Spurs return to winning ways with home win over Swansea
22:15 04 March 2015
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Tottenham bounced back from their Capital Cup final defeat to Chelsea with a much-needed 3-2 home win over Swansea in the Premier League at White Hart Lane.
Nacer Chadli struck in the seventh minute, which was immediately followed by a worrying hiatus when Swansea’s Bafetimbi Gomis collapsed and was stretchered off.
The visitors went on to equalise as Ki Sung-Yeung capitalised on a mistake from Jan Vertonghen, but Spurs struck twice in nine second-half minutes as Ryan Mason scored his first league goal for the Lilywhites and Andros Townsend struck after running from the halfway line.
Tottenham still had to endure a nervous finish as their former player Gylfi Sigurdsson reduced the arrears in the 89th minute, and Hugo Lloris was forced into a crucial save in injury-time, but Spurs held on. They sit six points outside the top four spots but hold a game in hand, which will be played away at QPR on Saturday.
Mauricio Pochettino named an unchanged line-up from the side that had started against Chelsea in Sunday’s cup final.
The match was preceded by a minute’s applause for Tottenham legend Dave Mackay, who passed away aged 80 on Monday. Club legends lined the pitch while Mauricio Pochettino’s players wore black armbands as a mark of respect for the former captain.
Spurs made the perfect start, taking the lead in just the seventh minute as Danny Rose delivered an arcing cross into the box and Chadli coolly directed a side-footed volley past the despairing dive of Lukasz Fabianski.
There was then concern all around the ground as Swansea’s Gomis collapsed on the edge of the centre circle before the restart, resulting in an anxious pause as medical staff attended to him. Eventually, after more than five minutes, the forward was stretchered off, conscious but receiving oxygen.
The visitors equalised soon after the match recommenced. Sigurdsson hit the post with a free kick and, moments later, Vertonghen clumsily allowed Ki to beat him near the by-line and slot through Lloris’ legs from a tight angle.
The Swans then settled in to defend inside their own half, which they did effectively, denying Spurs’ creative players space and getting their bodies in the way of any shots. Nabil Bentaleb tried his luck from distance but his effort was comfortable for Fabianski.
Chadli, Christian Eriksen and Townsend moved around in a bid to find space and stay elusive, but they were largely trying to operate in the same central areas and the visitors were content with that plan.
Swansea had the first sight of goal in the second half as Lloris palmed Jonjo Shelvey’s powerful strike over the bar, but Tottenham responded as Kane headed wide from Rose’s cross – and the hosts then regained their lead in the 51st minute.
Rose’s dinked pass opened up the midfield, giving Eriksen the chance to drive forward to the edge of the box, and the ball deflected into the path of the onrushing Mason, who fired home.
It was 3-0 on the hour-mark after an individual piece of brilliance from Townsend. When Bentaleb was fouled when winning a header on the edge of his own box, referee Michael Oliver played the advantage and Townsend beat his man on the halfway line before roaring up the left wing, cutting inside and whipping the ball into the far corner.
Spurs seemed to be coasting to victory, and substitute Ronerto Soldado went close on two occasions, sending a flicked header narrowly wide of the far post and then sliding in to meet Ben Davies’ low cross but narrowly failing to reach it.
Instead, Swansea reduced the deficit in the 89th minute as Jefferson Montero beat Kyle Walker and crossed for Sigurdsson, who fired home and set up a nervy finish.
Suddenly Spurs were having to defend for their lives, surviving a goalmouth scramble and then a header on goal, which forced a full-stretch diving save from Lloris moments before the final whistle, which was greeted with relief.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose (Davies 78), Bentaleb, Mason, Townsend (Dembele 64), Eriksen, Chadli, Kane (Soldado 76)