Spurs hold on for vital win

Tottenham held off a spirited Swansea fightback to secure a

vital 2-1 victory at the Liberty Stadium, which kept them on course

for a top-four finish.

Sublime goals from Jan Vertonghen and Gareth Bale put Spurs in

pole position to get back to winning ways after back-to-back league

defeats.

However, the home side rallied in the second half and got

themselves back in it thanks to Michu, who headed his 11th home

league goal of the season to ensure a nervy end to the game for the

travelling Spurs faithful.

The visitors managed to hang on though and moved up to third

thanks to results elsewhere, whilst the Swans remain comfortable in

ninth.

It did not take long for Spurs get into their stride, and the

in-form Bale turned provider for a change, lofting a sublime pass

on the turn into the path of the onrushing Vertonghen, who plucked

the ball out of the air and prodded a shot past Michel Vorm.

With only one clean sheet in the last nine Premier League games,

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas will not have been sitting

comfortably, but just 15 minutes later the same two players

combined to devastating effect to double the visitors’ lead.

Vorm’s poor clearance found its way to Vertonghen, who carried

the ball forward, drilled a pass into the feet of Bale and he took

one touch before lashing an unstoppable shot past the helpless

Swansea keeper.

Michael Laudrup needed a response from Swansea, and the

shell-shocked home side upped their game and started to create more

opportunities, the best of which was wasted by Nathan Dyer, who

could only head Dwight Tiendalli’s pinpoint centre onto the

underside of the bar from close range.

The home side continued to increase their intensity in the

second period, and looked much more of a threat going forward.

A quickly taken free-kick caught Spurs sleeping, but Brad

Friedel reacted well to smother Michu’s prod towards goal.

The Swans’ pressure did eventually tell on 71 minutes as Michu

outjumped a flat-footed Michael Dawson to head a right-wing corner

into the bottom corner.

Bale did almost make it three, clipping the bottom of the post

after a mazy run, but arguably his most important contribution was

a last-ditch block in injury-time to thwart Dyer when he looked

odds-on to net a dramatic equaliser.