Spurs come from behind against Wolves

Tottenham Hotspur defeat Wolverhampton 3-1 in frantic final moments

Roman Pavlyuchenko Tottenham Hotspur vs. Wolves

Photo Credit: 
Mike Hewitt / Getty

An incredible turnaround in the last 15 minutes rescued not just one but all three points when they looked seriously in doubt against Wolves at the Lane.

Steven Fletcher's goal for the visitors on the stroke of half-time looked like giving the men from the Black Country a third straight Premier League win against us until the 77th minute.

Rafael van der Vaart, on his home debut, stepped up to level things from the penalty spot before substitutes Roman Pavlyuchenko and Alan Hutton sealed victory in a frantic finish as we claimed our first home league win of the season.

Harry Redknapp made two changes from the midweek Champions League draw with Werder Bremen, with Robbie Keane making his first start of the season and William Gallas coming in for his home debut.

Van der Vaart was also making his first appearance in front of his new home fans having recovered from a calf strain. Aaron Lennon and Vedran Corluka were the men to make way.

The game took a little while to get going but, once it did, we emerged as the team on top, which added to the disappointment of going into the break a goal down.

Marcus Hahnemann was forced into two flying saves, one from a van der Vaart volley, another from a Peter Crouch header around the half-hour mark.

Keane also had two good chances, one blocked on the line by Kevin Foley, the other a glancing header just wide from a Gareth Bale cross.

The visitors had offered little going forward, but on the stroke of half-time our defence went to sleep and were punished.

David Jones slid in Foley on the right side of the box, he beat the offside trap and crossed low for Fletcher to tap home.

Immediately after, Younes Kaboul limped off and was replaced by Hutton at right-back, and it was the Scotsman who delivered our first chance of the second half as we looked to get back on level terms.

He cut inside and curled a left-foot effort inches past the far post, although Keane was only inches away from it centrally but appeared to unselfishly let it run past him.

We continued to apply the pressure leading up to the hour mark, with van der Vaart curling an effort just wide and Keane also firing inches past Hahnemann's upright with an acrobatic volley from a Bale cross.

Into the last 15 minutes and it looked like the game was slipping away when Hutton burst out from the back and made a swashbuckling run into the box before being upended by Stephen Ward.

Referee Jones pointed to the spot and it was left to van der Vaart to coolly slot home from the spot for a moment to remember for the Dutchman.

We went straight back out in search of a winner, with Tom Huddlestone turning on Hutton's low cross just inside the box and firing straight at Hahnemann.

But at the other end, the diving head of substitute Dave Edwards was only inches from Ward's cross with 10 minutes left on the clock.

It was a frantic last 10 minutes with van der Vaart once again going close, this time rolling a shot just past the post having been teed up by Jermaine Jenas.

Again, play went down the other end with Crouch making a block on a Jelle van Damme effort he appeared to know little about.

Who was going to come out on top in this fascinating clash? It turned out Harry Redknapp had the answers in his substitutions.

Hutton had already played his part in the leveller, and the all-important second was scored and created by two more replacements.

Pavlyuchenko had replaced Keane halfway through the half while Lennon emerged in place of van der Vaart with five minutes remaining.

And the little winger made an instant impact, getting the better of Ward and putting in a cross that was cleared to Huddlestone, his shot was blocked by Craddock, and it fell perfectly for the Russian to side-foot home his first league goal of the season.

To round things off, Hutton capped an excellent display on his first appearance of the campaign in the dying seconds when he closed down Richard Stearman's clearance and saw the ball loop over Hahnemann and into the back of the net for his first Spurs goal since arriving in January 2008.

An amazing turnaround after what looked like being another case of a Champions League hangover to really get the ball rolling in this Premier League season.

Spurs (4-4-2): Cudicini; Kaboul (Hutton, 45), Gallas, King, Assou-Ekotto; van der Vaart (Lennon, 86), Huddlestone, Jenas, Bale; Crouch, Keane (Pavlyuchenko, 67)
Subs not used: Pletikosa, Bassong, Kranjcar, Palacios

Wolves (4-1-4-1): Hahnemann; Foley, Craddock, Stearman, Ward; Mancienne (Bent, 90); Jarvis (van Damme, 54), Henry, Jones, Fletcher (Edwards, 58); Doyle
Subs not used: Hennessey, Elokobi, Guedioura, Ebanks-Blake

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