even if they struggle.
Spurs third round League Cup penalty win over Wolves, saw Nuno beat his former side for the second time season. Is it the Spurs kits that do for Wolves.
Last time out in the league it was the blue abomination kit, this time it was the… well, apparently it’s “wild berry” purple monstrosity.
Both games went to penalties. In the league encounter it was an early pen that won it, as Spurs struggled, here with both teams much changed from the league encounter it ended in a penalty shootout after a two all draw in normal time.
Like the last game against Chelsea, Spurs started the brighter but this time turned their play into goals, going two up before the half hour mark. Skipp won the ball, then was a bit short on his pass to Ndombele, a Wolves player nicked in and knocked it back to one of his defenders. Ndombele kept going, blocking the attempted clearance, running into the box, it stopped, cut back and slid the ball past the keeper.
The second came 10 minutes later. Ndombele was passed the ball in the middle of the pitch, he turned past his marker but his pass was cut out, but Skipp was there to pick up the pieces, he played it forward to Lo Celso who immediately knocked it back to Dele, who played a perfect pass through the defence to Kane. Kane took one touch to knock the ball on, the next to control it and the third knock it past the keeper. Type of chance he’s been butchering of late.
Spurs were bossing it at this point. Chief bosser being Ndombele. Of course though it couldn’t go swimmingly. Fifteen minutes later from A Wolves corner the Frenchman lazily tried to back heel the set piece, when the man he was supposed to be marking heading in Wolves first. It was lazy. It was fuel to the haters. But also it shouldn’t have been Ndombele marking Dendoncker.
Shortly into the second half and Ndombele played his part in Wolves equaliser. Fifteen minutes in he was the last man before the two centre-backs. He’d already turned one Wolves player inside out to get away from him, a pass to Skipp was immediately played back to him, which it shouldn’t have really, as he had a man on, who poked the ball away. Through two on two the ball was passed left and then fired past Gollini, with little coming from either centre-back.
And there you have it from Ndombele. He’d been outstanding but for two moments and those two moments were pivotal in getting Wolves back into a game. I saw this video on Twitter…
everything started going downhill when he left pic.twitter.com/nArCVNJfxG
— Jack ⚽️ (@jack_thfc_) September 21, 2021
And you think… “yeah, he’s right”… then you look at the way Mousa Dembele played for Spurs and there’s a lot of similarities with Tanguy Ndombele. He can shrug an opponent off, turn and come away with the ball. He can pick a pass. He can do all of that then you see that he has just one less goal and four fewer assists than Dembele in two and a small bit seasons, than the Belgians seven – 78 games to 249. He’s got it to be that player that Spurs really need. If he can get it right where it counts. Between the ears. If he can be bothered and be fit to play a full game, which he did here.
And so the game was heading for penalties, with no extra time in these things these days. Nuno brought on Reguilon especially for that. Well, we’ve seen that back fire recently, what with England and West Ham – now that was really funny.
What with that and the Wolves keeper making a number of excellent saves to keep them in with a chance it looked like Spursy written all over it.
Gollini got a good hand to their first penalty. Possibly should have done better. Kane did what Kane does from the spot. Their second went in with no trouble, then Reguilon stood up. He put it high into the top of the net, no chance for Ruddy. Neves then blasted their third over the bar. While Gil danced his way to an unsavable goal, to go with a pretty decent game from the youngster. Dendoncker, who had got them back into the game, then hit a soft one that Gollini easily fell on. Hojbjerg t win it. But he hit it almost exactly like Dendoncker for an easy save. Coady then stepped up and smacked his spot kick off the middle of the crossbar for the Spurs win.
So through to the next round. Another performance of the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t know what it’ll mean for the weekend fixture against that South London lot. What does it say about Wolves and their prospects this season? I mean if you can’t beat your old boss when he’s joined Spurs, it can’t bode well.
I still say a back three – don’t know if Sanchez would be in that three, had a poor game, more intent on trying to barge players off the ball than any real tackling or defending – with a central three. Ndombele currently needs a three, he can be exposed in a pair but we could get the best out of him if he has to concentrate on not defending. And why wouldn’t you want to get the best out of your record signing…