|DATE||Wednesday 4th March 2015|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
Due to the passing of Dave Mackay and the writing of an obituary for
the man who was an integral part of our Double side, there was not
much time left for a preview of this match.
With the Welsh side having had a good rest, while Spurs have been busy here and in Italy, there will be fresher legs in the Swansea side, but Mauricio Pochettino has a full squad to choose form, so can change things around. He will want to go with the strongest spine of the side, giving them the chance to get the disappointment of the loss on Sunday out of their system.
There will be a couple of players in the Swans side who will want to make an impression on their former owners, with Gylfi Sigurdsson and Kyle Naughton keen to show Spurs they were wrong to let them go. With Bafetimbi Gomis replacing Wilfried Bony upfront, there is an aerial presence which will need to be monitored, as Swansea look to get the ball wide quickly and their wingers then put crosses into the box to feed their striker. There is also thrusts from midfield with Jonjo Shelvey always willing to have a shot at goal, with Wayne Routledge, Nathan Dyer and Jefferson Montero are all quick wingers, who like to get in and around the box too. January signing Jack Cork is a mobile midfielder who learnt his trade at Chelsea and Southampton, and Leon Britton, who moves the bal around well are the players who might make the midfield tick over and keep Spurs players chasing after it.
Spurs need to get back into winning ways. The tempo they start out at will be key to the way the game goes. Spurs need to take the game to Swansea and take the chances they make. On Sunday, they were stifled by Mourinho's tactics, but whether Garry Monk will adopt the same way of playing we will see. In the past, City have tried to come and sit back and have not been successful. Whether that will change, will be determined by how keen the side who sit just below us in the table are to move above us.
Spurs should be able to kick
start their season after being knocked out of the two cup
competitions in the week just gone, so they have the old cliché
"only the league to concentrate on."
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 2 Swansea City 1|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Spurs have no injury problems and have a full squad to select from.
SWANSEA CITY TEAM NEWS :
Swansea will be without Tom Carroll, who cannot play as he is on loan from Spurs, but former Spurs midfielder Gylfi SIgurdsson is fit agian and another ex-player of ours - Kyle Naughton - is likely to be at right back.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
Swansea City 2 (1)
Wednesday 4th March 2015 Kick off 19:45
White Hart Lane
Chadli 6m 03s
Mason 50m 14s
Townsend 59m 35s
Ki 18m 59s
Sigurdsson 88m 01s
Dier (foul on Oliviera) 62
|Crowd : 34,008||Weather : Chilly, dry|
|Referee : Michael Oliver (Northumberland)||Assistant Referees : Mr. J. Collin; Mr. I. Hussin|
|Fourth Official : A Madley||-|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 10 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Swansea City :||kit|
Hugo LLORIS (c)
Mousa DEMBELE 64)
18 HARRY KANE ( 9 Roberto SOLDADO 75)
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : Gary Monk|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : 24hr.hk GWFX|
|Kit Supplier : Under Armour||Kit Supplier : adidas|
After an impressive second half performance, Spurs looked to have the points sealed up, but they were grateful to a last minute Hugo Lloris save that ensured the three points stayed at White Hart Lane, as Swansea City staged a late revival.
The game was also notable for a worrying moment, when just after Spurs had opened the scoring, Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis fell to the ground with nobody around him in a replica of Fabrice Muamba's collapse three years ago. Luckily in this case, the French international forward had only fainted, being a condition he has suffered with due to low blood pressure.
There was a surprise in the selection by Mauricio Pochettino with the same team as played at Wembley on Sunday starting. Usually, Poch likes to rotate players, but, in this case, his idea to keep the same side seemed to reap some benefits, as there was a greater understanding between the players. Both teams and sets of supporters gave an exemplary minute's applause to mark the passing of Dave Mackay, who really was a player who could make a difference to a team. Many of his old colleagues and ex-Spurs players appeared to pay their respects, with Phil Beal, Cliff Jones, Alan Mullery, Pat Jennings, John Pratt, Ossie Ardiles, Paul Miller, Graham Roberts, Micky Hazard, Mark Falco, Darren Anderton, Martin Chivers and Ray Clemence.
With a quick start to the game, Spurs attacked on their right flank, with Walker getting forward well and putting in a couple of testing crosses, then Kane closed down Fabianski, forcing the keeper into a hurried clearance. Soon after, Danny Rose was release don the left and having the space, he picked out a cross into the box around the penalty area. Kane went for the ball with a Swans defender, but the ball cleared them and Nacer Chadli was standing behind them, well placed to hit a cushioned volley while off the floor to the right of the keeper, who could not react to the shot that gave Spurs a seventh minute lead. It was an unexpected goal and it was well taken, but the cross was a dangerous one, which the Swansea defence could not deal with.
The treatment needed for Gomis as the teams lined up to kick off took about six minutes and the stadium had fallen silent during that time. I think there was relief when he went off on a stretcher, but that there was some movement as the oxygen mask went on.
