Swansea 1-2 Tottenham
Tottenham moved up to third in the Premier League after an impressive win over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.
After two successive league defeats, Spurs went ahead when Jan Vertonghen played a neat one-two with Gareth Bale and slotted home from close range.
Vertonghen then found Bale who fired a 20-yard shot into the top corner.
Nathan Dyer headed against the bar, and as the home side applied more pressure after the break Michu headed in off the post, but Spurs held on for a key win.
A lacklustre defeat in a seemingly routine home fixture against mid-table Fulham two weeks ago led some critics to speculate on whether Spurs might suffer the kind of malaise that resulted in only one win from nine at a similar stage last term, a sequence that, combined with Chelsea's Champions League success, cost them a place in Europe's elite club competition.
But after the international break they were bright and purposeful in possession from the outset against a Swansea side that had also lost their last two league games, and something of the fluency that inspired their League Cup triumph last month.
The first goal was beautifully started and finished by the composed defender Vertonghen, Tottenham's summer signing from Ajax.
He collected the ball on the halfway line, found Bale and continued his run as the Welsh attacker lifted the ball delicately over the Swansea backline. The versatile Belgian controlled it superbly before poking under the advancing Michel Vorm to register his fourth goal in his last five matches for the Lilywhites.
Spurs should have doubled their lead shortly afterwards when Mousa Dembele freed Emmanuel Adebayor, but the Togolese international, who has scored only two league goals this term, shot tamely at the goalkeeper.
However, star player Bale soon put them in command with another classic strike to add to his burgeoning collection.
Vertonghen sent a cleverly disguised pass to his team-mate, playing just behind lone striker Adebayor, and after controlling the ball masterfully with his first touch, Bale fizzed it into the corner with his second, his 22nd goal of the season and his 12th away from home.
Swansea were struggling to provide suitable service for their leading scorer Michu but the skilful Spaniard eluded his markers to meet a corner, although he sent his header the wrong side of the woodwork.
The home side gradually began to play their way back into the contest and Dyer headed against the bar; but to the frustration of the Welsh crowd the ball trickled narrowly wide after rebounding back off the winger.
A quickly taken free-kick on the edge of the area soon after the interval could have given them a lifeline but Brad Friedel, starting his first league game since November in the absence of the injured Hugo Lloris, raced off his line to smother Michu's shot.
Michu then headed a chance wide following another accurate cross from the marauding Dwight Tiendalli but the striker was not to be denied his first goal since the Wembley showpiece a month ago, glancing his header from a right-wing corner powerfully past a helpless Friedel.
Having surrendered a 2-1 lead to lose at Liverpool, fresh questions returned about Tottenham in tense situations.
Bale hit the outside of the post after a trademark surging run on the break but was then required at the other end to make a vital block in his own penalty area as Spurs withstood some sustained pressure.
They return to Europa League in midweek with the first-leg of their quarter-final against Basel, but with seven matches remaining in an ever absorbing race for the top four, will be hopeful of appearing on an even bigger stage next term.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup:
"They had a very good start but both goals showed a player of Gareth Bale's quality can make the difference.
"With the first we could have done better even if it was a good pass and finish.
"But the second goal was just a fantastic finish by a very good player. If you take Bale out, without him the teams were at the same level.
"We felt they could be tired after having so many players on international duty and in the second half we dominated, we scored one and got close, but not close enough, to a second."
Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas:
"When there are so many things that go well for the team it is hard to single out individuals but Gareth is a world class player offensively and defensively, as he showed when he made the block at the end to prevent Swansea getting a draw.
"But the whole team deserve credit because coming here after two league defeats and playing the way we did is never easy.
"We spoke at half-time about trying to get the third goal to put it beyond doubt but we couldn't and they did well to come back.
"We showed great determination and the winning mentality that surrounds us to come away and hold on for a great win from home and put ourselves back on track."
