Vertonghen goal lifts Spurs

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup criticised referee Mike Dean for
allowing play to continue while his striker Michu lay injured in
the closing stages of a 1-0 defeat to Tottenham.

Michu was caught by Hugo Lloris as the goalkeeper punched the
ball clear and fell heavily to the floor but, while those players
closest to the stricken forward furiously waved to the touchline
for medical assistance, Spurs were allowed to play on.

Laudrup has no complaints at the result, sealed earlier by Jan
Vertonghen (75), but fumed that the game was not stopped for a head
injury.

“I was very angry,” Laudrup told Sky Sports. “I didn’t ask for a
free-kick or a penalty but if someone falls down like that, with a
head injury, then there’s only one thing to do – the referee has to
blow the whistle.

“I looked at him when Michu goes down – the referee’s watching
him, the linesman’s watching him and still they let the play carry
on. That was poor refereeing.

“Michu seems ok, he’s still a little (dazed). Luckily it wasn’t
serious so I’m happy about that but I’m still angry about the
decision.”

Laudrup’s side have lost consecutive Premier League games after
a previous seven-match unbeaten run but the Dane took positives
from his team’s performance.

“We knew it was a very good team, we knew the first half would
be more difficult than the second and that was how it went,” he
added. “Even if we didn’t play at our best, away to Tottenham,
against a very good team, we were there until the last second.

“I’m still quite pleased with what I saw today. There are
different ways of losing – I never like to lose, it’s zero points –
but I think the players did well.

“We just missed the last 10 per cent in the attacking half but
we still created four or five chances.”

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Spurs were frustrated for large periods of the match at White
Hart Lane before Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen clinched the
points in the 75th minute.

Swansea began the match on the front foot, although Hugo Lloris
was untroubled in Spurs’ goal and it was the home side who
threatened first through in-form Jermain Defoe.

The England international latched onto Emmanuel Adebayor’s
through-ball, only for Gerhard Tremmel to make the save from his
right-footed shot while Michu made the block to deny the striker
after he had initially conceded possession.

Adebayor’s close-range effort was then blocked by Chico from
Kyle Walker’s cross, Defoe’s turn and shot drifted wide of
Tremmel’s goal while Walker’s long-range special was straight at
the Swansea keeper.

The Swans did offer a threat of their own when Jonathan de
Guzman lashed a shot just over Lloris’ goal while Michu was close
to catching out the French keeper from distance after Mousa Dembele
lost possession.

Swansea came within a whisker of getting their noses in front
minutes into the second half, but Nathan Dyer could not hit the
target after Wayne Routledge did well to better Gallas and play in
a teasing cross.

Adebayor then saw a long-range effort parried for a corner by
Tremmel while Defoe’s left-footed strike in the 66th minute was
always curling away from the far post.

Tottenham suffered an injury blow when Adebayor hobbled from the
field of play, although it was unclear whether the former
Manchester City and Arsenal man had suffered an ankle knock or
hamstring strain.

The breakthrough finally came in the 75th minute when the
unmarked Vertonghen guided home Walker’s free-kick past Tremmel
into the far corner of the net.

Tremmel made a fine save in the closing stages to deny Defoe a
second for Tottenham, although the missed chance did not cost Andre
Villas-Boas’ side as they secured all three points after seeing out
five minutes of injury time.