|DATE||Saturday 16th September 2017|
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|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 3 Swansea City 0|
|LAST SEASON'S MEETING||For a look back at the match report, click here.|
|RESULTS HISTORY||Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Swansea City|
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Saturday 16th September 2017
Kick off 17:30
Alderweireld (dissent) 89
van der Hoorn (foul on Dele) 64
Carroll (kicking ball away) 87
Routledge (kicking ball away) 90+4
|Crowd : 65,366||Weather : Mild|
|Referee : Mike Dean (Wirral)||Assistant Referees : Mr. D. Cann; Mr. I. Hussin|
|Fourth Official : Kevin Friend|
|Swansea City kicked off and played towards the West Stand end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 7 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Swansea City :||kit|
Hugo LLORIS (c)
10 Harry KANE
Lukasz FABIANSKI (c)
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : Paul Clement|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : Letou|
|Kit Supplier : Nike||Kit Supplier : Joma|
What turned out to be a disappointing afternoon was not the worst performance and did not deserve the chorus of boos at the end of the game, but this is what we will have to expect on two fronts. Firstly, that teams will come to stifle us and that the "fringe" supporters who turn up expecting Spurs to turn sides over will voice their disapproval accordingly.
It is not just the fact that we are playing at an "away" ground this season, but that opposition sides will realise that the team who finished second in the table last season are a prized scalp and if they come to play an open attacking game, then they will get picked off. Like it or not (and I wouldn't want to watch a side who show little attacking intent and who failed to register a shot on target for the third time in five games), this is the way that teams will set up against us and it is up to us to break them down. Having played the Champions game in midweek, I don't personally hold with players being too tired to play three days later, but injuries prevented Davies taking his place, but he was fit enough to make the bench, while Son was nominally left wing back and Sissoko alongside Dier as the defensive midfield pairing.
When the game started, Dele put an early volley off target when he struck a dropping ball low at goal and when Lloris sliced one clear it didn't go very far and straight to Ayew, who luckily put his shot off target. By then the ball had already been changed, as Fabianski got his time-wasting in early, but the new ball was struck cleanly by Harry Kane, who fired a 30 yard free kick towards the bottom left hand corner of the keeper's goal and he got down well to push the ball away. There was almost a repeat of Son's goal from Wednesday night when he won the ball off the dawdling Sanches, exchanged passes with Sissoko and was away on the left, from where he drove at the near post, forcing Fabianski to keep it out at the expense of a corner. When that was cleared to Sissoko outside the box, he hit his shot wide.
Swansea were playing a high line, pushing up to squash the space available for Tottenham to play in and we shunned the width of the pitch to go down the middle, which proved congested. It was a bit of one-way traffic, as the only release from the Spurs attacks was by clearing the ball long, hoping Abraham would get a touch on it with his head, but there was nobody up there to pick up any headers he won and most of the time, our back three were too many than was required to deal with him. This allowed Toby and Jan to move forward with the ball, but often this just made the areas to play in more crowded, although two of Jan's runs into their last third caused the most problem to the Swans. One brought a foul on the edge of the box and a free kick. it looks like Eriksen has been taken off free-kick duty; an odd decision in light of his success against Fabianski in the past, but Dier floated this one over the top.
When Swansea did form some sort of attack, when Sanchez got his legs in a muddle and Abraham took the ball away form him, the low cross aimed for Tom Carroll was cut out by Moussa Sissoko, who slid back to clear the danger. Despite being out of Wednesday's match against Dortmund, Dele looked al little sluggish, but still produced some nice touches, although his shooting often found a red shirt in the way, as they threw themselves in front of the Spurs players. Once more, Mike Dean produced a confusing performance with van der Hoorn clearing out Dele from behind, without a card, only to be cautioned in the 64th minute for doing exactly the same thing on Dele.
A corner came out to Trips, who fired it back but wide, while Jan was pushing high up the field to try and bring players out of the Swansea back ten. On a rare foray into the Spurs half, they won a free-kick and from it a corner, that van der Hoorn won unchallenged, but he put it over the bar. Jan ended the half with a shot from 25 yards out that had Fabianski diving to his left to hold onto it.
The half-time whistle brought some murmurings from the Spurs sections of the crowd, but, despite the team selection, the biggest surprise was that Cliff Jones was not the half-time guest. Ledley King came out to be interviewed, but the stadium acoustics do not suit Ledley Basso Profundo and much of his speech was lost n the structure. Pochettino obviously wanted to change things around, with the side coming out as they were before the break, but Son and Trippier had swapped sides. It was a plan that didn't really work, as Kieran had to switch inside onto his right when he got the ball, thus not making use of the wide positions and it was only after the game, it became clear that Davies couldn't have come on as a sub, as he was carrying bad knock. It begs the question why he was on the bench ?
