball in the opening minutes of this encounter. In their possession-based setup, Christian Eriksen and Moussa Sissoko – the two wider central midfielders – dropped very deep to create a “W” shape in their buildup approach. This allowed for Davies and Trippier to push up on either side while the attackers sat narrower.
Spurs’ possession-based 2-3-5 formation versus Wolves’ 5-2-3 defensive structure.
If the holding midfielder came wider to receive, the far-side The far side is the side of the pitch where the ball is not. midfielder and fullback sometimes dropped to create a flat . . .