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Wolves ratings vs Spurs as Podence gives Lage a decision to make

Wolverhampton Wanderers exited the Carabao Cup to Nuno Espirito Santo’s Tottenham Hotspur after a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

The game ended 2-2 at Molineux before Spurs secured a 3-2 victory on penalties to advance to the fourth round, with Wolves captain Conor Coady missing the decisive spot-kick.

Onto the match itself and Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane put the visitors 2-0 up inside 23 minutes but Wolves fought back through Leander Dendoncker and Daniel Podence.

Lage had called for a response to the weekend’s defeat to Brentford but he didn’t get it in the opening 38 minutes of the first half.

Spurs had control from the moment Ndombele fired past John Ruddy in the 13th minute. Wolves’ defence didn’t cover themselves in glory as Coady lost a challenge with Ndombele before Willy Boly was outwitted by the Spurs midfielder in the box.

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Wolves were in disarray defensively and Kane punished them midway through the first half to net Spurs’ second goal.

Ruben Neves gave the ball away for the second time in the space of 15 seconds and Dele Alli set Kane away before the England captain rifled into the corner.

Spurs could have taken the game away from Wolves but Kane and Giovani Lo Celso couldn’t capitalise on good counter-attacking chances.

And Wolves found a route back into the match via the head of Dendoncker. The Belgian had tested Pierluigi Gollini earlier on but managed a more powerful contact on this header from Rayan Ait-Nouri’s corner and beat the Spurs goalkeeper.

The game turned on that moment and Wolves could have levelled before half-time if Fabio Silva had connected with Podence’s centre.

Another chance arrived just two minutes into the second half as Ki-Jana Hoever crossed for Hwang Hee-chan but the South Korean fired over from close range.

Wolves found the equaliser before the hour mark though and Dendoncker again played a key role. The high press reclaimed possession in Spurs’ final third and the midfielder just about squeezed a pass through to Podence.

Wolves ratings vs Spurs as Podence gives Lage a decision to make
Daniel Podence scores for Wolverhampton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur

With just Gollini in his way, Podence placed a shot into the far corner and Molineux erupted.

The game was nicely poised with 30 minutes remaining as both teams chased a winner. Kane thought he’d found it with a header from Spurs substitute Son Heung-min’s cross but Ruddy pulled off a spectacular save to deny him.

Wolves almost nicked it in the dying moments as Neves took aim from distance. The number eight’s strike rattled the woodwork after a small deflection off a Spurs defender.

Neither team could find the winner and it went to penalties. Hwang and Joao Moutinho ensured Wolves stayed in the contest but Neves fired over with Wolves’ third spot-kick and Dendoncker missed the fourth.

Ruddy gave Wolves hope by saving from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg but Coady struck the woodwork to send Spurs through to the fourth round.

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John Ruddy 8

The back-up goalkeeper justified his selection with some top saves, especially from Kane’s close range header midway through the second half.

Ruddy hasn’t always delivered in his recent cup outings, but he was top notch in the second half against Spurs.

Yerson Mosquera N/A

The defender barely touched the ball before succumbing to another injury. Mosquera has endured a luckless start to his Wolves career.

Willy Boly 6

Started in the middle of the back three before moving to the right to accommodate Coady after Mosquera’s injury.

Boly struggled in the first half of his comeback game before improving in the second. His ability on defensive set pieces helped Wolves greatly.

Wolves ratings vs Spurs as Podence gives Lage a decision to make
Willy Boly in action for Wolverhampton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur

Max Kilman 7

Kilman retained his spot in the XI after a shaky showing versus Brentford and repaid Lage’s faith with a good performance.

There were several well-timed challenges to thwart Spurs attacks and Kilman was the most impressive of a sluggish back-line in the first 45.

Ki-Jana Hoever 7

Showed searing speed to get the better of Gil and acquitted himself well against Son too.

Hoever’s persistence down the right also saw him create a very good chance for Hwang in the opening minutes of the second half.

Leander Dendoncker 8

Even before Wolves started playing, Dendoncker was doing reasonably well in midfield.

A bullet header got Wolves back into the game and Dendoncker played his part in Podence’s equaliser with a tidy pass through to the Portuguese attacker.

The only bad point from a good night’s work was that Dendoncker’s penalty was saved by Gollini.

Wolves ratings vs Spurs as Podence gives Lage a decision to make
Leander Dendoncker celebrates scoring for Wolverhampton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur

Ruben Neves 5

Neves was uncharacteristically sloppy in possession in the first half. He couldn’t keep the ball at all.

He got to grips with Spurs’ midfield after Dendoncker’s goal but the overall quality of Neves’ play wasn’t what we’ve come to expect.

A bad evening was capped by Neves becoming the first Wolves player to miss in the shoot-out, blazing way over the bar from 12 yards.

Rayan Ait-Nouri 7

The Frenchman carried the ball really well and managed to drag Wolves up the field in the second half. Depending on his injury, Ait-Nouri could have played his way into the team for Sunday.

Daniel Podence 8

Podence has so much skill and class that it’s hard to envisage Lage leaving him out of the Premier League team for much longer.

He took his goal superbly with a smart finish across Gollini after the goalkeeper had committed himself.

Wolves ratings vs Spurs as Podence gives Lage a decision to make
Daniel Podence in action for Wolverhampton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur

Hwang Hee-chan 7

The bare minimum Hwang will give is 100 percent effort and he was a nightmare to play against for Spurs’ defenders. He forced the corner which led to Dendoncker’s goal and didn’t give Sanchez a moment’s peace. Just about scored his penalty.

Fabio Silva 5

The 19-year-old really struggled to make an impact up against two physical centre-backs in Sanchez and Romero. It wasn’t a surprise that he was the player replaced by Traore at half-time.

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Conor Coady (for Mosquera, 7) 5

Far too weak in the challenge with Ndombele that led to Spurs’ opener and failed to track the run of Kane for their second.

In fairness, he did manage to organise Wolves a little defensively in the second half before missing the crucial fifth penalty.

Adama Traore (for Silva, 46)

Traore added the fear factor to Wolves’ attack and Spurs instantly dropped 10 yards to guard against his threat.

He created some excellent moments too, including one cross which inexplicably evaded all four Wolves players inside the box.

Nelson Semedo (for Ait-Nouri, 75)

Produced a solid enough performance on the left after Ait-Nouri’s injury.

Joao Moutinho (for Podence, 84) N/A

A brief cameo for the veteran who netted his penalty.

Not used: Moulden, Trincao, Jimenez

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