Soldado on target again as Tottenham beats Swansea

Roberto Soldado extended his hot scoring streak at the start of

his Tottenham career, getting his fourth goal in three games on

Sunday to clinch a 1-0 victory over Swansea.

Just as in last weekend’s Premier League opener against Crystal

Palace, Soldado, who arrived from Valencia for 30 million euros

($40 million), was on target from the penalty spot against

Swansea.

The Spain striker, who also scored twice in the Europa League on

Thursday, slotted past Michel Vorm in the 58th minute after Andros

Townsend was fouled by Jonjo Shelvey.

Soldado’s goals are softening the blow of losing Gareth Bale,

who is on the verge of joining Real Madrid and hasn’t played as the

transfer has been negotiated.

”Hopefully you can have more news in the next couple of days,”

manager Andre Villas-Boas said on Bale’s future.

Even without last season’s top scorer, Tottenham, which finished

fifth last season, has opened the new campaign with back-to-back

wins for the first time in four years.

Swansea, though, has lost both its matches, leaving the south

Wales club with just 2 wins in 13 league games since winning the

League Cup in February.

From the start, though, Tottenham was the more powerful side,

imposing itself on the visitors and controlling the midfield.

Tottenham on Sunday was smarting from Brazil midfielder Willian

being announced as a Chelsea recruit, having been on the verge of

signing for the north London side from Russian team Anzhi

Makhachkala last week.

Tottenham is also pursuing Steaua Bucharest defender Vlad

Chiriches before the transfer window closes on Sept. 2, although

Villas-Boas quipped: ”Maybe somebody steals him as well.”

Yet, it’s been a successful few weeks in the transfer market,

with Tottenham clearly spending the windfall exceeding $120 million

it is set to receive for Bale.

As well as Soldado making his first competitive appearance at

White Hart Lane, Etienne Capoue, Nacer Chadli and Paulinho also

started for the first time at home.

”These additions are really showing quality, plus they have

brought to the team a new mentality – we look sharper, we (have) a

great will to win,” Villas-Boas said. ”We are able to run the

game down, control the possession and get the result.”

Paulinho was a constant threat throughout a first half where the

goalkeepers shone with their agility and saves – particularly Vorm

in the Swansea goal.

He denied Paulinho after seven minutes after the Brazilian

wrong-footed Jose Canas.

At the other end, Hugo Lloris made a double-save to first thwart

Wayne Routledge, and then Michu.

Swansea nearly gifted Tottenham an opener.

Ashley Williams headed against his own crossbar from Kyle

Walker’s cross while attempting to clear, and Paulinho followed up

with a powerful strike that was saved by Vorm.

And when Mousa Dembele struck from Walker’s cutback, Vorm was

alert to tip over – as he was when Walker whipped in a dangerous

cross.

Tottenham reacted with anger before halftime when only a free

kick – not a penalty – was given when Townsend was fouled by

Shelvey in the area.

But there was no mistake from referee Neil Swarbrick after the

break when Townsend’s advance was blocked again by Shelvey.

”He is really adding to our game because he brings that light

and spark into our game,” Villas-Boas said of Townsend. ”He is a

very explosive player.”

Tottenham, which failed to win a single penalty last season, has

now been awarded two in two league games.

And, once again, Soldado coolly slotted the ball into the

net.

Tottenham, though, eased off after finally taking the lead, and

was put under intense pressure from Swansea.

The hosts had Lloris to thank for protecting the three points by

tipping over Chico Flores’ volley.

Although Spurs are yet to score from open play in the league

this season, they are showing they can cope without Bale.