Fernando Llorente and Dele Alli scored to sent Tottenham provisionally into fifth place in the Premier League.

By 90Min
January 02, 2018

Tottenham ruined Carlos Carvalhal's first home game in charge of Swansea after battling to a 2-0 win in difficult conditions at the Liberty Stadium, with Fernando Llorente and Dele Alli grabbing the goals.

The match will not be remembered as a classic, with the relentless rain and wind in south Wales making good football almost impossible.

Carvalhal will have been happy with the determination and spirit his Swans team showed in the second half, although less pleased with two crucial decisions from the officials that went against his side.

The big team news of the night was Harry Kane dropping to the bench for Spurs after suffering from a cold, with ex-Swansea player Llorente coming in to replace him.

And after just 11 minutes, Llorente came back to haunt his old club. After Son Heung-Min was fouled Christian Eriksen whipped in a delicious cross from the left hand side, and Llorente was there to power in a header. Replays showed, however, that the Spaniard was marginally offside.

Spurs almost totally dominated possession in the opening half an hour without creating many more clear-cut chances. Swansea fans, meanwhile, were becoming audibly more and more frustrated with their teams inability to get the ball out of their own half, possibly wishing they'd stayed at home in the warmth.

Swansea's best chance came in the first half came in the 32nd minute after a foul from Davinson Sanchez, for which he was booked, just outside the box. But Renato Sanches, again disappointing, curled over.

Swansea were getting back in the game, though, and Martin Olsson also fired wide a few minutes later, a reminder to Spurs that the Swans were not totally out of the game. 

Ten minutes after the restart Swansea were furious with the referee again when Sanchez scythed down Olsson, and the Colombian could consider himself very lucky not to receive a second yellow card. He was hauled off to be replaced by Victor Wanyama a few minutes later, the Kenyan making his first appearance since August after suffering with a knee injury.

Christian Eriksen scored two free kicks on this ground in one game in 2015, and tried his luck again from wide, but Lukasz Fabianski was equal to it.

With the game far from won, Spurs boss Pochettino brought on Kane for Llorente with 20 minutes left to play. 

On 70 minutes Jordan Ayew was desperately unlucky not to equalize for Swansea after taking ball past Lloris, but was crowded out. From the resulting corner Mike van der Hoorn hit the post. Swansea were beginning to knock on the door.

Son then squandered a great chance to seal the win for Spurs, volleying just wide from a great ball in by Kieran Trippier. 

Although Swansea pressed forward for an equalizer, an outstanding ball from Kane found Alli, and he finished at the second time of asking after Fabianski saved his first shot to end the game as a contest.

It was not a vintage performance from Tottenham, but it was just enough to see them over the line. Swansea, meanwhile, will be left to reflect on the two decisions that proved decisive to the result.

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