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Premier League

  • January 14, 2012
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • White Hart Lane, London
  • Referee: M. Jones
  • • Attendance: 36194

Tottenham 1-1 Wolves: Luka Modric hits equalizer but Fletcher opener means Spurs suffer dropped points in title race

Harry Redknapp's side missed a chance to join Manchester City at the top of the Premier League as they drew with Mick McCarthy's side as Croat and Scot find the net in stalemate

Tottenham spurned its chance to join Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table as it was held to a 1-1 draw against Wolves at White Hart Lane with Luka Modric and Steven Fletcher grabbing the goals.

The Scot gave the visitors a surprise lead in the first half tapping home from close range after Roger Johnson’s header was parried by Brad Friedel into the six yard box. Spurs responded in the second half after peppering the Wolves goal with shots until Luka Modric fired a 20-yard effort past Wayne Hennessey to get them back into the game. The home side pressed forward looking for a winner but couldn’t beat the inspired visitors defence and keeper Hennessey as Mick McCarthy’s side held on to gain a precious point.

Harry Redknapp made one change to his side that beat Everton 2-0 in midweek, with Scott Parker replacing Jake Livermore in central midfield as the England international returned from the knee injury that ruled him out of the clash with the Toffees.

Meanwhile, Wolves made six changes from the team that drew 0-0 in the FA Cup tie against Birmingham last week. Kevin Foley, Emmanuel Frimpong, Matt Jarvis, David Edwards, Fletcher and Hennessey all came into the side. They replaced, Dorus De Vries, Richard Stearman, Eggert Jonsson, Stephen Hunt, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Kevin Doyle.

Tottenham started the game brightly and could have gone ahead in the fifth minute following a good move down the right involving Kyle Walker and Aaron Lennon, as the latter found Luka Modric on the edge of the visitors box onl for the Croat’s right footed effort to go just past post.

The home side was dominating possession, though it was struggling to make inroads into the Wolves area as Spurs faced some resolute defending from McCarthy’s side.

Redknapp’s side was made to pay for its lack of a clinical edge when Wolves took the lead through Fletcher in the 21st minute as the Scot pounced from close range on a rebound from Brad Friedel’s save from Roger Johnson’s header from a contentious corner for the visitors.

The visitors should have doubled their lead when Edwards was found unmarked in the Tottenham area by Jarvis following good work by the winger and Fletcher down the left but the midfielder couldn’t direct his shot goalward.

Spurs thought they’d got their equalizer when Emmanuel Adebayor converted from close range after latching onto Gareth Bale’s goal-bound effort only for the goal to be disallowed for offside.

Replays showed the striker was played onside by Foley and the Welshman’s shot looked to be going in anyway to further compound Tottenham’s woes.

At the start of the second half things nearly got worse for Redknapp’s side which was grateful to Friedel, who produced an excellent save to deny Frimpong, whose volley seemed destined for the net until the veteran stopper reacted quickly and palmed the ball to safety.

This save proved to be crucial as Tottenham equalized minutes later through Modric, who hit a sublime 20-yard effort from the edge of the area which went through several players before beating Hennessey who should done better to keep the ball out.

Following their equalizerm Spurs were in full flow and should have taken the lead through Lennon after Modric’s shot was parried by Hennessey leaving an empty net for the winger to shoot into, but he could only hit his effort straight at the Welshman.

Tottenham began to force the issue but couldn’t carve out the clear cut opening they needed as Bale, Adebayor and Modric all came close to putting their team in the lead with half-chances but they couldn’t beat Hennessey and the determined Wolves defense.

The visitors' keeper again denied Tottenham its second, this time using his body to deny Jermain Defoe, whose blistering left-footed volley flew past defenders and seemed destined to burst the net until the 24-year-old blocked the ball from crossing the line.

Spurs kept on going forward in search of a winning goal but couldn’t find the elusive breakthrough and missed the chance to join Manchester City at the top of the Premier League as Wolves gained a valuable point in their quest for survival.

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