Tottenham 3-1 Swansea City



Rafael Van der Vaart (above) sidefooted home with plenty of composure to break the deadlock on twenty minutes


By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor from White Hart Lane 


Tottenham moved level on points with Arsenal in third place as they got back to winning ways in the Premier League against Swansea with a solid all-round display.

First blood went to the home side in the 19th minute when Rafael van der Vaart converted after good work from Gareth Bale, but the Welsh outfit hit back after the break with another fine goal on the road from Gylfi Sigurdsson. But the hosts re-gained their lead after scorer turned provider when Adebayor headed home from Van Der Vaart's corner. The former Arsenal man then nodded past Vorm again as the striker put Harry Redknapp's men on par with his former club.

Redknapp made four changes to the side that beat Bolton in their rescheduled FA Cup quarter-final on Tuesday, with Brad Friedel, William Gallas, Younes Kaboul and Sandro coming back into the starting line-up. Aaron Lennon was back from a hamstring problem and started on the bench.

As for the visitors, Brendan Rodgers replaced Steven Caulker, who was ineligible to face his parent club Spurs being on loan from them, with central defender Garry Monk in his only change to the team which tasted defeat against Everton last weekend at home.

The opening quarter of an hour included a flurry of chances for each side, firstly Van Der Vaart shooting wide after Emmanuel Adebayor knocked back Luka Modric's neat cross. Then the visitors went close through former Spurs midfielder Wayne Routledge with the 26-year-old's snap-shot just missing the left upright- he only has one Premier League goal to his name having played for seven different top-flight clubs.


Tottenham remain unbeaten in the league this season against the three promoted teams.
Adebayor was the next to miss the target. Bale was allowed space to stretch his legs on the left flank and proceeded to whip the ball across the face of the box. However, the Togolese frontman couldn't direct the ball goalwards after sliding in at the near post.

Back at the other end, Swans full-back Neil Taylor had a arguable shout for a penalty waved away. The Welshman got goal-side of William Gallas, who then attempted to pull back the opposing defender- nothing was given by referee Andre Marriner and in truth there were minimal appeals, as Taylor got his cross away, which was nearly deflected past Friedel.

The hosts did finally bag the opener just inside the twenty minute mark, through Van Der Vaart. Bale, who had been enjoying a lot of space on the left flank, again ran free on the wing before putting the ball into the box. Ashley Williams attempted to clear but ended up putting it on a plate for the Dutchman to calmly slot home with a curling finish from the edge of the box.

Tottenham were more reserved than expected, and prioritised staying solid in defence. The north London side pressed their traveling opponents each time they lost possession, Scott Parker putting a good shift in as he broke up a number of Swansea attacks.

Van Der Vaart remained an influential man for Spurs and half an hour in they went close when his corner was met with an almighty header from Kaboul. The defender was a fair distance out but the effort needed Michel Vorm to move quickly before parrying away.

Redknapp's men continued to search for a second goal before the break, and it was Bale who went the closest after swinging a boot at Modric's knock down from Benoit Assou-Ekotto's ball in, but it rose over the bar. The Croatian playmaker later wasted a chance of his own when he decided to shoot instead of threading Adebayor in.


Swansea's Gylfi Sigurdsson has now scored five times in the club's last three away Premier League games.

Throughout the half Swansea managed to put together some neat passing, with Scott Sinclair showing moments of class. However, the former Chelsea man was crowded out and fouled early by the home side in a successful attempt to stop the Swans from getting into their flow.

Shortly after the break, Sigurdsson forced Friedel into making an outstanding save. The Swans midfielder turned sharply before producing a left-footed strike that the American showed great agility to tip onto the post.

Apart from that chance there was little action for the first 15 minutes of the second period, both sides largely cancelling each other out as they did for most of the opening half.

However, just before the hour mark Sigurdsson, who had scored five in his last four away games before the clash at White Hart Lane, added to his season's tally.

The ball fell to the Iceland international after good hold-up play by Routledge and he made no mistake, firing a delightful half-volley from outside the area past the scrambling Spurs keeper.

Spurs looked for a speedy return and went close six minutes after the equaliser. Bale again caused trouble on the left touchline and delivered a dangerous ball into the middle, Van der Vaart beat his man and managed to direct a powerful header towards goal, only to be denied by a good near-post save from Vorm.

Bale and Adebayor also tested the the Swans keeper soon after, but both failed to get good enough connections to pose any real threat to the Dutchman's goal.

The hosts were looking the more likely to score again, and if it was not for a crucial interception from Williams, after a driven low cross from Bale, Adebayor would have found a second.

