Swansea City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 3
Scorers: Bony Adebayor (2), Chico (o.g.)
Team: Lloris, Walker, Chiriches, Dawson, Rose, Eriksen, Bentaleb, Dembele, Chadli (Sigurdsson), Lennon (Naughton), Adebayor Subs: Friedel, Holtby, Soldado, Capoue, Defoe
For once Tottenham had less possession than their opponents but made the better use of the ball to create and score three goals, two from Emmanuel Adebayor and an own goal.
Tim Sherwood omitted Roberto Soldado with Emmanuel Adebayor as the lone striker. Nacer Chadli played as an extra player in midfield with Spurs were set up to play a patient waiting game, allowing Swansea possession in their own half. As soon as the home side looked to move forward, Spurs five in midfield worked hard to gain possession and counter-attack at pace.
Swansea started quickly and after two minutes Hugo Lloris had to come out to collect the ball at the edge of the area as Bony looked to get onto a through ball. Shelvey was busy in midfield and put an effort wide. In the first half when Spurs gained possession they didn’t make best use of the ball with the final pass or cross over-hit as in the case of Mousa Dembele after 12 minutes when his cross after good work on the right was into the hands of the goalkeeper.
Almost immediately, Shelvey had another shot saved by Lloris after getting through a tackle by Vlad Chiriches. Spurs still wasted possession on the break and Swansea were more dangerous when they got forward. Bony shot past after 19 minutes and five minutes later saw a powerful effort crash off the bar with Lloris at full stretch. From a corner he thought he had won a penalty when pushed by Michael Dawson but none was awarded. He then had another effort well saved by Lloris but was offside.
After half an hour Spurs still hadn’t had a shot on target but in their first attempt on after 35 minutes Adebayor headed them in front. Good interplay between Lennon and Eriksen resulted in a measured cross into the area by the Dane, Chadli and Adebayor challenged for the ball in the area but it was Adebayor who got his head to the cross.
The goal lifted Spurs who were much more threatening and finished the half stronger while Swansea’s threat was diminished. Chadli should have put Spurs ahead a minute after the goal after good interplay but shot over. On 39 minutes a corner wasn’t cleared and Chiriches back header fell to Adebayor but his powerful shot was well saved by the goalkeeper. Danny Rose won possession in midfield and worked into the area but he shot wildly into the crowd.
On 45 minutes, Lennon played Eriksen into the area with a clever back-heel but his shot was weak. Swansea threatened in the final seconds but Spurs held the advantage.
Spurs started the second half looking to add to their advantage with an early cross by Kyle walker being cleared for a corner. The second goal came on 53 minutes when Dawson played the ball forward for Walker whose cross was deflected into his own goal by Chico. Spurs now assumed control and a minute later had a good break with Eriksen, Adebayor and Lennon combining well.
On 57 minutes Chiriches got an important touch to the ball when it was played into the area and then two minutes later a shot by Bony was blocked and gathered by Lloris. Tow minutes later, the hard-working Adebayor gained possession in his own half and carried the ball to the edge of the area and played it on to Lennon but his shot was blocked.
Swansea had three corners in quick succession with the third in the 66th minute headed over by Chico. Spurs should have gone three up after 69 minutes when Mousa Dembele and Adebayor were through on goal but Dembele opted to shot with the ball going wide when a simple pass would have presented the striker with an open goal.
The third goal came a minute later when Eriksen laid the ball off to Danny Rose. He set off on a run down the left and his cross to Adebayor left the striker with only the goalkeeper to beat which he did with ease.
Spurs controlled the game but gave away a scrappy goal when they failed to get the ball cleared and Bony fired past Lloris.
Kyle Naughton came on for Lennon and walker player further forward on the right. The goal lifted Swansea but Spurs coped with their renewed threat, weathered the pressure to regain their composure and control to see out the game. Adebayor could have had his hat-trick when Chiriches played a ball through the defence but the goalkeeper got out just ahead of the striker.
It was a very controlled and composed performance Tottenham who came with a plan and executed it perfectly. They allowed Swansea to have possession in their own half and waited patiently for a mistake, much as other teams had done to Spurs earlier in the season.
Spurs are playing with much more confidence and belief with players growing in stature with each game. Next up will be Tim Sherwood’s biggest test as a manager – Manchester City at White Hart Lane. City are sure to give Tim Sherwood’s impressive managerial record a severe examination.