Tottenham Hotspur 3
(Van der Vaart – 19, Adebayor – 73, 86)
Swansea City 1
(Sigurdsson – 59)
An Emmanuel Adebayor brace was enough for Tottenham Hotspur to pick up their first Premier League win in six games after Gylfi Sigurdsson had cancelled out Rafael Van der Vaart’s opener.
The giant striker headed the hosts in front late in the second half that saw Spurs claw their way back level on points with third placed Arsenal.
Manager Harry Redknapp made four changes from the side that defeated Bolton Wanderers in midweek with Brad Friedel, Younes Kaboul, William Gallas and Sandro coming in for Carlo Cudicini, Ledley King, Ryan Nelsen and Jake Livermore, whilst Aaron Lennon was in the squad for the first time since recovering from his hamstring injury he picked up against Stevenage last month.
Gareth Bale began the encounter in superb fashion and was involved in the majority of attacking options from the first whistle and after early misses from Van der Vaart and Adebayor, the Welshman found himself in space after being released by Luka Modric after 19 minutes.
The powerful winger surged into the area and attempted to play in Adebayor. Swansea managed to clear the threat, but the ball fell to Van der Vaart who nestled past goalkeeper Michel Vorm from the edge of the box to make it 1-0.
Swansea’s best chance of the half fell to Ashley Williams, but he failed to turn his header on target after Vorm had done exceptionally well to turn Younes Kaboul’s header away from goal.
Bale twice came close to extending the lead for Spurs, but both efforts didn’t trouble Vorm before Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Bale linked up well to play through Modric who drilled wide from 20-yards.
The Swans started the second half the brighter of the two sides and it took a fine save from Bard Friedel to deny Sigurdsson with the veteran goal keeper able to turn the Icelandic international’s 30-yard effort onto the post and out for corner.
Yet, the on-loan midfielder did get the better of the American just under 10 minutes later after Sandro blocked Joe Allen’s shot, the ball fell to Sigurdsson who volleyed into the ground and over Friedel to level matters.
The goal spurred the hosts into action once again and Vorm was on-hand to turn away Van der Vaart’s glancing header after Bale picked out the Dutchman in similar fashion to the goal the midfielder netted against Stoke City.
Dutchman Vorm was equal to Bale’s 25-yard stinging effort before Kaboul strode forward to find Adebayor, however his effort was comfortably gather by the Swansea shot stopper.
Just two minutes later and Spurs were back in front after Van der Vaart picked out Adebayor at the back post from a corner and the Togolese front-man was able to head past Vorm to restore the advantage.
Bale was a continuous thorn in the side of the Swans back-four and he began another venomous run as Spurs looked to add a third. He found Modric in the box and, despite cries for a penalty on the Welshman, the diminutive schemer saw his goal bound effort blocked.
The Croatian international found himself in on goal again after playing a smart one-two with Lennon, who entered the field of play at the expense of Sandro with 20 minutes remaining, but he shot straight at Vorm.
With four minutes remaining on the clock, Spurs doubled their advantage after Lennon broke down the right and after reaching the byline, picked out Adebayor at the back-post who rose highest to head home his second, and the hosts’ third, of the afternoon to cap off an impressive display.
What Redknapp had to say
“It’s been a good week. We went to Chelsea last week and played ever so well and really I thought we could have won the game, which is never easy, going to Stamford Bridge and getting a result like that,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.
“We came back home and played well against Bolton in midweek and then today again so it’s been a good week.”
On the impressive performance from Bale, he added: “He’s just an amazing talent. He’s an amazing player.
“He’s got the ability to run all day, to beat people, to dribble, to shoot, to head it – he can do everything. He’s a unique player really, he’s a special talent.
“But everybody was on their game today. I thought we defended well. We got good blocks in, the two centre halves. I thought the midfield people all closed down and pressed well.
“Obviously Manny (Adebayor) getting two goals as well was great for him.”
Man of the match
An impressive team performance, but the award, for the second time running, goes to Gareth Bale. The Welshman looked back to his brilliant best in the 3-1 wins over both Bolton Wanderers and Swansea City and after assisting Rafael Van der Vaart’s opener in the first-half, proved a constant threat down the left-flank at White Hart Lane.
Moment of the match
Emmanuel Adebayor’s first goal towards the end of the encounter proved to be the lift Spurs needed. Having not won in the league since the 5-0 rout against Newcastle United in February, the win was of particular importance especially with Chelsea and the Magpies picking up three points over the weekend and QPR defeating rivals Arsenal on Saturday.
Spurs scored from another corner. Yes, for the second game running Spurs actually scored from a corner.
It was brilliant to see Gareth Bale back on the left and doing what he does best.
Aaron Lennon returning could well be the player to drag Spurs over the finish line and into a top four finish and his comeback couldn’t come at a better time.