Report - Spurs 3-2 Swansea City
White Hart Lane
4th March 2015
Swansea City narrowly lost an entertaining match at White Hart Lane as Spurs continued their excellent run of form against the Welsh side.
Their 85-year wait for a League point away at Spurs continues but it was arguably their best chance of getting something at White Hart Lane.
There was concern for Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis after just 8 minutes when he collapsed and fainted in the centre of the pitch. After around 5 minutes of medical attention, the Frenchman left the pitch on a stretcher and much to the relief of us all, it was later confirmed that he was ok, and actually wanted to continue playing.
It was later revealed during the game that Gomis has fainted in previous matches due to a low blood pressure condition he has that causes it.
Nelson Oliveira replaces the striker after 12 minutes as the game slowly got back under way, shortly after Spurs had taken an early lead.
It was the worst possible start for the Swans as the home side made their intentions clear from the outset - attacking the flanks against their opposition`s narrow diamond system.
Full backs Kyle Walker and Danny Rose were allowed far too much freedom down the flanks and it was the latter that was able to whip in a superb cross from the left for Chadli to match with a stunning volleyed finish to send the ball past the flying Fabianski and into the opposite corner of the net.
Spurs weren`t able to build on the momentum that you`d have expected from their 7th minute opener. There was too many loose passes in their play - particularly in Swansea`s half and this allowed the visitors to try long, direct passes that looked to catch the home defence out, but the offside flag all too often came to their rescue.
Gylfi Sigurdsson, back after a hamstring injury that kept him out of Saturday`s win at Burnley, returned to his former club and he almost got his side an equaliser when they were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal. His curling effort came back off the inside of the post, and Spurs were punlshed for a lapse in concentration.
Ki Sung Yueng found the net for the third time in five games. The South Korean started off with the ball on the touchline, before a long run to the goal line, not tracked by a single Spurs player - before steering the ball through Lloris` legs from what appeared to be an impossible acute angle to put Swansea level just 12 minutes after Spurs broke the deadlock.
Garry Monk`s side did a good job of marking Harry Kane out of the game, and while Spurs are not a side that are lacking in attacking quality, they were often limited to chances from outside the box, with low shots well held by Fabianski.
Swansea`s new diamond formation allowed them to commit up to 6 players into Spurs` half when they were without possession. A lot has been said recently about Garry Monk`s negative and defensive approach to games but the same couldn`t be said about tonight`s approach.
The passing and movement was also improved as both sides looked capable of taking the lead.
This was particularly true when the likes of Oliveira and Routledge were almost getting on the end of Shelvey`s long through balls. At the other end, after making some solid saves, Fabianski was lucky not to gift the hosts a second half when he completely flapped at a cross, and was relieved to only concede a corner.
6 minutes of injury time were to be played and the Swans were probably the happier of the two sides at the break. They had adjusted slightly to limit Spurs` freedom down the flanks, and they were causing a few problems thanks to the added number of players they have through the middle. Spurs` defence was far from a solid unit, but Swansea`s final ball always lacked the quality to really expose their backline vulnerabilities.
Unfortunately, Swansea City failed to match their first half efforts in the second, and again, Spurs made a quick start to the half - going in front again within 5 minutes of the kick off.
Shelvey had forced Lloris into a decent save as he palmed over his powerful left-footed effort, but Spurs showed their attacking quality through the middle, as Erikssen was the dangerman before picking out Mason inside the box to fire home.
Spurs soon started to dominate as the Swans found it difficult to win the ball back from the hosts. Neither the defence or goalkeeper were tested for a good 10-15 minute spell after their second goal, but they should have been when Sigurdsson was through on goal. It was another excellent ball through for the ex-Spurs man to get in behind the defence, and under no pressure whatsoever, he had a great chance to try and beat Lloris in a one-on-one situation, but the assistant on the far side incorrectly raised his flag.
Instantly after that scare for the home side, they raced up the other end and scored. The referee - to his credit it has to be said - ignored a foul deep in Spurs` half as Townsend was able to race away down the left. A challenge never came in, no foul - nothing, and he ran 60 yards before slotting the ball past the goalkeeper to make it 3-1 - and seemingly very comfortable for Pochettino`s team.
Spurs continued to dominate and easily control the game as Swansea`s earlier intensity and pressure was barely existent now. It was starting to became like a training session for Spurs almost, easy passing around the pitch without creating much in front of goal.
They really should have made their possession and dominance count and make it 3-1, as Swansea came on strong very late on, to provide another big scare but it proved to be very much a case of too little too late.
Jefferson Montero replaced a tiring Jonjo Shelvey as Swansea reverted back to their 4-2-3-1 system.
After a slow, ineffective start to his game, he came alive late on and began to cause some problems for Spurs down the left flank.
He helped make it 3-2 with just 4 minutes to play including injury time, as his cross fell kindly to the unmarked Sigurdsson at the far post to volley home past Lloris.
Lloris then had to pull off a world-class save to keep his side in front in injury time. Another cross came in from the left, this time towards Fernandez who heads a ball towards the bottom corner, but somehow the goalkeeper managed to get down to palm the ball around the post for a corner.
The Swans had waited far too long to come to life in a second half that lacked the energy and commitment they showed in the first, while Spurs you could say were let off for almost falling into a false sense of security as Pochettino started to make substitutions as his side played the ball around effortlessly as if the 3-1 scoreline was three points safe in the bag.
It was in the end, but Swansea City can be happy with their overall performance and there were some encouraging performances from the likes of Ki, Sigurdsson, Cork - as well as the two centre backs who quietly got on with their jobs - and did them well despite conceding three goals.
But the main thing from tonight is the relief that Bafetimbi Gomis is fine after his early scare. It was a worrying and scary 5 or 6 minutes at the start of the game when he collapsed to the ground before quickly being surrounded by a number of medical staff. He may have a condition where low blood pressure causing these faints but nevertheless it's still very worrying when it occurs.
We hope that he is indeed ok and is medically fit which appears to be what is being reported on his situation.