In taking all three points on Sunday, Tottenham Hotspur kept their Europa League hopes alive and displayed some resolve heretofore absent from the squad. Despite a lethargic first half, a Harry Kane goal had given Tottenham the half-time lead. In the second half, the Spurs dominated play and cruised to a 2-0 win. Here are some takeaways from the big win.
Tottenham better when the opponent sits back
One of the keys coming into the match was trying to force young Fabio Silva into chasing the ball and playing defense. Tottenham did this effectively and as a result, really faced minimal defensive pressure in possession. Facing little pressure on the ball, Tottenham had their passing game back in motion.
Since Ryan Mason has taken over, Tottenham has been committed to playing a possession game. Against teams like Leeds, who can pressure the ball all over the field, mistakes can be made in possession. However, against an undermanned Wolves team on Sunday, that pressure simply was not there.
Given time on the ball, Spurs comfortably passed the ball around and dominated the ball and clock as well as the scoreboard. When Tottenham did turn the ball over it was typically on the Wanderers side of midfield allowing the defense time to recover.
Wolverhampton still managed to get 15 shots off on the day, nine fewer than Tottenham. However, only 3 of those 15 shots were on target and none seriously bothered Hugo Lloris. Tottenham could have been comfortable in the second half with the lead at the break, instead, we saw a team on the front foot, leveraging the void in Wolverhampton’s confidence.
While neither Aston Villa nor Leicester City is likely to sit back the way Wolves did on Sunday, the confidence from such a win will hopefully buoy the Spurs forward. That confidence should be flowing again in Dele Alli, our second takeaway.