Premier League - Spurs battle back to beat Wolves

Sat, 18 Sep 15:57:00 2010

Tottenham Hotspur overcame another European hangover by fighting back to a 3-1 win with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League.

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Highlights: Tottenham 3-1 Wolves

Steven Fletcher's goal just before half-time opened the scoring for Wolves, who completed a league double Spurs last season, as goalkeeper Marcus Hahnnemann made several fine saves to deny the hosts.

Their resolve was finally broken in the final quarter of an hour, when Rafael van der Vaart equalised from the penalty spot before substitutes Roman Pavlyuchenko and Alan Hutton sealed the victory.

Tottenham lost 1-0 at home to Wigan Athletic in the match after their victorious Champions League qualifier against Young Boys, and it looked for a long time as though they were to suffer from another European hangover following Tuesday's 2-2 draw at Werder Bremen against a club rapidly becoming their bogey side.

Mick McCarthy's side held their own for the first quarter of the match before Gareth Bale and Van der Vaart began to exert their influence fully on the match.

With right-back Kevin Foley picking up a booking, Bale began to get more joy down the left-hand side, and midway through the half the Welshman broke into the box. Hahnemann was quick off his line to block the shot, but the rebound fell to Robbie Keane, only for the Irishman to be denied by a timely block from Michael Mancienne.

Bale then continually got the better of his marker, and his consistent crossing forced Hahnemann to make a good reaction save from Van der Vaart's half-volley before tipping Peter Crouch's far-post header round the upright.

Keane then glanced another header wide as a profligate Tottenham failed to convert any of the nine chances that came their way in the first half.

Foley may have had a tough time in defence, but he contributed to Fletcher's second goal in four games for Wolves since arriving from Burnley in the summer. Dave Jones found Foley with a clever reverse pass, and the defender's low ball was turned in from close range by the Scottish striker.

Spurs came out for the second half with intent as Hutton, on just before the break for Younes Kaboul, cut inside and bent a shot inches past the far post.

Crouch headed over the bar, Van der Vaart narrowly missed with a strike on the turn and Keane missed with an overhead kick as Spurs put Wolves to the sword in a strong 15-minute spell.

Wolves then began to find their way back into the match, but the tide turned for good when Stephen Ward brought Hutton down inside the box with a rash challenge on 77 minutes. Van der Vaart stepped up to coolly sidefoot into the bottom corner for his first goal in a Tottenham shirt.

Pavlyuchenko had replaced Keane 10 minutes earlier, and he got his first Premier League goal since March with just three minutes of the allotted 90 left. Tom Huddlestone's strike from the edge of the area rebounded off Crouch right into the Russian's path, and he made no mistake from eight yards out.

Hutton put the gloss on the result with a stoppage-time third, a goal scored in farcical circumstances which reflects harshly on Wolves' overall performance.

The full-back drove forward and attempted a one-two with Crouch, but his initial pass did not find its target. The ball rolled on and into the area, left by two Wolves defenders, and Hutton followed it up and saw it loop up off Richard Stearman's desperate late lunge and over Hahnemann into the unguarded net.

Tony Mabert / Eurosport

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