Harry Kane made his first appearance of the season for Tottenham as they claimed a 1-0 Premier League win on Nuno Espirito Santo’s return to Wolves.
The England captain was not involved in the opening two games of the season following his late return from holiday amid his desire to join Manchester City.
But with Spurs holding firm, he came on in the 72nd minute of a match that was decided by Dele Alli’s 10th-minute penalty.
Our second substitute of the afternoon!
🐺 0-1 🪐 (71’) pic.twitter.com/08nTDszndH
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 22, 2021
Alli struck home from 12 yards after he was fouled by Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa as Nuno’s side made it two 1-0 wins from two Premier League matches.
It is two 1-0 defeats for Wolves as Bruno Lage waits for his first points since becoming Nuno’s replacement, but there were positive signs as they dominated large parts of the game.
Adama Traore was their biggest threat, but he missed the biggest chance as he was denied by Hugo Lloris when through on goal.
Even though he is keen to leave, Kane would have loved to have been on the pitch as Spurs were awarded an early penalty.
Sergio Reguilon’s incisive throughball found Alli and as he tried rounding Sa, the Wolves goalkeeper wiped him out with Stuart Attwell pointing straight to the spot.
With Kane on the bench, Alli assumed responsibility from the spot and confidently sent Sa the wrong way to give his side the lead, with his first Premier League goal since March 2020.
That was Tottenham’s only shot on goal in the first half as Wolves completely dominated, with Traore causing mayhem down the left.
The winger has been linked with a move to Spurs and he showcased his strengths in style with a marauding display.
He had the pace and power to beat Japhet Tanganga and as he surged into the area, he picked out Joao Moutinho, whose first-time flick teed up Jimenez but the Mexico striker curled the ball just over from the edge of the area.
Lage’s side continued to pin Spurs back and they had plenty of dangerous moments but lacked any clear-cut chances that tested Lloris.
The France goalkeeper was forced into a low save from a Ruben Neves drive from distance as Tottenham survived until half-time.
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 22, 2021
The second half followed a similar pattern as Wolves pinned the visitors back and the chances began to rack up.
Lloris had to make a smart low save to keep out Francisco Trincao’s effort from Nelson Semedo’s cut-back before the keeper proved why he has managed 300 Premier League appearances for Spurs.
Eric Dier got caught in possession on the halfway line, Neves sent Traore clean through but Lloris stayed big and saved the one-on-one chance.
— Wolves (@Wolves) August 22, 2021
The away side were on the rack but had the chance to kill the game with a rare foray forward.
Lloris’ goal-kick sent Steven Bergwijn through on goal and the Dutchman forced Sa into a fine low save with a low curling shot and then got up quickly to block Son’s rebound before another Son shot was blocked.
With Spurs up against it, Kane was introduced in the 72nd minute for his first appearance of the campaign.
Visiting supporters greeted his arrival with a chant of ‘Harry Kane, he’s one of our own’ and he immediately improved his side.
He could have had a fairytale return to the side eight minutes after his arrival as he was played in after a brilliant piece of skill by Bergwijn, but his shot was saved by Sa from a narrow angle.
As Wolves pressed for an equaliser, chances opened at the other end for Tottenham as Dier had a header from a corner well saved and then Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had a shot blocked.
Kane went over to the Spurs fans at full-time to celebrate the win and was well received as his future remains up in the air.