Tottenham Hotspur was defeated for the third time in the Premier League on Sunday, as Raul Jimenez and Leander Dendoncker scored in the first half to give Wolverhampton Wanderers a 2-0 away win and move them into the seventh position.
After losing 3-2 at home to Southampton in midweek, Tottenham desperately needed response to boost their top-four ambitions, but defensive errors cost them, dear.
Jimenez volleyed in after six minutes following a panicky punched clearance by Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris and the Frenchman hardly covered himself in glory when Dendoncker doubled Wolves' lead 12 minutes later.
Lloris redeemed himself a little to prevent Wolves from adding to their advantage before the break but Tottenham left the pitch at halftime to boos on a rain-sodden north London afternoon.
Tottenham improved in the second half but the closest they came was a deflected Harry Winks shot against the post.
Tottenham needed a comeback after losing 3-2 at home to Southampton in midweek to keep their top-four hopes alive, but defensive blunders cost them dearly.
After a panicked punched clearance by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, Jimenez volleyed in after six minutes, and the Frenchman was barely covered in glory when Dendoncker increased Wolves' lead 12 minutes later.
Lloris made amends by preventing Wolves from extending their lead before the interval, but Tottenham was booed off the ground at halftime on a rainy North London afternoon.
Tottenham improved in the second half, although their best chance came from a Harry Winks deflected attempt that hit the post.
Wolves were fairly comfortable though and leapfrogged Tottenham into seventh place with 37 points, only three behind fourth-placed West Ham United who plays at Leicester City later.
Tottenham slip to eighth with 36 points.
When the Premier League resumed this week after a short winter interlude, Tottenham looked well-placed to challenge for a top-four finish as they have games in hand of their rivals.
Antonio Conte was undefeated in his first nine league games as Tottenham manager having taken charge in November, but the optimism that runs induced is fading fast. It is the first time Conte has lost three league games in a row since his days managing Atalanta in November 2009.
Wolves, on the other hand, were very comfortable and moved into the seventh position with 37 points, only three points behind fourth-placed West Ham United, who play at Leicester City later.
Tottenham is now in ninth place with 36 points.
Tottenham seemed well-positioned to contend for a top-four finish when the Premier League began this week after a brief winter break, given they have games in hand on their opponents.
Antonio Conte was unbeaten in his first nine league games as Tottenham manager after taking over in November, but the excitement generated by that run is quickly dissipating. Conte hasn't lost three league games in a row since taking over as manager of Atalanta in November 2009.
Bruno Lage is a rock-solid performer. Wolves, on the other hand, appear capable of pursuing European qualification, and their away fans will be hoping for a top-four finish.
Conte made three changes to the team that lost to Southampton, replacing Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg with Rodrigo Bentancur and Emerson Royal and Sergio Reguilon with Matt Doherty and Ryan Sessegnon on the flanks.
Tottenham's defence, on the other hand, was once again a shambles.
Lloris made a poor pass to Ben Davies, whose clearance went straight to a Wolves player. When the ball was played to Daniel Podence, his deflected shot hit the post, and Dendoncker bundled in the ensuing scramble.
Sessegnon was replaced by Dejan Kulusevski just before halftime, but Spurs continued to make errors. Podence forced a fantastic save from Lloris after a bad pass by Winks.
After the break, Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa denied Harry Kane as Tottenham pressed but couldn't break through a Wolves defence that has only conceded 17 goals in 23 league games.
After saving a Ruben Neves shot, Lloris flimsily punched away Dendoncker's follow-up straight to Jimenez, who volleyed the ball back into the net.
Son Heung-min squandered a one-on-one opportunity to draw Wolves level, and Wolves quickly increased their lead.
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