You Gotta Feel Real Bad For Wolves After Controversial 3-2 Loss To Tottenham

A lot went against Wolverhampton as Spurs held on for all three points.

Wolverhampton Wanderers fell behind by three goals after an hour of play to Tottenham Hotspurs in a (weirdly late) Premier League match on Saturday. And yet, the underdog nearly found a way to come back to tie the match but for a Wolves disallowed goal and a referee who completely forgot the rules in a 3-2 Spurs win. 

Playing at home, Wolves didn’t back down from Tottenham, racking up more shots than Spurs, 16-10. But it was the visitors who dominated on the scoreboard, with Eric Lamela, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane all scoring in the first hour of play. 

Unfortunately for fans who want referees to make the right calls, VAR still isn’t in England, and it cost Wolves an historic comeback. 

Wolverhampton should have halved the deficit through Mexico international Raúl Jiménez in the 37th minute but for a shocking Wolves disallowed goal. 

None of the Wolverhampton players were offside at any point during the goal, yet the assistant referee incorrectly called it back for offside. It was worse than the call on Sadio Mané for Liverpool against Arsenal earlier in the day, but yet another example of the stupidity of the English Premier League, which remains one of the few major leagues without VAR.

While Spurs fans might argue Wolves were fortunate to be awarded two penalty kicks in the second half to pull within 3-2 (Rúben Neves scoring the first and Jiménez converting the second), both calls were legit penalty kicks. 

Wolverhampton pushed everything forward in the final minutes to try to find an equalizer but were hampered by the referee completely forgetting the rules of the game. With Wolves awarded a throw-in on the left wing in the dying moments, Moussa Sissoko stood directly in front of Neves, preventing him from taking the throw. 

Neves ultimately tried to throw the ball in as the final seconds ticked away, hitting Sissoko. The referee, for some reason, awarded another throw-in for Wolves, instead of an indirect free kick, as the rules dictate. Sissoko also should’ve been shown a yellow card.

This call wasn’t on VAR but center referee Mike Dean. A Premier League ref should know the rules, which state:

“An opponent who unfairly distracts or impedes the thrower (including moving closer than 2 m (2 yds) to the place where the throw-in is to be taken) is cautioned for unsporting behaviour and if the throw-in has been taken an indirect free kick is awarded.”

Not having VAR is one thing, as it’s out of the control of the officials on the field, who just made a mistake. Not knowing the rules is inexcusable. 

Would Wolves have scored on the indirect free kick? Who knows. But they should’ve been given the chance. And if justice were truly served, it would have been a chance to win the match instead of trying to equalize. 

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