- 01 Vorm
- 04 Chico (Monk - 66' )
- 06 Williams
- 21 Tiendalli
- 33 Davies Booked
- 07 Britton
- 09 Michu Booked
- 11 Pablo (Shechter - 79' )
- 12 Dyer
- 15 Routledge
- 20 De Guzman (Ki Sung-Yeung - 57' )
- 25 Tremmel
- 02 Bartley
- 16 Monk
- 24 Ki Sung-Yeung
- 14 Lamah
- 17 Shechter
- 19 Moore
- 24 Friedel
- 05 Vertonghen
- 16 Naughton
- 20 Dawson
- 28 Walker Booked
- 07 Lennon
- 08 Parker Booked
- 11 Bale
- 22 Sigurdsson (Holtby - 76' Booked )
- 10 Adebayor Booked (Defoe - 61' )
- 19 Dembele
- 57 Archer
- 32 Assou-Ekotto
- 33 Caulker
- 06 Huddlestone
- 23 Holtby
- 29 Livermore
- 18 Defoe
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.90:00 +5:09
Gareth Bale takes a shot. Save by Michel Vorm.90:00 +4:42 Booking
Booking Scott Parker is cautioned.90:00 +4:36
Free kick awarded for a foul by Scott Parker on Garry Monk. Ben Davies takes the indirect free kick.90:00 +3:24
The ball is crossed by Gareth Bale.90:00 +1:54
Sung-Yeung Ki gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scott Parker. Free kick taken by Michael Dawson.89:57
The ball is delivered by Wayne Routledge, Gareth Bale manages to make a clearance.88:40
Dwight Tiendalli crosses the ball, save by Brad Friedel.87:52
Sung-Yeung Ki restarts play with the free kick.87:52 Booking
Booking Lewis Holtby booked for unsporting behaviour.87:46
Unfair challenge on Nathan Dyer by Lewis Holtby results in a free kick.85:15
Jermain Defoe takes a shot. Save by Michel Vorm.83:52
A cross is delivered by Gareth Bale, clearance by Ashley Williams.83:31
A cross is delivered by Lewis Holtby.82:37
Free kick crossed left-footed by Lewis Holtby, Garry Monk manages to make a clearance.82:37 Booking
Booking Booking for Ben Davies.82:29
Ben Davies gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Aaron Lennon.81:58
Inswinging corner taken by Sung-Yeung Ki, Scott Parker manages to make a clearance.81:47
Centre by Dwight Tiendalli, clearance made by Kyle Walker.80:55
The ball is delivered by Wayne Routledge.
Dwight Tiendalli delivers the ball, Michael Dawson manages to make a clearance.79:39
The assistant referee flags for offside against Itay Shechter. Brad Friedel takes the free kick.78:46 Substitution
Substitution Itay Shechter replaces Pablo Hernandez.77:21
Effort from close in by Miguel Michu goes wide left of the target.76:56
Jan Vertonghen concedes a free kick for a foul on Miguel Michu. Indirect free kick taken by Sung-Yeung Ki.75:23 Substitution
Substitution Lewis Holtby on for Gylfi Sigurdsson.74:30
The ball is crossed by Ben Davies, Jan Vertonghen makes a clearance. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Sung-Yeung Ki played to the near post, clearance by Gareth Bale.74:04
The ball is swung over by Dwight Tiendalli.73:30
The ball is sent over by Wayne Routledge, clearance made by Michael Dawson.72:26
Shot by Gareth Bale from inside the penalty area bounces off the post.71:18
Kyle Naughton gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nathan Dyer. Sung-Yeung Ki delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel, clearance by Michael Dawson.70:20
Assist by Sung-Yeung Ki.70:20 Goal scored
Goal! - Miguel Michu - Swansea 1 - 2 Tottenham Miguel Michu finds the back of the net with a headed goal from close range. Swansea 1-2 Tottenham.70:07
Corner from the right by-line taken by Sung-Yeung Ki,69:52
Wayne Routledge crosses the ball, clearance made by Jan Vertonghen.69:40
Wayne Routledge delivers the ball, clearance made by Kyle Walker.67:44 Booking
Booking Kyle Walker goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.65:59 Substitution
Substitution Garry Monk comes on in place of Chico.61:29
Brad Friedel takes the direct free kick.61:29 Booking
Booking Miguel Michu receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.61:18
Free kick awarded for a foul by Miguel Michu on Scott Parker.60:19
Corner taken left-footed by Gareth Bale from the right by-line, clearance by Miguel Michu.60:19 Substitution
Substitution Jermain Defoe on for Emmanuel Adebayor.58:44
The referee blows for offside against Dwight Tiendalli. Free kick taken by Brad Friedel.56:15 Substitution
