Tottenham Hotspur leapfrogged Chelsea into third place in the Premier League with a narrow 2-1 victory over Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium this afternoon.
Goals from Jan Vertonghen and Gareth Bale put Spurs 2-0 ahead at the break, but Michu halved the deficit with a 71st-minute header.
Despite a barrage of late Swansea attacks, the Lillywhites hung on to claim their first win in four games and get their Champions League challenge back on track.
Below, Sports Mole analyses whether the result was reflective of the action in Wales.
On target: 3
On target: 7
Was the result fair?
This is a tough one to call, as Swansea had much the better of the final hour. As they often do at home, the Welsh outfit enjoyed the majority of possession, but found Michu in strangely wasteful form when they created chances. Spurs were rarely threatening in the second period and were really tested defensively, but their fantastic 30-minute salvo from kickoff just about makes their victory a deserving one. Quality over quantity.
They were blown away by Tottenham's rapid start and were quite open through the middle, with the returning Chico Flores seemingly off the pace. However, they got over their early setbacks to get the ball down and dominate the game at home, as they have done so often this season. Only managing to get three efforts on target from their 11 shots registered shows what their performance was lacking this afternoon.
Vertonghen and Bale's top-quality goals were highlights of a near-perfect opening half-an-hour, but Andre Villas-Boas's side soon dropped their level of performance. They struggled to keep the ball in the second period and their midfield dropped very deep, inviting Swansea attacks on them. Only a few desperate tackles and clearances prevented the hosts from bagging an equaliser.
Sports Mole's man of the match
Gareth Bale: Provided Vertonghen's opener, superbly struck Tottenham's second and then maintained his team's lead with a brilliant last-ditch block in stoppage time. Three of the most important incidents in the game, and the Welshman was involved in all of them.
The assistant referee awarded Swansea a corner from which they scored, despite the ball going out of play off a Swans player. Thankfully, it did not prove to be a critical goal.
Anthony Taylor should be credited for letting the game flow and playing the advantage wherever possible, but he was still at fault for a couple of decisions. Having been booked in the first half, Michu was fortunate to stay on the pitch following two offences of simulation in the second period, not to mention a tussle with Vertonghen during which he seemed to force his forearm onto the back of the Belgian's head.
Swansea: They host Norwich City hoping to end a run of three consecutive Premier League defeats.
Spurs: A home Europa League tie against FC Basel, where Villas-Boas may choose to rest players ahead of a White Hart Lane clash against Everton the following Sunday.
Mar 30, 2013 at 3pm UK at Liberty Stadium
Match Analysis: Swansea City 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
© PA Photos
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