Wolverhampton – Tottenham Hotspur: Two Direct Styles Crash Into Defense For Stale Draw (1-1)
As we have grown accustomed to this season, Tottenham took the lead early and chose to sit back, accepting Wolves’ seemingly harmless attacks. Settling for little often backlashes, though, and a late goal made the once high flying title contenders violently crash back to earth for a draw.
Tactical analysis and match report by Kareem Bianchi.
Wolves against Tottenham was the overlapping of two direct styles, orchestrated by the two sides of the same coin. José Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo, advocates of deep defending and quick transition.
After a strong start to the Premier League, Spurs’ relentless run came to a halt after a late Firmino goal signaled the start of their downfall. They would go on to lose to Leicester four days later and stood as far back as seven points away from the league leaders with a game in hand. Therefore, a win against Wolves would have been crucial in order not to lose track and potentially be cut out of the title race as early as December.
José Mourinho made a few changes from the Leicester loss, replacing Giovani Lo Celso, Moussa Sissoko, Serge Aurier, and Toby Alderweireld for Harry Winks, Davidson Sánchez, and Ben Davies. The formation of choice was 5-2-1-2.
Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo has switched the system from 5-3-2 or 5-2-3 to 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 this season. He made some personnel changes as well, benching Max Kilman, Rayan Aït-Nouri and Owen Otasowie for Fernando Marçal, Adama Traoré, and F ábio Silva.
Tottenham started strong with a corner being won inside the first thirty seconds. Son had been played in . . .