Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Swansea City 1 Tottenham 3: Alli inspires dramatic victory

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Apr 2017

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Tottenham kept their Premier League title hopes alive as three late goals saw them snatch a 3-1 victory over Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday.

A first-half goal against his former club for Wayne Routledge had looked set to seal what would have been an important victory for Paul Clement’s side in their battle to avoid relegation, only for Dele Alli, Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen to turn things around at the death.

Spurs, still missing Harry Kane and Danny Rose and without Hugo Lloris and Victor Wanyama due to illness and injury respectively, dominated the ball in south Wales but struggled to create many openings against a Swansea side who had won only one of their last five league games.

Routledge fired past former Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm after 11 minutes and the home side’s lead looked relatively untroubled, despite them having just 27 per cent of the possession against a Spurs side on a five-game winning run in all competitions.

Spurs kept up the pressure in the second half, though, and their efforts eventually paid off when Alli tapped in after Eriksen’s shot was deflected into his path through a crowded penalty area.

And Mauricio Pochettino’s side ensured the gap to leaders Chelsea, who beat Manchester City 2-1, will stay at seven points thanks to goals from Son and Eriksen in injury time, as Swansea drop into the bottom three.

Swansea seemed eager to give Spurs a head start, with poor passages of play twice allowing Son to lead a counter-attack, although the visitors failed to make the most of the opportunities.

But Spurs’ determination to press their opponents proved their undoing in the 11th minute. Having forced the ball all the way back to Lukasz Fabianski following a Swansea corner, Spurs were unable to stop the goalkeeper’s long kick sending Jordan Ayew into the penalty area, and the Ghana forward teed up Routledge to fire home from six yards out.

Spurs promptly seized control of possession as Swansea dropped deep to defend their lead, but Pochettino’s side mustered little more than a hopeful Eriksen strike from 30 yards out in the first half as the hosts continued to look a threat on the break.

Each side had a penalty shout correctly waved away by referee Jon Moss just after half-time, Ayew going to ground after turning past Toby Alderweireld before Son saw a shot from six yards out deflected wide by Federico Fernandez, who had his arm outstretched as the ball hit his side.

Swansea weathered a storm of corners and began to go hunting for a second goal, with Kyle Naughton coming close with a shot that deflected off Ben Davies and bounced narrowly past Vorm’s right-hand post.

Pochettino introduced Vincent Janssen from the bench as Spurs began to turn up the pressure once more, but the Netherlands international was denied by a good block from the brave Fabianski, who rushed from his line to close down the striker after Alli’s reverse lob sent him through.

Fabianski, who had to receive treatment, shouted down Clement’s attempts to take him off in the dying minutes and made a brilliant save to keep out an Alli header, but he could do nothing to stop the England midfielder tapping into the unguarded net after Eriksen’s shot had deflected into his path.

Son put Spurs ahead three minutes later, sliding the ball beneath Fabianski from six yards out after being set up by Janssen, and Alli’s fine ball was expertly steered into the bottom-right corner by Eriksen in the 94th minute to cap a remarkable turnaround and secure a fifth win in a row in the top flight.

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