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Swansea v Spurs, 14.12.14


Swansea scorer:-
Bony, 48

Spurs scorers:-
Kane, 4
Eriksen, 89

Attendance:- 20,650

Referee:- Robert Madley
Assistants:- D Cann & M Scholes
Fourth official:- A Taylor

Swansea (4-2-3-1):- Tremmel; Rangel (sub Richards, 70), Bartley, Williams (Capt.), Taylor; Britton (sub Shelvey, 55), Ki Sung-Yeung; Routledge, Sigurdsson, Montero; Bony (sub Gomis, 85)

Subs not used:- Cornell; Amat; Emnes, Dyer

Booked:- Ki Sung-Yeung (foul on Mason), Taylor (foul on Walker), Bartley (foul on Vertonghen)

Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Walker, Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies; Mason (sub Stambouli, 70), Bentaleb; Lamela (sub Chadli, 83), Kane, Eriksen; Soldado (sub Dembele, 56)

Subs not used:- Vorm; Rose, Chiriches; Townsend

Booked:- Walker (Handball), Vertonghen (foul on Routledge), Mason (foul on Britton), Stambouli (Handball)

Spurs sneak a late win yet again!

For the fourth time (so far) this season, Spurs won away from home, thanks to a late, late winning goal. For the second time, that goal was scored by Christian Eriksen, whose goal had given us our last away win at Hull, where, incidentally, Harry Kane also scored Spurs’ first goal. Today’s opener was our second fastest of the season, coming in the fourth minute. Whether Spurs deserved all three points against a home side which looked sharper and hungrier than us for so much of the game is another matter. At the end of the day, as we all know, it’s goals that count, and Spurs have three points in the bag, which carry us back up to seventh place, within reach of those pursuing another season in Europe next year.

There was just one change to the starting line-up for Spurs today. That was the welcome return to League action for Kyle Walker, who played 90 minutes (well, 96 to be precise, including time added at the end of each half), who looked up to speed and just about back into his usual form.

There were two ex-Spurs (Routledge and Sigurdsson) in the Swansea team, and one ex-Swan in our starting line-up, with Michel Vorm on the Spurs bench too. Ben Davies was not subjected to any noticeable negativity from the home fans. I expected Siggy to steal the show, but he was not Swansea’s star, although, he, Routledge and the other attacking midfielder Jefferson Montero, all linked up well with Wilfried Bony, who looked sharp and threatening whenever in receipt of the ball, and whenever attacking Hugo Lloris’s goal.

The weather was quite abysmal for the journey down to Swansea; during the game; and most of the way back, with steady driving rain falling throughout. Spurs won a free kick out on the right, when Lamela was fouled. Eriksen took the kick and a corner ensued from Soldado’s blocked effort. From the corner, taken by Eriksen from the right, Harry Kane rose high towards the back post, and headed home past Tremmell, covering in goal for the suspended Fabianski.

After 8 minutes, we saw the first real threat by the home side, with Sigurdsson and Routledge combining, and providing the opportunity for Bony, who had got the better of Fazio just inside the box. Thankfully, Lloris saved the resulting shot. Kyle Walker took an early booking, and the referee, Mr Madley, who we have not encountered before, was not at all reluctant to wave a card from the outset.

Spurs won the ball in the midfield after 17 minutes, and Eriksen spread the play to Ben Davies getting forward on the left. Davies’ cross/shot was held by Tremmell. A minute later, Harry Kane hit a good right foot effort, after more good passing play by Spurs down the left side.

There was plenty of defending needed though, and it was Davies who made a terrific saving tackle inside the Spurs area, just as Bony was about to pull the trigger. Bony soon received a cross from Rangel. Lloris saved the shot, but Bony was offside anyway. Vertonghen and Mason both went in the book before half-time, both for fouls. On the plus side, Mason won a ball in the middle, passing to Kane who threaded a ball to Soldado towards the right of the area. His cross was cleared.

Another Rangel cross was met by Bony, but his shot was very strongly blocked for a corner. Swansea had their tails up after the break, and they were soon level. Routledge crossed from the right, and Bony’s first effort was blocked by Fazio, with Lloris close at hand. However, the rebound fell to Bony, who fired home.

Montero and Taylor combined on the left and crossed for Bony, but Lloris held the attempt on goal. Soldado, who had been mostly ineffective today, was replaced by Dembele, allowing Kane to take over as the main striker. Well, only striker, actually! Montero won a cheap corner on the left, from which Ki Sung-Yeung headed over. At the other end, Dembele found Mason with a short pass, and Ryan hit a good shot, which was deflected for a corner on the right.

Bentaleb fought hard and won the ball on the left, touching it to Kane, who hit a long range effort wide of the far post. Slick passing by Swansea led to an effort by Sigurdsson at the back post, but that went wide. Generally, I felt that Swansea’s passing was more accurate, whereas Spurs often played percentage passes, which too often did not come off. Spurs also have a nasty habit of passing to a player under pressure from two or three markers, which generally leads to the breakdown of a move.

Mason was replaced by Stambouli, making only his second substitute appearance in a Premier League game this season, and his first league appearance since mid-September. One of the Swansea substitutes, Shelvey, had a shot blocked, having been put in play by Sigurdsson. Another home attack from the right gave Ki Sung-Yeung another chance, but his headed effort was always going wide.

Spurs got into the game more and more in the closing stages. Eriksen took a corner from the right. The ball was attacked by Fazio, who missed, but Kane did have a header which passed wide across the goalmouth. The Spurs goal came in the 89th minute. Firstly, Eriksen had hit a good snap shot, which Tremmel saved well, diving to his right, pushing the ball out to the spurs’ left flank. Davies returned the ball to Eriksen, who this time placed his shot well, low down, just inside Tremmel’s right post. Needless to say, there were great celebrations in front of the North Stand, in which the away fans were located.

Harry Kane got past Shelvey in the Swansea area, but his shot was saved for another corner. Spurs saw out the additional four minutes at the end of the game, and ought to be relishing their next two League games at home to Burnley, and away to Leicester. First up is the little matter of a League Cup quarter-final on Wednesday night.

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