However, the Togo forward did not have to wait long to ripple to net. With just over a quarter of an hour left on the clock Adebayor rose above the pack to head Van Der Vaart's corner past a helpless Vorm.

In truth there were little signs of reply from Swansea, with the credit for that going to a solid display from Redknapp's men.

Spurs went on to see out the game comfortably and even had time to grab a third.

Bale, who looked fantastic all day, ran at the defence before playing Lennon in down the right flank. The Englishman then crossed for Adebayor to find the net with his second headed goal, securing the points with under five minutes left to play.


Sunday 1st April 2012

Barclays Premier League

White Hart Lane


Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Swansea City                            KO 4pm               (HT 1-0)

Van der Vaart 19         Sigurdsson 59
Adebayor 73, 86


Tottenham:  24 Friedel- 7.5/10, 28 Walker- 7.5/10, 4 Kaboul- 6.5/10, 13 Gallas- 6.5/10, 32 Assou-Ekotto- 7/10 (Rose 88- 1/10), 11 Van der Vaart- 8.5/10 (Livermore 85- 1.5/10), 8 Parker (C)- 8/10, 30 Sandro- 6/10 (Lennon 71- 3.5/10), 3 Bale- 8/10, 14 Modric- 7/10, 10 Adebayor- 7.5/10.

Subs not used:  23 Cudicini, 33 Nelsen, 15 Saha, 18 Defoe

Booked:      None


Swansea City:  1 Vorm- 7/10, 22 Angel Rangel- 6.5/10, 2 Williams (C)- 6.5/10, 16 Monk- 6/10, 3 Taylor- 6/10, 7 Britton- 6.5/10, 24 Allen- 6.5/10 (Gower 90- 0.5/10), 42 Sigurdsson- 7/10, 15 Routledge- 6.5/10 (Dyer 71- 3.5/10), 10 Graham- 6/10 (Moore 79- 2.5/10), 11 Sinclair- 6/10.

Subs not used:  25 Tremmel, 5 Tate, 17 McEachran, 18 Lita 

Booked:      None


My Man of the Match:      Rafael Van der Vaart (Tottenham)- Rating 8.5/10

My Poorest Performer of the Match:      Garry Monk (Swansea City)- Rating 6/10 



Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)- 9/10
Attendance: 36,174 



Match Facts

Possession: Tottenham- 48%              Swansea- 52%

Shots: Tottenham- 15                Swansea- 11

Shots on target: Tottenham- 10              Swansea- 7

Shots off target: Tottenham- 7               Swansea- 4

Corners: Tottenham- 7                 Swansea- 7

Fouls: Tottenham- 11                Swansea- 12

Offside: Tottenham- 2                 Swansea- 2

Assists: Tottenham- Bale, Van der Vaart, Lennon             Swansea- Routledge



Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp 

"It was a good performance from us today- I thought we played very well. Swansea are a difficult team to play against with the way they pass the ball, Brendan (Rodgers) has done a fantastic job with them and we set our stall out to press them all over the park. The system we played suited us fine and I thought we dominated the first half. We had some good chances in the first half, came in 1-0 up and we know a game is never safe with that scoreline. We knew they were going to have spells in possession where they would get at us, they did that well and got their goal. It was even stevens from that point and we were thankful to Emmanuel (Adebayor) for his two headers and we went on to win the game well. Gareth (Bale) is an amazing talent and he has had a sensational season- he must be up there for footballer of the year again. It's hard to find ways for him to improve his game. The team's work ethic was fantastic today and he is one of many great players we have at this football club. You have to work hard to get a positive result against Swansea. We should be encouraging youth football in this country to play like them- they are set up fantastically."

Click here to hear the full interview after the match with Spurs boss Harry Redknapp



Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers 

"It was a wonderful game to watch, the scoreline was a little harsh for us because I thought we didn't make it comfortable at all for Tottenham to play football. We've come to White Hart Lane, which is very tough with the job that Harry (Redknapp) has done, and done ourselves proud. The first twenty minutes was probably our best period in the game and we stopped them- they have a team full of good players and that told in the end. We were a little disappointed with the (first) goal we conceded although it was a great finish from Van der Vaart. We were superb at the start of the second half as well, got back into the match and our possession improved. Our elementary defending let us down and cost us a bit with the two headers from crosses into the box from a player who is taller than 6ft. The supporters who had made the trip were magnificent as ever today. There were some talented footballers on view today from both teams- Gylfi (Sigurdsson) has come in and done great for us- he scored another great goal which is what he is capable of. Gareth (Bale) is a top professional and a world class player- he was tremendous once more today."

Click here to hear the full interview after the match with Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers 

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