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December 31, 2011
• Liberty Stadium, Swansea
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 20393
S. Sinclair 84'
R. van der Vaart 44'
It's all over at the Liberty Stadium and it ends 1-1 which is slightly flattering for Tottenham as they looked second best for most of the match. They took their chance when it came along but apart from that it was all Swansea, as they look so dangerous in the second half. It's a vital point for Brendan Rodgers' side in their fight to stay in the Premier League but Spurs will see this as an opportunity missed to catch the Manchester sides at the top of the table.
Now it's Spurs turn to threaten as force the Swansea defence into a mistake outside the area fouling Modric. From the free-kick Bale hits a left-footed shot which is deflected by the wall and comfortably saved by Vorm. This match is looking like ending in a draw.
Yellow CardJake Livermore
This game is now wide open and it's the Swans who look more likely to knick this, as they're moving the ball around effortlessly and are causing Spurs all sorts of problems.
GOALLLL!!!!! Swansea finally get their reward for their excellent attacking play and it's Sinclair who gets it tapping the ball home from six-yards to send the Liberty Stadium into raptures. Rangel beat his man on the right before crossing into the box, Friedel came for the ball and missed it leaving the winger with a simple finish.
How Swansea haven't scored in this game is anyone's guess. As Walker does brilliantly to clear the ball over the bar when Dobbie's pass looked set for Sinclair to tap the ball in, when he was well placed in the six-yard box. From the resulting corner Sinclair's shot was cleared off the line by Modric. To the astonishment of the crowd in the Liberty Stadium.
Brendan Rodgers' are throwing everything at the visitors but Tottenham are holding firm for the time being. They look threatening on the counter with the pace of Bale and Defoe, but this game still hangs in the balance.
Oooooo!! Swansea come close to getting that equaliser as Sinclair cuts inside from the left and launches a powerful effort at goal which Friedel looks to have covered but the ball hits off Danny Graham and just creeps over the bar. So near yet so far for the home-side.
Credit to Swansea they're sticking with their passing game and haven't resorted to hoofing the ball up-field. However they're facing some resilient defending from Tottenham who look comfortable at the back at the moment.
Rafael van der Vaart
Swansea come agonizingly close to getting an equaliser first Moore does well to shrug off a defender before a firing a shot which just goes past the post of Freidel taking a deflection on its way. From the resulting corner Rangel peels off at the back-post and volleys the ball sweetly but it misses the corner by inches and goes out for a goal-kick.
Adebayor has not been at his best either today as he misjudges Bale's cross-field pass and the ball trickles out for a goal-kick. Had he manage to control the ball he would have been clear of the last defender and through one-on-one with Vorm. Poor stuff.
Gareth Bale has had a quiet game by his standards but he comes close to getting a second for Spurs as he links up with Adebayor before prodding a left-footed shot just past the post of Vorm. Could Spurs come to rue these missed chances?
The visitors have defended extremely well and are stifling the Swans passing game. They're growing in confidence as the game is progressing and look by far the more dangerous of the teams at the minute.
Swansea have looked lively going forward but it has been that final ball that has stopped them getting a goal in this game. As Neil Taylor shows why as he breaks well down the left beating Walker but his cross is blocked by the first-man at the near post Kaboul.
Spurs come close again on the counter this time Adebayor robs Joe Allen of the ball in the centre circle and slides Van der Vaart in behind the defence. The Dutchman takes his shot first time and it's well saved by Vorm who turns the ball round the post.
As Swansea commit more men forward to get an equaliser they leave themselves open at the back and they nearly take advantage of this breaking with Adebayor, Modric and Walker. The latter tries to Adebayor but he's flagged offside, a wasted opportunity.
Swansea raid forward through sub Angel Rangel who drifts inside on the right and crosses into the area and finds Luke Moore who tries to turn and shoot but his effort is blocked well by Gallas. A great intervention by the Frenchman.
Tottenham start the second half strongly and nearly grab a second through Kaboul who makes a great run from the back and plays a lovely one-two with Adebayor inside the box but his shot from a narrow angle is saved by the legs of Vorm. Top keeping.
We're back underway at the Liberty Stadium.
It's half-time at the Liberty Stadium and Tottenham lead Swansea by 1-0 with Rafael Van der Vaart netting the goal. The Swans have been the better side but Spurs have taken their chance. Brendan Rodgers will need pick up players at half-time to get them inspired for the second because they've played the better football but sometimes in football you just don't get the rewards. Credit to Tottenham for being clinical when they needed to be.
GoalRafael van der Vaart
GOALL!! Spurs take the lead through Rafael Van der Vaart as he volleys home Benoit Assou-Ekotto's cross as the ball takes a deflection on its way into the net. The left-back did brilliantly down the wing beaten his man twice before finding the Dutchman in the box where he made no mistake from six yards. It's slightly fortunate and you can't say Spurs have deserved it but they're in the lead.
Yellow CardGareth Bale
Silly from Gareth Bale as he’s booked for diving and he can have no complaints as it’s blatant as he tumbles over after missing the leg of Mark Gower. It won’t look good for him if he pick up another yellow in this game.
