Tottenham Hotspur were defeated for the third time in the Premier League on Sunday, as Raul Jimenez and Leander Dendoncker scored in the first half to give Wolverhampton Wanderers a 2-0 away win and move them into seventh position.
Tottenham needed a comeback after losing 3-2 at home to Southampton in midweek to keep their top-four hopes alive, but defensive blunders cost them dearly.
After a panicked punched clearance by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, Jimenez volleyed in after six minutes, and the Frenchman was barely covered in glory when Dendoncker increased Wolves’ lead 12 minutes later.
Lloris made amends by preventing Wolves from extending their lead before the interval, but Tottenham were booed off the ground at halftime on a rainy north London afternoon.
Tottenham Hotspur improved in the second half, although their best chance came from a Harry Winks deflected attempt that hit the post.Wolves, on the other hand, were very comfortable and moved into seventh position with 37 points, only three points behind fourth-placed West Ham United, who play at Leicester City later.
Tottenham are now in ninth place with 36 points.Tottenham seemed well-positioned to contend for a top-four finish when the Premier League began this week after a brief winter break, given they have games in hand on their opponents.
Antonio Conte was unbeaten in his first nine league games as Tottenham manager after taking over in November, but the excitement generated by that run is quickly dissipating. Conte hasn’t lost three league games in a row since taking over as manager of Atalanta in November 2009.
Bruno Lage is a rock solid performer. Wolves, on the other hand, appear capable of pursuing European qualification, and their away fans will be hoping for a top-four finish.
Conte made three changes to the team that lost to Southampton, replacing Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg with Rodrigo Bentancur and Emerson Royal and Sergio Reguilon with Matt Doherty and Ryan Sessegnon on the flanks.
Tottenham’s defense, on the other hand, was once again a shambles. After save a Ruben Neves shot, Lloris flimsily punched away Dendoncker’s follow-up straight to Jimenez, who volleyed the ball back into the net.
Son Heung-min squandered a one-on-one opportunity to draw Wolves level, and Wolves quickly increased their lead.
Lloris made a poor pass to Ben Davies, whose clearance went straight to a Wolves player. When the ball was delivered to Daniel Podence, his deflected shot struck the post, and Dendoncker bundled in the subsequent melee.
Sessegnon was replaced by Dejan Kulusevski just before halftime, but Spurs continued to make errors. Podence forced a fantastic save from Lloris after a bad pass by Winks.