Tottenham Hotspur's Kyle Walker (R) challenges Swansea's
Wayne Routledge during their English Premier League match
at White Hart Lane in London. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Belgium international Jan Vertonghen broke the deadlock
to send Tottenham Hotspur back into the top four of the Premier
League with a 1-0 home win against Swansea City.
The former Ajax defender scored in the 75th minute at White
Hart Lane with a beautifully-struck right-footed shot after a
Kyle Walker free kick from the right was nodded on by the
Spurs leapfrogged Everton to take fourth place, level on 29
points with third-placed Chelsea, who have a game in hand
after losing the Club World Cup final in Japan 1-0 to
Manchester United, who beat Sunderland 3-1 at Old Trafford on
Saturday, have 42 points and are six clear of Manchester City
at the top of the table.
Spurs, without the injured Gareth Bale but with England
midfielder Scott Parker returning as a late substitute for
his first appearance of the season after Achilles surgery,
enjoyed most of the possession but were frustrated by a
flowing Swansea side that proved solid in defence and
dangerous on the break.
"We had so many chances, so many opportunities to put the
match to bed even earlier," said manager Andre Villas-Boas.
"We were very solid today...it would have been extremely
unfair if we hadn't got the win today."
Walker had Tottenham's best chance of the goalless first half
in the 40th minute when he blasted the ball at goalkeeper
Gerhard Tremmel from 25 metres.
Tremmel had barely time to raise his hands, with the ball
ricocheting off his shoulder without Spurs being able to
Swansea's Michu then tried an opportunistic lob from the
halfway line two minutes later that dipped over the bar as
Hugo Lloris scrambled back to cover.
The game ended in controversy after Michu was felled by
Lloris when the goalkeeper tried to punch the ball clear.
With the Swansea player still lying in the area, Tottenham
played on to consternation from the visitors.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup, whose side have not won at
White Hart Lane in 15 league games and remain 10th, was
critical of referee Mike Dean's delay in halting play while
his man was on the ground.
"I was very angry," the Dane told Sky Sports News. "If two
players go up and you see there could be a head injury, then
there's only one thing to do: The referee just has to blow
"That was poor refereeing... we are talking about maybe a
head injury and the referee let the play go on. I think that
was a very bad decision," he said, adding that the Spaniard
was recovering well.