SATURDAY 16th SEPTEMBER, 2017
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0(0) SWANSEA CITY 0(0)
Referee:- Mike Dean
Assistants:- Darren Cann & Ian Hussin
Fourth official:- Kevin Friend
Spurs (3-4-2-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Trippier, Sissoko (sub Aurier, 63), Dier, Son (sub Llorente, 74); Eriksen, Dele; Kane
Subs not used:- Vorm; Foyth, Davies; Dembele, Winks
Swansea (3-4-2-1):- Fabianksi; Van der Hoorn (sub Routledge, 85), Fernandez (Capt.), Mawson; Naughton, Clucas, Carroll, Olsson; Renato Sanchez (sub Fer, 58), Ayew; Abraham (sub Bony, 72)
Subs not used:- Nordfeldt; Rangel, Mesa, Narsingh
Booked:- Van der Hoorn (foul on Dele), Carroll (delaying throw-in), Routledge (foul on Trippier)
Spurs frustrated by Swansea's impenetrable dome.
This morning I gave renowned football journalist Gerry Cox stick on Twitter over the fact that he had predicted a draw in a match which I considered was a home "banker". Gerry was right, and I had to eat humble pie. Paul Clement's men formed a 10-man impenetrable dome in front of the Spurs attack, which dominated possession and had 26 shots to Swansea's 4, and Spurs were frustrated.
This will be regarded as a great tactical achievement, performance and result by a Swansea side already desperate for every point they can get, but Spurs are already five points behind the League leaders, and have to regard this day as a failure to cash in on their superiority and domination.
Mauricio Pochettino's team selection and lack of use of his substitutes should be called into question here. Obviously he needs to "manage the minutes" of his players, but he chose to play Son as a left wing-back, with Ben Davies not even getting off the bench. In fairness Son was primarily used in attack with the Spurs defence rarely bothered by sole front runner Tammy Abraham, but at the start of the second half, when Son was pushed forward, it was Trippier who played on the left side. Sissoko then played down the right side, but neither of them were going to go round the defence, which was required more than ever today, and only when Serge Aurier replaced Sissoko did we look like getting to the bye-line.
Full credit has to be given to Swansea, but Spurs needed to be more clever, and more direct at times. I was disappointed that Pochettino used only two of his substitutes, and would have liked to have seen Davies for Trippier on the left. What do I know? I predicted a 3-0 home win.
Swansea kicked off attacking the West end. I don't have a crowd figure yet, but it looked more than the number present for Wednesday night's Champions League game. the crowd has since been announced as 65,366, less than the Wednesday night figure of over 67,000.
After three minutes, an Eriksen cross/shot from the left could only be parried by Fabianski, but Dele put his shot wide. A couple of minutes later a poor Lloris clearance fell to the feet of Jordan Ayew, but his attempt on goal was even worse than the clearance, being well off target. Swansea only managed four shots on goal, none of which were on target - which is a rarity in itself in Premier League history.
Dele was fouled some 28 yards out and Harry Kane took the free kick, which was aimed around the wall, and only just went outside the keeper's left post. An Eriksen attempt was deflected and fell to Dele, whose shot lacked power and was held.
Former Spur Kyle Naughton was caught in front of Renato Sanches, and Spurs sought to take advantage down their left flank. Sissoko crossed inside to Son, whose effort was pushed into the side netting by Fabianski. After the corner, Sissoko had a quite woeful effort on goal. However, Son had a nice run in for the left,exchanging passes with both Eriksen and Dele, before hitting his shot wide.
Jan Vertonghen was fouled just outside the box and Eric Dier took this kick, which was way outside the target. Dele Alli was working hard, but so often had four Swansea players round him, and Swansea managed a break with Ayew coming off better against Davinson Sanchez, before passing inside to Tom Carroll, whose shot was wide.
An Eriksen cross was intended for Dele Alli, but put out for a corner. Our Sanchez win deserved applause for great strength at the back against Ayew, leading to another Spurs attack. Trippier fed Son whose pass into the 6 yard box was deflected away from Kane for a corner, after which Trippier had an effort, which also passed wide.
A rare Swansea corner, taken by Carroll, was headed over by Alfie Mawson. Vertonghen had a shot at goal as half-time loomed, but Fabianski held.
Spurs clearly had even more attacking intentions in the second half, with Son pushed up, and Trippier moved to the left. Sadly, the tale is a continuing one of more frustration for the home team, who have yet to win a "home" league game this season in three attempts.
Eriksen had a shot held, and when Trippier crossed deep from the left and the ball seemed to be handled by a Swansea defender, referee Mike Dean was not interested. Spurs would have a couple more appeals turned down too.
Sissoko crossed for Son, but his shot was too easy for Fabianski. Son and Sissoko combined towards the right and Harry Kane had a shot hit the bar. A follow-up shot by Alderweireld passed over the target. A lovely ball by Eriksen to Dele had Spurs appealing again for a penalty, to no avail. This one was for an alleged foul.
Sissoko was replaced by Aurier, and whilst the game remained more or less one-way traffic, there were times when Swansea had men forward, and I felt that Spurs could have taken advantage of rare space they left in the Swansea half.
Dele passed to Son who had a shot pushed into the side netting again, and a subsequent corner by Eriksen was met before the near post by Kane, but well saved by Fabianski. Dele headed wide from an Eriksen cross.
Lone, and exhausted, front runner Abraham was replaced by Wilfried Bony, given a rousing cheer by the travelling fans, who filled their section. Son was replaced by Llorente, but he hardly got a touch. Aurier got behind the defence, and his attempted cross seemed to be handled by Olsson at short range, but Spurs' appeals went unheeded.
Harry Kane seized a chance with space to shoot towards the left side of the area, but he put it just outside the keeper's right post. It had been a well struck shot.
Time was beginning to run out for Spurs, and following an Erksen corner from the right, Toby Alderweireld touched the ball to Vertonghen, who fired wide. Alderweireld took a third booking of the season late in the game, and I have to admit to not seeing what this was for.
Tom Carroll was booked for delaying a Spurs throw, and then when Aurier seemed to be fouled in the Swansea area, Mike Dean decided that Aurier had handled the ball (high on his arm) earlier in the challenge. In added time, following a corner, Kieran Trippier hit a powerful shot but this passed just outside Fabianski's right post. Aurier also went close, but Swansea held on to the bitter end with Spurs fans and their team mightily frustrated.
Next up is the Carabao Cup game on Tuesday night against Barnsley.
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