Not sure how we did it, but we did. By the end I was rooting against Spurs getting a corner, as it was Wolves’ best opportunity and twice in the final five minutes they produced a break that resulted in a good chance to score.
Nuno gets his homecoming, Kane had a very solid 20 minutes or so, there were some standout performances, but yet it looked way too much like vintage Jose in which we were quite fortunate to gain the three points. The Watford game will have to be played differently—as will Pacos on Thursday—let’s see if we can win a couple on the front foot.
Let me get the praise out of the way first. Nice move by Dele (and a superb through ball by Reguilon) to produce the penalty and the one and only goal. And he is playing quite well both deep and defensive and when he gets the chance to move forward. Lloris was quite good, both in his stops though Traore should have buried the best chance and with the one terrific over the top ball to Bergwijn that almost produced a goal from both the Dutchman and Son. Reguilon was excellent if underworked on the left.
Hojbjerg did a bit of everything, including a nice nutmeg and shot near the end. Kane was smooth, almost scored from Bergwijn and certainly can help us this coming week assuming the transfer either doesn’t come or is delayed until the midnight hour. And Bergwijn works hard, runs into space, and made two superb plays, nearly scoring on the long ball from Lloris, and making a nice layoff to Kane which almost produced a clincher near the end. Gio had a pretty good stint in the final ten minutes.
So enough with that. On the other hand, Wolves unsurprisingly attacked our right flank and Tanganga and Sanchez mercilessly, mostly through Adama Traore. Tanganga had real problems (though all but the best right backs in this league would as well) and was rash in his challenge on Marcal that got him booked. Sanchez made one grievous error in the first half that we were lucky to avoid an ensuing goal, allowed Traore past him on the byline, but recovered in the second half and was good on aerial challenges.
Dier had a relatively quiet day but committed the worst error of the game with a foolish gamble which directly led to Traore splitting the defence just as Silva did for Pacos although this time the finish was lacking. Skipp is still learning on the job and wasn’t bad, but he had a couple of bad giveaways and will simply have to improve in terms of possession against the better clubs—Moussa Dembele he is not. And it was a fairly anonymous day for both Lucas and Son—the latter picked up a knock in the warm-up and was bullied in a position (holding center forward) he is not suited for though he did have the one excellent chance after on the Bergwijn rebound. We played a bit too deep for my taste but it did work and would have been even more successful had Bergwijn made the right pass to Dele for a second goal in the first half or Kane had found the far corner on his chance late in the game.
The weaknesses are apparent—we are still at least one defender short assuming Aurier will depart, we need more attacking depth, Ndombele’s sad situation must be resolved, and of course, the striker drama is yet to play out. Surely if there will be a Kane deal to City it must either happen quickly this week or we must procure Martinez—or someone—as a replacement because Son is simply not a number nine for all his ability. But two wins on the trot are a lot better than the alternative. If we can win these two home games this week, then the first stretch before the international break has to be deemed an unqualified success. No one can take this result away from us.
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