The Roar
The Roar


'I'm not a magician': Ange's Spurs warning after Wolves loss, Liverpool win at a cost, Gunners continue goal spree, City slip up

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17th February, 2024

Ange Postecoglou has warned no magic wand will get Tottenham’s Premier League top-four tilt back on track after they suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Wolves.

Spurs had returned to fourth position with a last-gasp victory over Brighton last weekend but were leapfrogged on Saturday by Aston Villa, who won at Fulham. 

Joao Gomes headed Wolves into a deserved lead after 42 minutes and, while Dejan Kulusevski levelled 34 seconds after the restart for Tottenham, Gomes grabbed his second after an excellent solo run by Pedro Neto with 63 minutes on the clock. 

It consigned the hosts to a frustrating defeat and they have now failed to score in the first half of their last five home matches. 

“We will work hard, we’ve got two weeks to prepare for our next game (against Crystal Palace) and there’s no point feeling sorry for ourselves,” Postecoglou insisted. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 17: Ange Postecoglou, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur, looks dejected as Heung-Min Son of Spurs walks off after the team's defeat during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on February 17, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Ange Postecoglou looks dejected as Heung-Min Son walks off. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

“You take the blows and you’ve got to move on irrespective of what’s happened in the past. You’ve got to make sure you’re ready for the next game. 

“There’s no tricks, it’s hard work. I’m not a magician, I’m a football manager. It’s hard work which these guys have done all year. 


“Like I said, we’ve got to this point which is pretty decent on the back of some hard work and that’s what we’ll keep doing.” 

Spurs were without first-choice full-backs Pedro Porro and Destiny Udogie and struggled to break Wolves down in the opening 45 minutes with home goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario making fine saves to deny Nelson Semedo and Pablo Sarabia either side of Gomes heading in a corner by Sarabia. 

Tottenham came out firing after the break, like they had done in recent wins over Brentford and Brighton, with Kulusevski equalising after he dribbled past Craig Dawson and poked under Jose Sa. 

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Postecoglou’s team were beginning to build a head of steam but Wolves remained a threat on the break and, after Vicario denied Sarabia in the 56th minute, the visitors’ second arrived six minutes later. 

Yves Bissouma lost possession after a Spurs corner and Neto carried the ball half the length of the pitch before he cut back and teed up Gomes, who slammed home for his second of the afternoon. 

A raft of attacking players were thrown on by Postecoglou, but Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, Toti and Neto all squandered promising positions for Wolves before Ben Davies headed wide deep into stoppage-time for Tottenham to ensure Gary O’Neil’s side completed the double over the north London outfit.


Meanwhile, big wins for Liverpool and Arsenal feel even bigger after Manchester City lost ground in the race for the English Premier League title. 

Leaders Liverpool won at Brentford 4-1 on Saturday while Arsenal routed Burnley 5-0 before City were held by Chelsea to 1-1. 

There is still a lot of soccer to come, and City have a game in hand, but a rare slip by the defending champions could prove to be a key moment in the league. 

It took a deflected strike from Rodri in the 83rd minute for City to salvage the draw after former player Raheem Sterling gave Chelsea a first-half lead.

“We have enough experience to know it’s just the beginning of the last part of the season,” Rodri said. 

Liverpool and Arsenal have suffered the pain of going head to head with City for previous league crowns and know the importance of capitalising on any mis-step.


Liverpool twice missed out on the title to City by a single point in recent years, while Arsenal imploded at the end of last season.

Despite dropping points, City still extended their unbeaten run to 15 games in all competitions, having won 11 in a row before Chelsea.

City fell four points behind Liverpool and two off second-placed Arsenal.

Talismanic striker Mohamed Salah, back after a month out with a hamstring issue, scored the third of Liverpool’s goals but beating Brentford came at a cost as the team’s injury concerns piled up.

First-half injuries to Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota threaten to leave Jurgen Klopp’s squad further stretched in their four-pronged trophy pursuit. 

Jota was taken from the field on a stretcher with an apparent knee issue, while Jones was hurt after being hit above his ankle. 

Liverpool were already without goalkeeper Alisson, who was hurt in training on Friday, as well as Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago Alcantara and Dominik Szoboszlai.


Klopp’s team made light work of Brentford and raced 3-0 ahead through goals from Nunez and Alexis Mac Allister and Salah. Ivan Toney pulled one back for Brentford before substitute Cody Gakpo got Liverpool’s fourth.

After hammering West Ham 6-0 last week, Arsenal produced another rout at Burnley’s expense. Bukayo Saka scored twice at Turf Moor, while Martin Odegaard, Leandro Trossard and Kai Havertz were also on target in the 5-0 win.

It was a sixth straight win for Arsenal and the third time in that sequence that it has scored five or more goals.

For City, Erling Haaland missed a header from close range to cap a frustrating game against Chelsea for the Norway striker.

In total, he had nine shots without scoring. That is the first time he has had so many shots without success since joining City from Borussia Dortmund in 2022. 


Not that manager Pep Guardiola seemed concerned. 

“I played 11 years and scored 11 goals so I can’t give too much advice to Erling,” Guardiola said. “The next one he will score.” 

The race for the top four was tightening. 

While it looks like being a shootout between Liverpool, City and Arsenal for the title, the battle for Champions League qualification could also make tense viewing. 

Aston Villa moved back up to fourth after winning at Fulham 2-1, and Tottenham lost at home to Wolves 2-1. 

Just two points separate Villa and Spurs, while Manchester United could boost their chances of a top four finish by beating Luton on Sunday.


Sixth-placed United have won their last three in the league and could move to within three points of Tottenham with a win at Kenilworth Road.

Newcastle’s problems at home continued when they had to twice come from behind to draw with Bournemouth 2-2 at St James’ Park. 

Seventh-placed Newcastle were a point ahead of West Ham after the London side suffered a third straight defeat, 2-0 at relegation-fighting Nottingham Forest.