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.