When play returned, Spurs put together a neat move on the right involving Townsend, Walker and Eriksen, ending with Andros' shot from outside the box fired in straight at Fabianski, Kane had a shot blocked before Swansea moved forward and Dier was pulled up for a foul on Gylfi Sigurdsson, conceding a free-kick 25 yards out in a central position. Our former midfielder took it and it looked as though the "Law of the Ex" would strike, as Lloris was left standing as the ball thumped back off the woodwork, with Kyle Walker clearing as the ball was knocked back towards goal by Dier. However, the ball came back at Spurs, when Taylor lifted a dinked pass over the Spurs defence to Ki tight on the dead ball line and when Vertonghen missed his kick, the Korean passed the ball through Hugo's legs and into the net from a very tight angle to level the score. So with 19 minutes gone, it was 1-1.
Walker was causing havoc down the Spurs right, with a blocked cross before picking out Mason, who shot first time and low, but Fabianski was behind it. Swansea were having to block everything that Spurs were throwing at them and Shelvey twice got in the way of goal-bound efforts. Just after the half hour, Swansea ventured forward and it was our former right back Kyle Naughton, who put in a ball across the penalty area that just needed a touch, but no black and red shirt was there ... although it looked more like a shot than a cross.
Kane, Eriksen and Townsend all had efforts blocked, with Eriksen then floating in a cross that Fabianski got all wrong and completely missed, but Kane was not well placed to get a contact on it. The keeper did better in grabbing Nabil Bentaleb's dipping shot after good work between Kane, Townsend and Chadli.
During the interval, Cliff Jones, Alan Mullery and Pat Jennings told stories of Dave Mackay and their affection for the Scottish hard man shone through. We will not see the likes of him again.
At the start of the second half, it was the visitors who were quick out of the blocks and Shelvey hit a powerful rising drive from just outside the box that Lloris had to be alert to and his double handed save saw the ball pushed over the bar. Hugo caught the corner and the ball was played out with Danny Rose putting in a cross that Harry Kane rose to head, but the ball looped wide, unlike his effort against Arsenal at the same Paxton Road end. Christian Eriksen and Rose were linking well on the left, causing Swansea problems to Naughton, but in the 51st minute, the second Tottenham goal came form the other side. Christian got the ball on the left corner of the Swansea box and set off on a run that took him along the 18 yard line. As he reached the D, the ball ran along the line and in ran Ryan Mason, who took a touch and then hit an early shot that went over Fabianski's shoulder and into the net for the midfielder's first Premier League goal in the 51st minute of this match.
Spurs looked to extend their lead and Eriksen went close with a shot from just outside the box, but then the defence were called into action with Sigurdsson hitting a shot that was blocked and then Naughton looked to cross, but a touch took it out for a corner. From it Lloris had to make a save from Federico Fernandez's attempt on goal, pushing the ball onto a Swansea forward and the ball was hacked clear. It didn't go far, only reaching the left hand corner of the box, but Bentaleb won the header before Routledge clattered into him without going for the ball, but it fell to Andros Townsend halfway inside his own half and the ref played on. Racing forward, Andros left Naughton trailing, but he got to the left side of the goal by the six yard box and then cut back on himself. The chance looked like it was gone, but, moving the ball onto his right foot, he dug a shot that curled past Fabianski and into the far side of the net
Just after the hour, Gylfi had another chance from a centrally placed free-kick, but he hit the wall and then Dembele replaced Townsend before Mason played Kyle Walker in for a shot that took a wicked deflection off a defender and went inches past the left hand post with the goalkeeper going the other way. Kane suffered the same misfortune with a deflected shot before he was replaced by Roberto Soldado. The Spaniard got a glancing near post header onto Walker's right wing cross, but the ball narrowly missed the top corner on the far side of the goal after a good passage of passing. Soldado was close to getting a touch on Davies' low ball played firmly across the six yard box, but he was not able to slide far enough to reach it.
With a minute of normal time left, the Swans got a goal back. Montero went down the left and the cross was not cut out, with it picking out Sigurdsson at the far post unmarked to volley past Hugo to make it 3-2. The "Law of the Ex" strikes again.
We hoped that Spurs would see the game out without any more panics, having failed to capitalise on their chances when leading. As it was, the three minutes of time added were nervy and almost saw the lead disappear. A corner caused panic in the box before it was booted away, then Sigurdsson's last minute cross found the head of Fernandez, who headed downwards towards the foot of Hugo's left hand post, but the French keeper dived to divert the ball away for another corner. From this one, Fernandez was there again, this time with a shot, but it was crowded out and the final whistle blew to give Spurs a much needed win.
The Spurs team had played well in the first half, but they improved ion the second to play some incisive football at a high tempo, which caught Swansea out. The failure to make the most of that dominance led to the late goal and the nervous final three minutes. Some might have been down to tiredness after the Cup Final, but the team need to learn how to finish teams off, thus making the final stages a less daunting proposition.
But a good win, which keeps us on the cot-tails of everyone else ... most of whom also won this mid-week, making Saturday's game in hand at QPR one that we need to win.
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|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|Aston Villa||2||West Bromwich Albion||1||Tuesday|
|Manchester City||2||Leicester City||0||Wednesday|
|Newcastle United||0||Manchester United||1||Wednesday|
|West Ham United||0||Chelsea||2||Wednesday|
|10||West Ham United||28||10||9||9||38||35||39||+3|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||28||7||9||12||26||36||30||-10|
Position before match :
Position after match : 7th
* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.
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