An end to end game between Wolves and Tottenham ended rightfully level at 3-3 on the day Dean Richards was remembered. An entertaining game that swung both ways with both teams looking likely to win, decisions that everyone will debate in the media later today both concern referee, Mark Halsey. Disallowing Wolves an equalizer when the score was 3-2 Spurs and not sending off Alan Hutton on the pull back on Milijas.
Wolves started the game well forcing all of the play and pressure on to Tottenham’s goal with set pieces putting Gomes under pressure in the Spurs goal. Wolves pressure was rewarded on 20 minutes when a corner was headed out towards Henry who played a ball back to the corner taker, Ward. Ward swings in the ball right under Gomes’s goal, Doyle ran in unchalleneged in and flicked the ball with his head over the onrushing Gomes. Gomes was grasping at thin air, Wolves fully deserved their lead.
However, for all Wolves pressure the game turned in the space of 5 minutes. First, neat play from Tottenham approaching Wolves penalty area, Pavlyuchenko played a neat ball to Defoe who turned and curled the ball high into the top corner to make it 1-1 from just outside the penalty area. Then five minutes later, Defoe had a run down the left flank where he turned inside and out, he played the ball inside to Modric who tried to play the ball on, the ball fell back into the path of Defoe who again curled the ball right into the top corner out of the reach of Hennessey on the right side of the penalty area to make it 2-1 Tottenham.
But Tottenham’s lead only lasted for 5 minutes, Wolves again put the pressure on, a shot was blocked but fell for Milijas at the back post who was about to shoot one on one with Gomes when Hutton pulled him back making him loose his balance. Everyone in the ground was expecting a red card for the denial of a goalscoring opportunity but Halsey didn’t see it that way and only booked Hutton. From the resulting penalty, Doyle sent Gomes the wrong way to make the score 2-2. It was 2-2 at the break with both teams looking like they could win the game.
Straight after the break, Tottenham go on the attack, Jenas broke in from the right and fed Pavlyuchenko who moved the ball onto his left side and hammered the ball over the top of Hennessey from just outside the penalty area to make it 3-2. Wolves were not out of this by a long way. Wolves kept on pressing with Ward heading just wide from a Jarvis cross and were unlucky not to level on 65 minutes, Milijas picks the ball up mid way inside Tottenham’s half, runs at the defense and shoots, Gomes tips the ball onto the post to keep Spurs in front.
Redknapp turned to Bale and Lennon to make an impact and make the game save by scoring a fourth goal and that nearly happened on 78 minutes. Great play by Bale that got him in between two Wolves defenders where he was one on one with Hennessey, he shot in between his legs but luckily the ball hit his back leg saving Wolves and keeping them in the game. Halsey played another major role in the match on 79 minutes, Milijas curled a freekick in, Stearman jumped to win the header and the ball is lost by Gomes, falling in the net for a goal. But Halsey deemed that it was a foul on Gomes when Stearman’s eyes were on the ball and Gomes lost the flight of the ball which led him to concede a goal. In this modern game keepers are untouchable, literally. Halsey was not Wolves fans favorite at that point.
Wolves were unlucky not to escape conceding another goal with 7 minutes to go, Stearman lost all bearings and played a loose ball to Bale, he teed up Defoe for his hat trick but he hit the post when Hennessey was beaten. Would Defoe regret missing that chance?
He would, with 3 minutes remaining a neat one two between Jarvis and Ebanks-Blake set up Jarvis who cut back onto his right foot, he crossed to the back post where Fletcher rose above Gallas to head into the far corner to make 3-3, nothing less than Wolves deserve. A fine display from Wolves showing that they have the battling qualities to get them out of relegation trouble. Halsey must be relieved that the two decisions he got majorly wrong didn’t prevent Wolves from getting anything from the match. But once again a referee has a major impact on a match, when will a referee not be the center of attention.
Spurs would be happy to come back from Wolves with a point where both Chelsea and Manchester United have fallen and especially after the decisions that they got in their favor. Also Spurs welcomed back both Bale and Lennon who will ultimately have a part to play against AC Milan on Wednesday night. Spurs will need to up for the game if they want to progress even if they do have a 1-0 advantage. A Spurs win would have put pressure on Chelsea but Chelsea have all the motivation they need with Manchester United losing and Arsenal drawing. Will Spurs be able to progress against AC Milan