Date:Monday August 26 2013
White Hart Lane
25th August 2013
Swansea City suffered their second successive League defeat as Spurs` record signing Robert Soldado scored from the spot once again to give Villas-Boas` side all three points at White Hart Lane.
After missing a number of excellent chances in the first half, the ref awarded a soft penalty, probably because he got an earlier decision wrong in the first half, awarding a free kick when Shelvey had clearly brought a player down in the box. It was the former Liverpool man who was centre of attention again just before the hour mark, he looked to pull out of a challenge, Townsend went down easily, and Soldado sent Vorm the wrong way to open the scoring.
It was a very soft decision that the referee bought, but you could say justice was done, and the Swans also had Vorm to thank for keeping the scores unchanged at half time. The Dutchman showed his class, denying Paulinho and Dembele as Spurs were by far the brighter of the two sides early on.
Michael Laudrup made a few changes to the team that beat Petrolul on Thursday, but there was still no starting place for Wilfried Bony. The Swansea boss preferred to field a more defensive side, with Canas, Shelvey and de Guzman in the middle, as Leon Britton had to settle for a place on the bench.
Nathan Dyer is still sidelined with a hamstring problem so Hernandez started on the wing in front of Ben Davies, back in at left back in place of Neil Taylor.
The visitors were on the back foot for the best part of the first 25 minutes or so, and Shelvey`s shot that was parried out for a corner was the only thing to break up Spurs` early dominance.
Ashley Williams had to recover when he headed a cross back off his own crossbar, blocking Paulinho`s follow up shot as Vorm held on.
Spurs` best efforts on goal came from good work down the right flank. Again, a cross from that area wasn`t dealt with, and two players were unmarked and waiting in the box for the cutback. Dembele`s decent effort was palmed over the bar by Vorm.
A minute before the break, Swansea City were lucky to avoid conceding a penalty when Shelvey brought down Paulinho near the by-line. Somehow, the ref thought the challenge occurred outside of the box, surprising given the questionable decisions he had been making since the first whistle.
The half time whistle blew, much to the delight of the Swans. They needed to re-group, and adjust somewhat to offer more of an attacking threat. Michu struggles in the lone striker role, no fault of his own though as he lacks the support from his colleagues and is often isolated.
We all hoped for Bony`s arrival at the restart, but after Spurs broke the deadlock after a very dubious penalty, Laudrup made his first change, bringing on Pozuelo instead of Wayne Routledge, who struggled impress like he did in the Europa League 3 days ago.
Bony came on 10 minutes later, and finally the Swans looked a threat and took the game to Spurs, who created very little after taking the lead.
Fans are divided in their opinion of Pablo Hernandez, but today he created his side`s best chances. He delivered an inswinging cross which was me beautifully by centre back Chico Flores. He fired a first time volley on goal, but Loris matched it with a superb save.
After creating a chance for his fellow Spaniard, Hernandez then had an effort himself, curling a low shot that the goalkeeper palmed away for a corner.
Those were Swansea`s best chances of netting an equaliser, but Spurs held on for what was a deserved win in the end. The penalty to win the game was an awful decision, but they should have got one just before the break, after missing 2 or 3 great chances.
Laudrup`s priority in the Summer was to bring in a proven striker to support Michu, and he did that by bringing in Bony, but for whatever reason, probably tactically, he`s decided to bench him for the first two games. The gaffer has probably played it safe against the two tough opponents, but hopefully he`ll be a bit more ambition against the not-so-talented teams in the Premier League.
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Date:Monday August 26 2013
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