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.