Vertonghen breaks Swansea’s resilience to hand Tottenham a key win yesterday.
By all accounts, the meeting between two of the league’s most aesthetically pleasing sides produced a pleasant match, but one that failed to get the spectators of their seats, at least during the first half.
Swansea started the match brightly, but inevitably Tottenham slowly gained control and should have been two goals up going into half time.
Firstly, Aaron Lennon chose to pass rather than shoot after a clever dribble into the box, whilst Jermain Defoe failed to finish off Moussa Dembele’s fine work of robbing Michu off the ball and presenting his striker with a great opportunity just inside the area.
Swansea lined up with the sole purpose of counter attacking. They defended in numbers but broke away at pace with Michu flanked by Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer.
They had few opportunities during the initial 45 minutes to snatch the lead, though Michu’s 45 yard effort had Hugo Lloris scrambling back to his line.
The second half produced much of the same. Swansea maintained a sturdy shape and refused Tottenham any clear opportunities to take the lead.
Spurs came to dominate much of the possession and finally found a way through from a set piece. Jan Vertonghen met a deflected delivery to half volley the ball into the bottom right corner. It proved to be the winning goal, and a crucial one at that.
Spurs’ victory means that they have fully capitalised on Chelsea’s ill-fated soiree to Japan, and have now moved level with their London rivals in third place. Swansea, meanwhile, shouldn’t be too disheartened by Sunday’s loss.
They stuck to manager Michael Laudrup’s game-plan for the best part of 75 minutes before finally succumbing to Tottenham’s pressure. They prop up the top half of the table in tenth as they embark on a tricky Christmas schedule that includes leaders Man United and away trips to Reading and Fulham.
Can Tottenham finish in the top four? And Swansea in the top 10?
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