The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

Sarabia and Lemina hit Spurs with a late salvo


Ange Postecoglo­u insists Tottenham must accept the pain of defeat after Wolves’ stunning late show.

Pablo Sarabia and Mario Lemina scored in stoppage time to cap an astonishin­g finish, seal victory and deny Spurs top spot.

Brennan Johnson’s first Tottenham goal had given them an early lead and they were set to move two points clear at the summit despite riding their luck for much of the game.

But, instead, Spurs have suffered successive defeats following Monday’s 4-1 loss to Chelsea.

Postecoglo­u said: “It’s part of the pain of football when things happen in those circumstan­ces. You’ve just got to take it. I can’t fault the players’ effort or their commitment.

“It was always going to be a tough game.

“We started well, but we could have been a little bit more positive and aggressive with the ball. I’ve got to temper that with the fact we have had so many changes and we’re not going to get the same, especially when three of your back four are almost starting for the first time.

“We’ve had a particular­ly settled line-up. You could see they were feeling it towards the end.

“For the most part Wolves didn’t have many big chances, but at the end they scored.

“Wolves were able to lift themselves, particular­ly with the crowd behind them.

“The character and commitment was there, don’t dismiss that. The guys have played their first game of the year and you are changing three of the back four so it’s fairly disruptive. There are plenty of positives to take.”

Johnson gave Spurs, without injured pair James Maddison and

Spurs’ Eric Dier heads clear.

Micky van de Ven until January, a third-minute lead but, from then, Wolves took control. Their tenacity and determinat­ion left Tottenham struggling, but the hosts’ final ball let them down.

Tottenham looked like they would hang on, but sub Sarabia, on the pitch for just two minutes, levelled, but Wolves wanted more and got it in the seventh minute of stoppage time, from Lemina.

Tottenham took the lead after just three minutes.

It was poor from Wolves, Rayan Ait-Nouri and Joao Gomes were hoodwinked by Dejan Kulusevski’s cute drag and flick which allowed Pedro Porro to cross low for Johnson.

He had run on the blindside of Nelson Semedo and, with the defender caught out, tapped in from close range.

It was the Wales internatio­nal’s first goal since April – which also came against Wolves.

Far from being shell-shocked, the hosts responded well and Ben Davies blocked a shot from the rampaging Ait-Nouri as Wolves’ tenacity left Spurs flustered.

Goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario saved well from Lemina, before the midfielder had a header deflect over and the goalkeeper also gathered Toti Gomes’ effort in stoppage time.

Wolves emerged after the break in the same combative fashion and Jean-Ricner Bellegarde ballooned over with Matheus Cunha also curling wide.

The hosts were getting closer and should have levelled after 54 minutes when Hwang Hee-Chan missed a golden chance.

A poor corner eventually fell to Gomes and his shot deflected into the path of Hwang but, with just Vicario to beat, he scuffed wide.

The hosts’ dominance had nullified Spurs, but they were still behind and their desperatio­n for a leveller began to leave spaces, with Johnson curling wide.

Wolves looked to be running out of ideas with time ticking by, although Sasa Kalajdzic headed over, and Giovani Lo Celso almost snatched an undeserved second with two minutes left, but home stopper Jose Sa turned his effort over.

Little suggested the drama to come, but Wanderers then turned the game on its head in stoppage time.

O’Neil’s side finally got the leveller they deserved when sub Sarabia, on the pitch for just two minutes, collected Cunha’s clipped ball and smashed past Vicario.

Then, in the seventh minute of stoppage time, Sarabia was sent scampering after a quick free-kick and he found Lemina to turn in and send Molineux wild.

Boss Gary O’Neil said: “It was the most proud I have been of a group I have coached, to produce what they produced against a top side.

“I would have been very proud of the group even if the game had finished 1-0 to Tottenham. I spoke to the boys at half-time, that the scoreline was irrelevant.

“We were the better side, don’t let the scoreline dictate how you feel.

“I try to make the team resemble me but I was never good enough to produce a performanc­e like that.

“To be 12 weeks in, we’re ahead of where we expected to be.

“There was a lot of noise around the place about how much of a struggle it might be but we’ve beaten Man City and Spurs, the top two, early on in the transition. We’re ahead of the curve.”

REF WATCH: Mad last few minutes for TIM ROBINSON who suddenly went card crazy.

MARIO LEMINA was a dominant force in central midfield for Wolves and it was he who grabbed a late, late winner for the hosts.

Sub Pablo Sarabia’s leveller just as the game ticked over 90 minutes sparked a late surge from Wolves who then went on to seal the win.

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