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Ben Kosky, at White Hart Lane
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Premier League: Tottenham 3 Swansea City 1
Emmanuel Adebayor headed a second-half double to secure Spurs’ first win in six league games – and renew the pressure on Arsenal in the battle for third place.
Tottenham were less than convincing as they laboured for long spells against Brendan Rodgers’ slick Swansea side, but eventually triumphed thanks to Adebayor’s brace to go level with the Gunners on points.
In an evenly-balanced opening to the game, there were chances for both sides, with Adebayor nudging Gareth Bale’s low cross wide at the near post.
At the other end, Joe Allen pounced on a slip by Scott Parker to set up former Spurs winger Wayne Routledge for a potshot that fizzed just beyond Brad Friedel’s right-hand post.
The Swans seemed to have the better of the game in midfield and, if anything, it was against the run of play when Tottenham took the lead in the 20th minute.
Luka Modric was the architect, weighting a perfect pass to play Bale in behind Angel Rangel and his low cross was partially cleared by Ashley Williams to Rafael Van der Vaart, who drove the loose ball crisply into the net.
Spurs began to play with greater confidence without really getting on top, although they almost added a second when Michel Vorm sprang to his right to push away Younes Kaboul’s goalbound header.
For Swansea, Williams went close with a similar attempt to Kaboul’s, stealing in at the far post to meet Joe Allen’s corner with a header that bounced down and over the bar.
And the Welshmen took control at the start of the second half, with on-loan Gylfi Sigurdsson easing away from Parker to curl a left-foot drive that Friedel stretched to claw onto the post and behind.
The Icelander’s effort deserved a goal – and he gained one with his next attempt on 59 minutes, collecting Routledge’s knockdown to fire a volley that bounced past the diving Friedel for the equaliser.
Tottenham almost regained the lead when Bale whipped a cross to the near post and Van der Vaart’s glancing header was pushed behind by Vorm.
But, with frustration beginning to envelop the Spurs faithful, their team edged in front again as Adebayor – who had wasted a good opportunity minutes earlier – got above Garry Monk to head in Bale’s 73rd-minute corner.
And the Togolese striker made certain with his second goal four minutes from the end, leaping to nod home a pinpoint cross from substitute Aaron Lennon.
Tottenham: Friedel; Walker, Kaboul, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto (Rose 88); Sandro (Lennon 71), Parker; Van der Vaart (Livermore 85), Modric, Bale; Adebayor.