Harry Kane scores landmark 185th aim to information Tottenham previous snappy Wolves

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We obtained a recreation right here, lastly, of kinds. For that we in all probability had Antonio Conte to thank and a half-time staff discuss one suspects was thick on invective and skinny on instruction. Tottenham stay undefeated and underwhelming however Harry Kane’s second-half aim gave all of them three factors and a win that in tone and toughness felt like a comeback.

The items aren’t fairly becoming but. Son Heung-Min appears to be like undercooked and a bit wanting kind; the midfield remains to be susceptible to being outnumbered; the staff as a complete nonetheless appears to be like a bit extra snug counterattacking than genuinely controlling video games. However there may be spirit and resilience, in addition to the standard and depth to make it rely. Eric Dier and Ivan Perisic have been wonderful. Richarlison appeared sharp and spangly as a late substitute.

It was not straightforward and it was hardly ever fairly both, notably throughout a primary half when Wolves have been clearly the higher staff. Bruno Lage’s staff is wealthy in expertise and combat however above all one will get the sense they’re totally horrible to play towards: a swarm of wrought, chiselled midfielders all snapping and swearing at you in Portuguese.

“For positive within the first half we struggled a bit for a lot of causes,” Conte stated. “We suffered. Within the second half, I attempted to repair some conditions but additionally we needed to have numerous power.”

Wolves arrived with a sensible plan and a contemporary pair of legs: the £38m midfielder Matheus Nunes, the most recent and shiniest asset within the Jorge Mendes portfolio, signed from Sporting this week and thrown straight in for his debut.

Fairly a participant he’s, too: an enormous lethal spider of a person, all poise and precision and scuttling legs and eyes at the back of his head. He had likelihood with a glancing header, the damaging Rúben Neves had a few strikes from distance and, as Spurs continued to launch it aimlessly, the house crowd started to grumble a bit, as if trapped in a really lengthy and very popular airport queue.

Anyway, that was the primary half. The second was a unique flavour of milk altogether: Tottenham screaming out of the blocks and shifting the ball with function and substance. Kane hit the bar with a header. The maladroit Son hit the put up. Perisic started to realize in affect. The quantity ticked up just a few bars. Tottenham gained a nook. Son took it.

Nearly from the second the ball left Son’s foot the nook appeared a disappointment: quick, low and dying away in the direction of the close to put up. Besides – shock – Perisic had been stationed there for this situation, and flicked the ball on for an unmarked Kane to go in on the far put up.

A set-piece routine that felt like a throwback to the Mauricio Pochettino days and a Premier League milestone for Kane: his 185th aim, beating Sergio Agüero’s post-1992 file for probably the most at one membership. Dixie Dean’s all-time top-flight file of 308 stays properly out of attain for now.

Kane nods previous José Sá. {Photograph}: Shaun Brooks/Motion Plus/Shutterstock

So what had modified? Actually nothing vital tactically. No substitutions have been made till the 76th minute. The one actual shift was in ambition, depth, bravery: the bravery to play the troublesome move, to climate the shin-crunching problem, to carry the ball beneath stress quite than eliminate it. Additional proof of this arrived when Kane, stung by an earlier problem from Neves, gave him a bit off-the-ball bump.

Nathan Collins returned the favour and rapidly the scenario had generated into the kind of mass, finger-waggling, multinational squabble that everybody likes to see.

In the end Wolves’ finest likelihood of successful got here within the first half and for all the great vibes round Molineux after a lavish switch window, there stays a slight hole between expectation and supply, between the power to neuter video games and the power to seize them and kill them off.

“We managed the sport, however ultimately we don’t have any factors,” Lage stated. “So we go dwelling with frustration and confidence.”

Which seems like a fairly good summation of Wolves: three video games, no wins, and but for all {that a} sure cautious optimism.


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