Tottenham suffer huge blow

Last Updated 29 December 2018, 18:53 IST

Tottenham’s Premier League title challenge suffered a huge blow as Wolves struck three times in the final 18 minutes to win 3-1 at Wembley as Cardiff and Fulham secured huge wins at the other end of the table on Saturday.

Spurs had the chance to close to within three points of league leaders Liverpool, but despite Harry Kane’s first-half wonder strike, Willy Boly, Raul Jimenez and Helder Costa instead condemned Mauricio Pochettino’s men to a fifth league defeat.

Fulham struck in stoppage time through Aleksandar Mitrovic to beat fellow strugglers Huddersfield 1-0 at Craven Cottage, while Cardiff also scored the only goal of the game in stoppage time to beat Leicester 1-0 thanks to Victor Camarasa’s long-range effort.

Liverpool can now open up a nine-point lead at the top when Arsenal visit Anfield later after Spurs’ terrific week turned sour.

Tottenham had smashed 11 goals past Everton and Bournemouth in the previous six days and Wolves also looked to be put to the sword by one moment of outstanding quality from Kane.

The England captain raced onto Son Heung-min’s pass and cut inside onto his weaker left foot, but still produced a powerful drive from 20 yards that beat Rui Patricio to move level with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the league’s top scorer on 13 goals.

However, the hosts failed to build on their lead before the break and were caught out by Wolves’ improvement after the break when Boly rose highest to meet Joao Moutinho’s corner.

Much has been made of Pochettino’s ability to extract the most from a stretched squad, but Spurs finally looked like a side jaded by competing on four fronts in the final stages as Wolves took full advantage on counter-attack. Jimenez put the visitors in front six minutes from time and three minutes later Helder Costa raced clear to score his first Premier League goal.

In an afternoon of few goals elsewhere as the strains of a hectic festive fixture list appeared to take their toll, Brighton also boosted their survival chances by beating Everton 1-0 on the south coast.

But Newcastle were denied a vital three points by Abdoulaye Doucoure’s late equaliser for Watford in a 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road.

Everton were unhappy with the nature of Jurgen Locadia’s controversial winner on the south cost as the Dutch striker had initially been flagged offside before firing into the roof of the net.

However, after consultation between the referee and his assistant, the goal was given as the ball rebounded into Locadia’s path via Everton midfielder Andre Gomes.

Richarlison hit the post as Everton tried to rally, but they remain in eighth, whilst Brighton 11 points clear of the drop zone.

Fulham are now just a point away from safety after Mitrovic saved Aboubakar Kamara’s blushes after the Frenchman had a late penalty saved by Jonas Lossl. A missed penalty was also the turning point at the King Power where Neil Etheridge saved James Maddison’s spot-kick for Leicester.

And the Welsh side snatched a first away win of the season in stoppage time when Camarasa unleashed a rocket to move Cardiff four points clear of the relegation zone.

(Published 29 December 2018, 18:49 IST)

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