Substitution (Swansea) makes a substitution, with Sung-Yeung Ki coming on for Jonathan de Guzman.56:05
Dwight Tiendalli crosses the ball.53:36
Effort from the edge of the penalty box by Nathan Dyer goes wide of the right-hand upright.52:31
The ball is delivered by Dwight Tiendalli, Miguel Michu produces a headed effort from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.49:51
Shot by Gylfi Sigurdsson from 12 yards. Save by Michel Vorm. Gareth Bale takes a shot. Michel Vorm makes a save.48:56
The ball is swung over by Kyle Naughton, Ben Davies manages to make a clearance. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Gareth Bale from the right by-line, save by Michel Vorm.48:27
Gareth Bale produces a cross, clearance made by Chico.47:09
Miguel Michu takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel. The referee blows for offside against Wayne Routledge. Brad Friedel takes the free kick.46:53
Unfair challenge on Nathan Dyer by Kyle Naughton results in a free kick. Wayne Routledge takes the direct free kick.45:01
The second half kicks off.45:00 +2:06 Half time
Half Time The first half comes to an end.45:00 +1:18
The ball is sent over by Dwight Tiendalli, save made by Brad Friedel.42:33
Shot from just outside the box by Jonathan de Guzman goes over the crossbar.41:30
Unfair challenge on Nathan Dyer by Scott Parker results in a free kick. Miguel Michu restarts play with the free kick.39:43
Chico takes the free kick.39:43 Booking
Booking Emmanuel Adebayor receives a caution.39:34
Emmanuel Adebayor concedes a free kick for a foul on Dwight Tiendalli.35:35
Nathan Dyer delivers the ball, clearance made by Jan Vertonghen.35:26
Centre by Dwight Tiendalli, Jan Vertonghen makes a clearance.34:32
A cross is delivered by Dwight Tiendalli, Nathan Dyer takes a shot.34:13
The ball is crossed by Jonathan de Guzman.32:22
Leon Britton fouled by Gylfi Sigurdsson, the ref awards a free kick. Chico takes the indirect free kick.31:32
The ball is sent over by Dwight Tiendalli, clearance made by Jan Vertonghen.29:14
Gareth Bale has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.27:16
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Miguel Michu by Emmanuel Adebayor. Free kick taken by Chico.26:37
Shot from just outside the box by Ben Davies goes over the crossbar.25:19
Nathan Dyer sends in a cross, Scott Parker makes a clearance.25:03
Centre by Ben Davies, clearance made by Kyle Naughton.24:07
Dwight Tiendalli takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel. Inswinging corner taken by Jonathan de Guzman from the right by-line, Gareth Bale manages to make a clearance.23:01
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Leon Britton by Mousa Dembele. Chico restarts play with the free kick.22:11
Nathan Dyer has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the goal.20:45
The assist for the goal came from Jan Vertonghen.20:45 Goal scored
Goal! - Gareth Bale - Swansea 0 - 2 Tottenham Gareth Bale fires in a goal from just outside the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Swansea 0-2 Tottenham.19:42
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Jonathan de Guzman, Header from close in by Miguel Michu misses to the left of the target.19:27
The ball is delivered by Dwight Tiendalli, clearance made by Scott Parker.14:44
The assistant referee flags for offside against Wayne Routledge. Indirect free kick taken by Brad Friedel.11:57
Emmanuel Adebayor takes a shot. Save made by Michel Vorm.6:57
The assist for the goal came from Gareth Bale.6:57 Goal scored
Goal! - Jan Vertonghen - Swansea 0 - 1 Tottenham Jan Vertonghen gets on the score sheet with a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Swansea 0-1 Tottenham.5:55
Miguel Michu challenges Scott Parker unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jan Vertonghen takes the indirect free kick.1:41
Unfair challenge on Emmanuel Adebayor by Chico results in a free kick. Kyle Naughton takes the free kick.0:00
The referee gets the match started.
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