It’s always peculiar playing in London when Wembley’s hosting a final, a bit like plumping for the worse of two house parties.
Perhaps it was extra peculiar for Tottenham Hotspur considering the better do was being held at the place they used to call home. Yet, as Raul Jimenez’s scored the game’s fifth goal after minutes , putting Wolves ahead for the first time in the match, you wondered why Spurs decided to put on a raucous event of their own when a calmer Sunday afternoon at their more civilized dwellings was on offer. It was never going to end well.
Twice they took the lead. Twice they were pegged back within 18 minutes of play before their guests made merry at their expense. What will make matters worse, beyond a th league defeat, was that Wolves did not have to play that well to win this back-and-forth.
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Certainly on reflection, this felt like the perfect time for this particular Spurs XI – injury hit as it was before the confirmed absences of Hugo Lloris (injury) and Toby Alderweireld (rotation) – to come up against a usually cohesive Wolves side who looked uncharacteristically stodgy. Even if there were four changes to the side who started against Espanyol on Thursday, miles in the legs in what was the club’s th match of the season looked to have robbed them of their usual incisiveness.
Both these two have grand ambitions for grander stages than this, so neither could afford to worry about showpiece events elsewhere. The prospective carrot of Champions League football available as low as fifth naturally had sixth (Spurs) and eighth (Wolves) interested. That now reads seventh and sixth, respectively, after this 2-3.