Premier League: Swansea City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2
By Football News
Goals from Gareth Bale and Jan Vertonghen saw Tottenham Hotspur beat Swansea City 2-1 away from home in the Premier League on Saturday.
Belgian defender Vertonghen gave the visitors an early lead before Bale added a second with a spectacular long-range goal.
Michu did reduce the arrears for Swansea, but they could not find the equaliser despite dominating much of the second half at the Liberty Stadium.
Chico Flores returned to the Swansea defence for the first time since February, while goalkeeper Brad Friedel came into the Spurs side in place of the injured Hugo Lloris.
Tottenham made the better start to proceedings and opened the scoring inside seven minutes with an excellent goal, Bale turning in space and supplying a lofted ball through to Vertonghen, who controlled excellently before slotting past Michel Vorm with a delicate finish.
Spurs remained in the ascendancy following that strike and almost doubled their advantage, Emmanuel Adebayor strolling through the home defence only to hit a tame effort straight at Vorm.
Swansea almost punished the visitors for Adebayor's profligacy when Michu headed wide from a corner, but less than a minute later Andre Villas-Boas' side were two goals to the good.
Vertonghen and Bale combined neatly again before the Welsh midfielder unleashed a wonderful left-footed shot with the outside of his boot which flew into the top corner of the net.
Bale, who also netted in Wales' World Cup qualifier with Croatia at the Liberty Stadium in last week, clearly sensed that more goals were there for the taking and nearly completed his brace, driving a fierce effort just wide of the post from the edge of the area.
The hosts were not deterred by their poor start however, and came agonisingly close to levelling late in the first half as Nathan Dyer crashed a header against the bar from Dwight Tiendalli's delivery.
Indeed, it was Swansea who began to push forward with more haste as they chased the game, but they could not break down a stern Spurs' defence and headed into the interval with a mountain to climb.
Michael Laudrup's charges refused to halt their onslaught after the break and came close to pulling one back, Michu's effort from close range kept out by Friedel after he had latched on to Wayne Routledge's quick free-kick.
Michu was not to be denied and after a sustained period of pressure from the hosts the Spaniard finally got his goal, heading in a Ki Sung-Yueng corner to set up a frantic finish.
That goal gave Laudrup's men the confidence to press with even more urgency but they were almost caught out on the break, Bale racing 40 yards before clipping the outside of the post with a low strike.
Spurs were clearly second best in a second half dictated by the League Cup winners, but it was the visitors who continued to create the better chances, substitute Jermain Defoe seeing a close-range effort brilliantly saved by Vorm.
There was almost late drama in added time as Bale produced an excellent tackle to deny Dyer at the death, but in truth Spurs held out with relative comfort to secure a vital victory.