Tottenham’s late, late show keeps dream alive

Swansea 1 Tottenham 3: Three goals in a remarkable final 10 minutes at the Liberty Stadium kept alive Tottenham’s faint hopes of winning the Premier League title.

Tottenham’s late, late show keeps dream alive

For relegation troubled Swansea, it was another significant blow to their hopes of survival. They led for 78 minutes through an 11th minute strike from the former Spurs winger Wayne Routledge, but shipped goals in the 87th, 90th and 93rd minutes as Spurs, somehow, snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

With Hull City winning, Paul Clement’s side are back in the bottom three and facing up to the ignominy of relegation. However, this was all about Spurs and another wonderful victory, albeit a late one.

Dele Alli scored the equaliser, Son Heung-min put the visitors ahead and Christian Eriksen made sure.

Spurs might have taken the lead inside the first 40 seconds. Son Heung-min was teed up on the edge of the Swansea box, but Federico Fernandez blocked his shot and Alfie Mawson completed the clearance. Son then inexplicably wasted a five on one opportunity, before Swansea’s first spell of pressure ended with former Spurs defender Kyle Naughton blazing over from 20 yards.

Then, having been somewhat fortunate to survive an early onslaught from the visitors, Clement’s side took an 11th minute lead.

Jordan Ayew forced his way into the box and duly set up Routledge for a goal that stunned into silence more than 2,000 travelling fans.

Tottenham’s only concern was the depth with which Swansea continued to defend. It was difficult to prise their hosts out and therefore, the space in the final third, was minimal.

Their manager, Mauricio Pochettino, not only encouraged his side to show patience, but requested greater flexibility in the middle third. Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele provided the glue, but Eriksen, Alli and Moussa Sissoko switched and swapped in a bid to unsettle Swansea’s rigid defensive plan.

If anything, Spurs become a more potent force when Swansea were allowed the ball. They enticed their hosts across half way and spent the 15 minutes before half time playing on the counter attack. Son was caught a yard offside after a measured pass from Eriksen and Lukaz Fabianski cut out a Son cross after Alli’s defence splitting pass five minutes before the interval. A minute later Ben Davies crossed for Son to volley over.

The second half began much as the first had, with Spurs on top. In fact the visitors felt they should have had a penalty two minutes in when Son’s goal-bound shot struck Fernandez. Replays showed that the ball had hit the Argentine on the shoulder.

Swansea continued to drag all but Ayew behind the ball. They placed two banks of four outside the penalty area and invited Spurs to break them down.

It was a different story at the other end. Swansea were becoming strangers to the Spurs’ half until Kyle Naughton cut back inside Davies before seeing his deflected shot fly wide of Michel Vorm’s far post. From the ensuing corner Leroy Fer was adjudged to have fouled the former Swansea goalkeeper in trying to head home from three yards.

With the visiting fans now becoming restless, Tottenham’s earlier composure turned to increasing frustration. Pochettino’s response was to introduce Vincent Janssen on the hour.

It made precious little difference as they found Swansea too tough a nut to crack.

With the game edging towards full time, Tottenham became desperate. Eric Dier was wrongly booked for a trip on substitute Ki and Janssen failed to win a penalty after going in hard on Fabianski.

Fortunately, for Swansea, the Polish goalkeeper picked himself up and got on with the game.

Toby Aldereireld saw a shot fizz over the top of Fabianski before the Pole kept his side in front with a wonderful save from Alli’s 85th minute header.

The breakthrough finally came with three minutes remaining. Eriksen’s shot was deflected to the far post where Alli side-footed the ball past Fabianski.

Son bagged a second, three minutes later after an exquisite flick from Janssen and then Eriksen beat Fabianski from 20 yards after Alli’s wonderful assist.


Fabianski (7); Naughton (7) (Ki Sung-Yueng 71,6), Fernandez (7), Mawson (7), Olssson (7); Cork (6), Fer (7), Carroll (6); Routledge (6) (Narsingh 90,5), Ayew (6) (McBurnie 74,6), Sigurdsson (6).

TOTTENHAM (4-2-3-1):

Vorm (6); Walker (7), Aldereireld (7), Vertonghen (7), Davies (6) (N’Koudou 79,6), Dier (7) Dembele (7); Sissoko (7) (Janssen 60,6), Ali (8), Eriksen (8); Son Heung-min (6) (Trippier 90,6).


Jon Moss.

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