Tottenham’s Premier League title hopes suffered an unexpected setback as Wolves scored three times in the last 18 minutes to come from behind and win at Wembley Saturday.
Spurs would have moved three points behind leaders Liverpool with a win, but defeat meant the Reds ended the day nine points clear.
Willy Boly levelled with a powerful header in the 72nd minute to punish the hosts for a sloppy second-half performance after Harry Kane’s spectacular first-half opener for Spurs.
Raul Jimenez then beat Hugo Lloris with a weak effort from the edge of the area to put Wolves in front before Helder Costa added a third on the counter-attack three minutes from time.
The hosts did not have a single shot in the second half as their five-game winning run in the league came to an end. They remain second in the table but Manchester City can go back above them when they visit Southampton today.
Spurs’ performance in the second half was in a stark contrast to their previous two games, in which they scored six times against Everton and put five past Bournemouth.
That free-scoring form had led manager Mauricio Pochettino to admit his side were “intruders” in the title race, but a fifth league defeat of the season halts the momentum they had built.
The north London side played well in the first half and had 10 efforts on goal, though most – including Kane’s goal – came from distance. Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min were particularly lively.
But after the break they were flat and lacked cohesion, the influence of Kane, Son and Eriksen diminished, and the introduction of Lucas Moura failed to spark them into life.
The tension inside Wembley increased as the home support witnessed their team lose control of the game as Wolves, who had barely threatened in the first half, grew in confidence.
After Boly’s deserved equaliser, the Spurs fans tried to squeeze more from their team but it was Wolves, helped by some slack defending,
Wolves had eight shots in the second half to Spurs’ none Wolves’ fans, players and manager Nuno Espirito Santo celebrated wildly at full-time.
They did not create chances in the opening 45 minutes but, unlike Everton and Bournemouth before them, defended well enough to stay in the game.
Then, when Spurs’ performance dipped, they began to exert control on the game and Nuno made the right substitutions.
Joao Moutinho was introduced to the base of midfield in the 68th minute and dictated play, as well as providing the pin-point cross from the set-piece for Boly’s equaliser.
Striker Costa, meanwhile, came on in the 59th minute and made an excellent run before a clinical low finish to seal the game with Wolves’ third goal.
Victory means they jump to seventh in the table, one place and three points behind Manchester United.
They began 2018 as a promotion-chasing Championship side but end it as a team in the top half of the Premier League with a famous win over a title contender.