The home-side do look a threat when they go forward but they just can't find that bit of magic when they need it in the box, as Moore can't force a shot goal-wards and Dyer's cross back into the ares is well cleared by Kaboul. Good play all-round.
Swansea have been good defensively but little mistakes are starting to creep into their game, with a few players leaving passes short on another day they could have been made to pay for these errors. But they're still keeping the visitors outside the box with disciplined defending.
Tottenham are certainly the better of the teams now after enduring a difficult start they are now controlling possession. The only problem for Harry Redknapp is their play in the final third which has been poor as they've haven't tested Vorm at all.
Michel Vorm has earned a great deal of plaudits for his peformances this season and he's just showed again how good a keeper he is. Dyer sells him short with a back-pass which Adebayor tries to latch on to but the Swans keeper is out and makes a great sliding tackle to take the ball away from the striker.
Adebayor's not enjoying himself at the minute as Swansea are getting physical with him and pressing him the moment he gets the ball. This time he loses the ball in the centre circle to Gower who drifts to the wing and fires a dangerous cross to the back-post which Moore just cannot get on to.
Tottenham are trying to slow the pace of the game down and quiet the crowd in the Liberty Stadium. They're starting to work the ball well but their final ball has been disappointing and to prove my point as I write Walker over-hits a cross and it goes out for a throw-in.
Oooooo!! Sinclair sees his effort just go over the bar as the former Chelsea man hit a cracking shot from just outside the area after he latched onto a good cross-field pass from Luke Moore following good strong work from the striker.
Swansea have kept six clean sheets at home this season and are showing why as they crowd out Parker before he can find a team-mate and do the same to Bale a minute later. Solid stuff and great organisation from the Swans.
Emmanuel Adebayor has been caught offside three times so far by my count which has stifled Spurs when they've been in good positions. Swansea look dangerous as well but neither team has shown that clinical edge needed to get the goal.
The game has settled down after a quick start by Swansea. Both teams are using the ball well in possession but the Swans have had the better of the match so far.
Yellow CardAshley Richards
Nasty tackle by Ashley Richards on Gareth Bale. Perhaps the youngster wants to let the Welsh international he’s watching him. The Swans defender has to tread very carefully now.
Spurs have their first opportunity of the game through Luka Modric who blasts his shot wide after some good approach play between him Parker and Sandro. Harry Redknapp will want to see more of that this afternoon. It's also an early warning to Swansea about the threat Tottenham pose.
Tottenham are being sloppy here in the opening minutes. This time they give the ball away in midfield to Dobbie who runs at the defence and hits a decent effort however it's a routine save for Freidel. Spurs need to up their game to get into this one.
The Swans have three corners in succession and haven't managed to conjure anything from them. The closest being a scuffed effort from Scott Sinclair which didn't trouble Friedel and was cleared comfortably by the Spurs defence.
Swansea on the attack again as Stephen Dobbie wins the ball off Kyle Walker and drives into the Tottenham box but he can't find a team-mate in the box and his shot is blocked behind by William Gallas, Great play by the Swans.
Swansea come close to opening the scoring as Nathan Dyer tests Brad Friedel from long range, the American makes an excellent stop diving to his right and parries the ball away from goal. It was a good Swansea move that created the chance, they're playing well so far. Do Tottenham have any answers for this fast start?
Swansea have started brightly and are seeing a lot of the ball at the minute. However they haven't threatened the Tottenham goal just yet. But a confident start from the home-side nonetheless.
We're underway at the Liberty Stadium.
Tottenham are the fourth highest scorers in the Premier League away from home this season only the Manchester clubs and Arsenal have scored more. However Swansea have conceded just three goals at home this season the lowest amount in the Premier League. Keeping six clean sheets in the process.
This game should be an interesting contest as the Swans have lost at home just once this season while only Manchester United have more away wins than Tottenham's six this season.
Swansea make six changes from the team that drew with QPR on Tuesday with Neil Taylor, Stephen Dobbie, Garry Monk, Luke Moore, Mark Gower and Nathan Dyer all come into the starting line-up. Angel Rangel, Wayne Routledge, Leon Britton, Danny Graham, Kemy Agustien and Steven Caulker, who’s ineligible to play against his parent club, all drop out. Harry Redknapp keeps the same team that beat Norwich on Tuesday night however Michael Dawson returns to the Tottenham squad for the first time since August following an Achilles injury.
Tottenham (4-4-1-1) : Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Modric, Sandro, Parker, Van der Vaart; Bale; Adebayor. Subs: Defoe, Dawson, Kranjcar, Cudicini, Rose, Livermore, Pienaar.
Swansea City (4-3-2-1) : Vorm; Richards, Williams, Monk, Taylor; Allen, Dobbie, Gower; Sinclair, Dyer; Moore Subs: Britton, Graham, Routledge, Lita, Rangel, Tremmel, Agustien.
Welcome to Goal.com's Live Commentary of the clash between Swansea City and Tottenham at the Liberty Stadium. The Swans are looking to move themselves away from the relegation zone while Spurs are pushing Manchester United and City for the Premier League title. This game will have huge ramifications over a busy period of fixtures over new year so stay with us for all the action.
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