The game got off to a slow start. The teams gave each other a lot of freedom in the middle of the park and both sides were able to string a series of passes together, but there were not a lot of chances until Kevin Doyle gave his team the lead after 20 minutes. However, immediately after the Irishman opened the scoring, the game was nonstop.
Two magnificent strikes from Jermain Defoe put Spurs in the lead after half an hour but five minutes before the break the visitors were almost a man down when Alan Hutton pulled Nenad Milijas to the ground in front of goal. The former Glasgow Rangers defender was lucky to only receive a yellow card as the referee awarded the home side a penalty, which Doyle converted.
Spurs took the lead once again early in the second-half but Mick McCarthy’s men were able to contain them for most of the game with some nice passing football and solid defensive work. The introduction of Gareth Bale with 20 minutes to go gave Harry Redknapp’s side a lot more potency, and the Welshman galloped down the right-wing with the chance to kill the game off but in sending the ball past his compatriot Wayne Hennessey, he also put it past the post.
Wolves continually knocked on the door in an attempt to find an equaliser and they appeared to have got one with 10 minutes left, but the referee eventually disallowed the goal and awarded a free-kick to Spurs for a foul on Heurelho Gomes. Wolves’ persistence paid off and they got their equaliser. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake’s pass to send Matt Jarvis down the left-wing was perfectly timed and weighted, as was the 24-year-old’s cross to Steven Fletcher in the back post for the striker to head past Gomes and earn his team a well deserved point.
Despite his two stunning goals only delivering a point for Spurs, Defoe had a great game and came close to scoring a hat-trick but was denied by the post. Luka Modric, meanwhile, was the best player on the park – his passes were creative and accurate and he made some good runs to create options for his team mates, giving Spurs’ attacks more momentum. The Croat even put in a decent defensive shift, breaking down a lot of Wolves’ advances throughout the game.
The two managers will have contrasting feelings about the outcome. This will be a disappointing result for Redknapp and could have a detrimental effect on the team going into their Champions League encounter with Milan next week. The London side will not be happy with the timing of Wolves’ third goal as it looked like the three points were in the bag. McCarthy will be very pleased with his team’s determination and persistence and considering Spurs’ form this season this result will feel like a win but his team are still very much in a relegation battle.