Too often Spurs were looking for a floated or chipped ball over the defence for players ot run onto, but that was not viable, with the limited amount of room to land the ball and allow the Spurs player moving onto it to reach it before it went through to Fabianski or went off. While the weather felt cold to me, it must have been much warmer at pitch level, as before every goal-kick, Fabianski had to have a drink from his water bottle. Having got his side to park the bus, Clement also had them practising the Chelsea dark arts of time wasting to protect what they had, with both ex-Spurs Carroll and Routledge both picked up yellow cards for kicking the ball away.
As the Spurs attacks continued, Son drew a low save, with the ball rebounding to Sissoko, who pulled it back to Kane on the edge of the six yard box and his rising shot crashed back off the bar. Sonny tried to curl one in but curled one over, then he went down after being challenged in the box and only a corner was given. It was a clever ploy, as Eriksen played the ball along the dead-ball line to him and his shot at the near post was blocked for another corner. This time, Eriksen's dead ball delivery was fast and to the near post, where Kane did well to get a header on it, ducking low, which forced the keeper to a good reflex save, pushing the ball over the bar.
Serge Aurier had come on for Sissoko and his power nd trickery down the right was producing some good space, one cross was knocked down for Dele by Son and the midfielder hit a shot that Fabianski had to tip over the top as it looped up. Vertonghen hit one over from outside the area with his right foot, while Swansea's substitutions saw them starting to play a more controlled game to hold onto possession a little more, with Carroll putting a good cross in to nobody in particular and Lloris coming out to grab the ball off Abraham's toes.
A couple of times the ball was worked well to Dele around the 18 yard line, but his touch let him down and the ball ran away from him. The red shirts were now buying soft free-kicks, with Dean falling for them as the Swansea players feel to earth. The balls played into the Spurs box were not great and only one threatened, when it was cleared to Clucas, but his shot ended up well wide. Jan was equally off target when he found the ball at his feet beyond the far post from a corner. A good clipped pass over the defence by Dier picked out Aurier on the right and as he ran into the box he went down under challenge from Fer when there appeared no contact with the ball. There were shouts for a penalty, but Dean gave the free-kick to Swansea for a handball by Aurier and in the aftermath, Toby was booked for his protests.
Into added time another cleared corner dropped for Trippier, who drove a fierce shot back in, but it whistled just wide of the post and then Dier's ball into the mixer was nodded down by substitute Llorente (about the only decent ball he received) and Aurier got on the end of it and poked a shot at goal, but it was into the side-netting and with that effort went our chances of a win.
If you look at it as a defensive display, you would have to say that Swansea stuck to their plan and go t a point that the stats might indicate they didn't deserve, but the stats don't win matches. Well, the one that tells you how many goals each side scored does, but in this case the 0-0 gave each side a point and Swansea are already in a position where they need whatever points they can get. The tempo to our game was lacking in the first half, where the slow build up allowed Swansea to get ten back behind the ball and then it was difficult top find space away from a red shirt. There would have been benefits form trying to get Son in the ball in the box, where he could have used his close control to force a rash tackle. Dele and Harry were closely guarded, with little effort made to go forward by the visitors, leaving Abraham up front and he frankly was weak in trying to lead a line.
It will be a common trait with teams coming to the Lane and although Tuesday's visit by Barnsley won't feature many of this starting eleven, it might be a more open game, as they could come and have a go, or they might try and hole out for penalties. But Chelsea didn't play a lot different, other than get two goals from the two shots they had. Burnley were a little more adventurous, but produced a solid centre to the side that made space at a premium and kept Spurs away form their goal.
We did have chances and on another day, Kane could have ended with a hat-trick, but not finishing our chances is something that has featured in every game so far this season. With new starters on Tuesday, it will be interesting to see how they can finish off moves, as I expect Edwards to get a start and Llorente too. With defenders rested and injured, there may be a totally new back four playing in front of Vorm. It will eb valuable playing time and hopefully, they will be cohesive enought o get a second home win at Wembley.
Swansea Town were from the
Town of Swansea which was named after the pioneering work to restore
eyesight to cygnets and their parents who were visually challenged
and thus took their name.
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|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|Bournemouth||2||Brighton & Hove Albion||1||Friday|
|Huddersfield Town||1||Leicester City||1||Saturday|
|Newcastle United||2||Stoke City||1||Saturday|
|West Bromwich Albion||0||West Ham United London||0||Saturday|
|League Table 2017-18|
|10||West Bromwich Albion||5||2||2||1||4||4||8||0|
|15||Brighton & Hove Albion||5||1||1||3||4||7||4||-3|
|17||West Ham United London||5||1||1||3||4||10||4||-6|
Position before match :
Position after match : 5th
Position after the weekend : 5th
* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.
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