Leaky Spurs deal in goals

AC MILAN will not have known whether to laugh or cry after watching a display that was so typically Tottenham.

Explosive and expansive going forward, Harry Redknapp’s side were quite simply exquisite in their forward play, as too were Wolves, in this humdinger at Molineux.

It is hard to not see them not adding to the goal they scored out in the San Siro.

However, of great concern to Harry Redknapp will have been the ease with which Wolves, a side who remain in the relegation zone, got their three goals.

A side of the quality of Milan with the likes of Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in their ranks will fancy their chances of scoring a precious away goal at White Hart Lane on Wednesday.

Substitute Steven Fletcher’s 87th-minute strike earned Wanderers a deserved draw as Mick McCarthy’s team secured a precious point in their battle to beat the drop.

Kevin Doyle and Jermain Defoe, with his first Premier League goals of the season in his 300th top flight appearance, had scored twice to leave the sides level at half-time before Roman Pavlyuchenko’s strike early in the second half.

Certainly, Dean Richards could not have been given a better send off by two of his former teams.

A minute’s applause was held in memory of former Wolves and Tottenham defender Richards, who died aged 36 last week. His wife and sons were joined on the pitch by former team-mates and managers including Graham Taylor, Dave Jones, Matt Murray, James Beattie and Ledley King.

Both managers made three changes – the most notable the absence of on-loan midfielder Jamie O’Hara, who was ineligible to face his parent club, for Wolves, while the fit-again Gareth Bale, out since January with a back injury, was on the Spurs bench in what represents a huge boost ahead of Wednesday’s game.

Adam Hammill has not looked out of place in the Premier League since his arrival from Barnsley in January and the wide player demonstrated his creative abilities when he threaded through Matt Jarvis down the right channel only for his shot to deflect off William Gallas for a corner.

And, from the resulting set-piece Wolves went ahead, as Nenad Milijas’ 20th-minute corner was only half-cleared to Karl Henry on the edge of the area, he fed it back out wide to Milijas and his teasing ball was headed in by the unmarked Doyle at the near post. Schoolboy defending from Spurs.

There was nothing amateur about their response, though, as Defoe first fired a dipping shot into the roof of the net from 25 yards on the half-hour mark, after exchanging passes with Pavlyuchenko, before putting the visitors ahead with an equally exceptional curling effort when Stephen Ward’s attempted interception fell kindly to him on the edge of the area.

Wolves could count themselves extremely unfortunate to be behind but they responded in the best possible fashion by pulling level four minutes before half-time from the penalty spot.

Doyle’s 20-yard drive took a wicked deflection to send it into the path of the advancing Milijas at the back post, however the Serbia international’s shirt was clearly tugged by Alan Hutton.

Referee Mark Halsey made one correct decision in pointing to the penalty spot but, according to the letter of the law, the Scot should have been red-carded rather than booked after denying a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Yet Wolves were to remain level for just three minutes of the second half as Spurs served up the latest in their collection of sumptuous strikes.

This time Jermaine Jenas fed Pavlyuchenko before the Russian turned and unleashed a powerful left-foot drive into the roof of the Wolves net, although given it was down the middle of the goal, goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey will have been disappointed not to have done better.

It took an outstanding save in the 65th minute from Huerelho Gomes, at full stretch, to turn Milijas’ low drive against the right post, before Bale was introduced for midfielder Steven Pienaar on 69 minutes.

Confusion reigned in the 80th minute when Wolves thought they had levelled when Richard Stearman bundled a Milijas free-kick over the line only, for Halsey to adjudge he had fouled Gomes.

Then Defoe was denied a hat-trick when his close-range effort hit the post on 84 minutes and Spurs paid the price when Fletcher had the final say late on with a looping header that found the far corner of the net from Jarvis’ cross.

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