(Modric – 51)
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
(Fletcher – 22)
Tottenham suffered a shock slip-up in the title race after having to come from behind to secure a point at home to a well organised Wolverhampton Wanderers side.
Luka Modric’s second half strike was enough to cancel out Steve Fletcher’s first half opener but the home side were left to rue a number of missed opportunities and fail to close the gap on the league leaders.
Harry Redknapp made just one change from the mid-week 2-0 win over Everton, Scott Parker playing his first game of the calendar year at the expense of Jake Livermore.
Croatian schemer Modric was at the forefront of the home side’s early attacking threat, firing in a number of half-chances as Spurs looked to keep the heat on Manchester City at the top of the table.
However, it Mick McCarthy’s side that took the initiative after just 22 minutes. The ball appeared to roll out of play for a Spurs goal-kick but the referee signalled for a corner.
Wolves captain Roger Johnson rose highest to meet Matt Jarvis’ floated ball and despite Brad Friedel clawing out the 28-year-old’s headed effort, the ball landed at Fletcher’s feet and the in-form front-man made no mistake from six-yards out.
The goal seemed to shock Spurs and despite sparking Redknapp’s side into life, the players failed to grind out any real clear-cut opportunities.
Gareth Bale fired straight at Wayne Hennessey, Rafael Van der Vaart blasted over before Bale and Modric failed to break the stubborn Wolves back-four.
Wolves threatened on the counter and goalscorer Fletcher sliced wide from 16-yards as the half wore on.
Spurs managed to put the ball in the back of the net but Emmanuel Adebayor’s effort was chalked-off for offside despite replays proving otherwise.
The second half kicked off in similar fashion but it was Wolves who got the first notable effort of the second 45 minutes, on-loan Emmanuel Frimpong stinging Friedel’s palms with a sharp volley.
Yet, it wasn’t long before Spurs made their possession count, dragging themselves back into the encounter in the 51st minute. Bale picked out Adebayor with a throw-in before the Togolese forward found Van der Vaart. He, in-turn, rolled in Modric and his effort zipped through a crowd of players and past Hennessey to level matters on the day.
However, the Wolves shot-stopper was on-hand to deny Modric and Lennon, Van der Vaart curled a free-kick just wide and Michael Dawson, despite connecting well from Modric’s corner, saw the ball fly a yard over the bar.
Kyle Walker volleyed just inches wide before substitute Jermain Defoe, thrown into action with 17 minutes left to play, was denied by the ever impressive Hennessey.
The final chance of the game fell to Van der Vaart deep into injury time but his free-kick curled just a yard over the woodwork before the referee blew up for full-time.
What Redknapp had to say.
“If we can make the top four this year, it will be a fantastic achievement for us. It will be great to again have Champions League football at Tottenham,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.
“That is the aim. That is what we have got to try to do – make sure we again get that Champions League spot. Anything above that will be a bonus.”
Man of the match
Scott Parker returned to the starting XI for his first game of 2012 and put in an all-action display in the middle of the park as the England midfielder looked to provide the spark in a standard dogged display from the summer signing.
Moment of the match
Emmanuel Adebayor’s strike at the end of the first-half looked offside originally, but replays have now shown he was played onside by Wolves left-back Kevin Foley. The goal could have been enough to have seen Spurs take all three points especially with the referee set to blow up for half-time.