Premier League - Wolves salvage point

Sun, 06 Mar 17:57:00 2011

Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur shared the points in a thrilling 3-3 Premier League draw at Molineux.

Match Highlights: Wolves 3

Kevin Doyle and Jermain Defoe both scored twice in the first half of this open and even contest, but their respective braces were very different.

Roman Pavlyuchenko scored what looked, for a long time, likely to be the winner soon after half-time - and Wolves' luck looked spent when they had a goal contentiously disallowed 10 minutes from time for a foul on Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes.

However, substitute Steven Fletcher levelled with three minutes of normal time remaining to secure a point each which, in the cold light of day, does neither side much good.

Spurs missed the chance to move up to fourth in the table and they are level on points with Chelsea - the champions travel to Blackpool on Monday - while Wolves remain in the relegation zone, two points from safety.

The excitement on the field and the draw, however, were a fitting tribute to former Spurs and Wolves defender Dean Richards, who died at the age of 36 last week and was remembered in touching fashion before kick-off.

Doyle, who scored the only goal in the meeting between these two sides at White Hart Lane last season, gave the visitors a lead their ambition and work ethic warranted on 20 minutes.

As so many other sides have been, Spurs were undone by a Wolves set-piece. After repelling Matt Jarvis's initial corner, Karl Henry played the ball back out to the winger, who this time bent in an inviting delivery which Doyle glanced past Gomes.

Spurs sought an immediate reply, and after Steven Pienaar hit the side netting and Luka Modric fired wide, they got it on the half-hour mark. Pavlyuchenko twisted and turned on the edge of the box before Defoe curled a well-struck finish into the near top corner.

It was the England striker's first Premier League goal of the season, and after waiting for over 950 minutes of action for his first, his second arrived just five minutes later.

This time it was Modric who linked up with Defoe, and he curled an even better finish round Wayne Hennessey and into the same corner as his first. That strike represented Defoe's 99th goal of his Premier League career and the same number for Tottenham in all competitions.

Wolves could rightfully feel hard done by that they had fallen behind, but they were given the chance to level five minutes from half-time when Alan Hutton pulled down Nenad Milijas inside the box. Referee Mark Halsey showed Hutton a yellow card, although the Scotsman was surely the last man. Doyle calmly sent Gomes the wrong way as he rolled into the net his fifth league goal of the season.

Pavlyuchenko had Spurs ahead once more in the match soon after the restart when Jermaine Jenas steered Benoit Assou-Ekotto's long ball into his path, and the Russian lashed his finish past Hennessey.

Wolves continued to show the spirit and guile that is so at odds with their league position as they took their turn to fight back from a goal down. Stephen Ward headed a Jarvis cross wide before Milijas had a clinically struck effort from range tipped on to the post by Gomes.

With the midweek Champions League clash against Milan in mind, Harry Redknapp started with both Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon on the bench, but both were introduced as the half wore on.

Bale, who had been missing for several games with a back injury, looked particularly sharp and was a threat whenever he was allowed to run at the Wolves backline.

The Welshman forced a save from compatriot Hennessey, but only after Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Fletcher had fired off target.

Wolves thought they were level on 80 minutes when Richard Stearman jumped with Gomes, forcing the keeper to fumble Milijas's free-kick and see it drop into the net - but Halsey's whistle for a foul on the Brazilian went unnoticed as the home side entered rapturous celebrations.

However, they were not to be defeated; moments after Defoe was denied his hat-trick by the frame of the goal, Wolves drew level when Fletcher glanced another lethal Jarvis cross past Gomes.

Tony Mabert / Eurosport

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