Wolves 0-2 Tottenham

By Sam LyonBBC Sport
Emmanuel Adebayor
Adebayor sets Tottenham on their way to only a fourth league win in 15 matches

Emmanuel Adebayor grabbed a debut goal to set Tottenham on their way to a first league win this season at Wolves.

Both sides went close in an open first half, Brad Friedel denying Karl Henry at one end and Niko Kranjcar forcing a goalline clearance at the other.

But it was Adebayor who forced the crucial breakthrough for Tottenham, collecting Scott Parker's fine pass, rounding the keeper and slotting home.

Jermain Defoe wrapped up a precious win with a low finish on 80 minutes.

It will be a hugely welcome three points for the Londoners after their faltering start to the season - and to have secured it at the home of form side Wolves will only further boost Spurs' spirits.

Pre-season optimism at Tottenham has been slowly eroded by two heavy league defeats and Harry Redknapp's revelation that the mood at the club has been soured by wantaway players.

Spurs too good - McCarthy

So it was with some relief that Redknapp was able to draft Parker and Adebayor - as well as club captain Ledley King - into his line-up in the search for some much-needed impetus.

Wolves, however, are a different proposition from old these days - far too Premier League savvy to be intimidated by clubs or big-name players - and they more than matched Spurs for ambition in a wildly open first half.

Henry and Roger Johnson had the hosts' best chances, the former only denied a first league goal in three years by a superb low save from Friedel and Johnson heading wide a yard out from Michael Kightly's delicious free-kick.

And at the other end, Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey was equally busy, tipping Defoe's dipping long-ranger around the post having earlier spared Johnson's blushes by keeping out the defender's own-goal-bound touch. Kranjcar's follow-up was cleared off the line by Christophe Berra.

The chances were only part of the first-half story, though. Kevin Doyle was a rock up front for Wolves and former Spurs midfielder Jamie O'Hara was at the heart of everything, while Luka Modric was excellent for Tottenham, showing no signs of sulking following the collapse of his move to Chelsea.

Redknapp praises Parker

The Croat's performance, in fact, was matched only by debutant Parker, the England international providing a notable step up in work-rate and tenacity to the Tottenham midfield.

And it was the summer signing who picked the Wolves defence to set up the visitors' crucial opener, collecting Kranjcar's pass and laying in a delightful ball to release Adebayor in the box for the Togolese to round the keeper and slot home.

It was just reward for a far more composed second-half performance from the Londoners, nullifying the Wolves threat in attack and showing greater patience going forward.

Adebayor delighted with debut strike

Wolves - so big a threat in the first half - looked toothless up front and vulnerable at the back.

And they were opened up easily again 10 minutes from time when Defoe swapped passes with Kranjcar inside the box before firing an excellent low finish into the corner.

It set the seal on only a fourth league win in 15 games for Spurs, providing hope their push for a European spot is not just a pipe dream this season.

For Wolves, meanwhile, it is a defeat that puts an end to a hugely encouraging start to their campaign - though they remain in the top seven, a fine platform upon which to build their season.

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy: "If anyone watched the last 20 minutes they would think we were right turned over, but we weren't.

"We didn't score when we had the best of the game and then they picked us off second half. We've competed really well in the game.

"In the end we were beaten by a team that had a bit more quality than we did. They're far more advanced that us, with better players than us, and they are a better team than us. And yet for 70 minutes we matched them.

"We've had an encouraging start. But there are still 34 games left."

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp: "Wolves is a really difficult place to come - they, alongside Stoke and West Brom, are the team I think could really push on this season. We had to work hard today but in the end we deserved it.

"I was delighted with Emmanuel Adebayor and I thought Scott Parker was brilliant today - he really made a massive difference for us. He broke up attacks, got us playing, was a leader and he set us going forward.

"We've had two difficult games so far against Manchester United and Manchester City - but if you compare our results from these three games to our results last year, we're a point better off already, so…

"The fact is we're missing nine world class players, who would make a brilliant team themselves. It's unbelievable. When they come back we'll have a really strong squad, for sure."

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