Spurs down Swans
Published 16/12/2012 | 15:59
Jan Vertonghen propelled Tottenham into the top four of the Barclays Premier League with a second-half strike that finally broke stubborn Swansea and sealed a 1-0 win.
The Belgium defender fired his first league goal for Spurs following his £12million move from Ajax when he showed composure to sweep a free-kick from Kyle Walker past Gerhard Tremmel.
There was acrimony deep into injury time as Swansea striker Michu was caught by Hugo Lloris as the goalkeeper punched the ball clear and fell heavily to the floor. While those players closest to the stricken Michu furiously waved to the touchline for medical assistance, Spurs played on through substitute Andros Townsend who was confronted by Chico Flores.
A decisive tackle from Ashley Williams stopped Jermain Defoe in his tracks on the edge of the area after the Swans had opened the first half strongly, but moments later the lively England striker forced a save from Tremmel.
Swansea's defence was then split open twice more, first by Mousa Dembele's steal from the dawdling Michu and then by another slick move that saw Flores stick out a leg to block Emmnauel Adebayor.
William Gallas showed speed and timing to close down Michu, and at the other end a powerful 40-yard drive from Walker cannoned into the chest of Tremmel, who would have been beaten had the attempt been better placed.
Wayne Routledge darted around Gallas early in the second half and found Nathan Dyer but his glancing header failed to hit the target.
Andre Villas-Boas replaced the ineffective Clint Dempsey with Gylfi Sigurdsson as a poor match wore on and then Adebayor limped off with Townsend coming on.
The goal that Spurs had been threatening for most of the game arrived in the 75th minute, a Swansea head nudging the ball into the path of an unmarked Vertonghen who made no mistake with a low shot into the right corner.
The visitors pressed throughout the five minutes of injury time, before Michu was felled and the game ended with Flores remonstrating against anyone in a white shirt.