For the first 45 minutes they were outplayed. For the second they were outstanding.
Wonderful Wolves at their wonderful best bringing down the curtain on 2018 in typically spectacular style.
Taking into account the opposition, the surroundings and the storm weathered in the early moments of this contest, it must be viewed as the finest result of the year.
Talk about saving the best for last.
When Harry Kane dropped the hammer there was a sense of the inevitable and as they continued to pour forward at will, I was gearing up for damage limitation.
Adama Traore was the only out ball and despite some neat footwork and the occasional blast of the turbo, no actual chances were created for anyone wearing gold in a routine first half for the hosts.
When our record signing came off on the hour you’d have been forgiven for thinking our chances of laying a glove on title chasing Spurs followed him down the tunnel.
But the introduction of Helder Costa and perhaps more tellingly Joao Moutinho changed the game. Wolves were suddenly the more assured in possession and controlling the play on the generous Wembley pitch.
It certainly helps when you’ve got a giant to head in set pieces, but if Boly’s goal was routine there was nothing straightforward about Raul Jimenez’s smart finish.
The Mexican was again exceptional in leading the line singlehandedly and his nutmegged, thread the needle goal was a moment of genius. What a sensational signing he has been.
Costa by contrast has found the going tougher of late but his match clinching strike – and first in the Premier League – should skyrocket his confidence levels heading into the new year.
Whether or not there’s significance to the claims of ‘we’re tired’ by Poch and co, the fact is they were outplayed in the second half and punished for complacency.
Wolves built up momentum, gradually dominated the ball and were simply rewarded with the goals their approach play warranted.
With 8 shots in the second half and zip from Spurs, there can be no discrediting the result.
As it was last December, it’s been a phenomenal month with four wins collected from six games and all the important questions addressed:
Can we use the squad?
Can we tweak the system?
Can we take enough of the chances?
Yes, yes and yes again.
Marry all that to technical ability, tactical intelligence, organisation, resilience, character and a growing belief that they belong amongst the very best and it makes for formidable opposition.
I’m not sure what 2019 has in store, but after a day like today – I can’t wait to find out.
Happy New Year!