Spurs heap pressure on Arsenal

EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR scored twice last evening as Tottenham went level on points with Arsenal in the race for third.
DELIGHT: Emmanuel Adebayor celebrates his first goal. Net photo.
DELIGHT: Emmanuel Adebayor celebrates his first goal. Net photo.

EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR scored twice last evening as Tottenham went level on points with Arsenal in the race for third.

Rafael Van der Vaart put Spurs ahead with a splendid first-time shot from the edge of the box.

Swansea were back on level terms after the break as Gylfi Sigurdsson beat Brad Friedel with a long-range strike.

But Adebayor rose to head home Van der Vaart's corner and then nodded in a second late on from an Aaron Lennon cross.

It was Tottenham's first league win in seven weeks and it heaped the pressure right back on their North London rivals with goal difference now only separating them from the Gunners.

Spurs started brightly with Van der Vaart's deflected strike going just wide after good work by Luka Modric.

Van der Vaart then clumsily misplaced a pass while clearing from his own box and the ball found its way to Wayne Routledge, but he screwed his shot just wide.

Both teams were playing some attractive football and Spurs came forward again in the 12th minute through Gareth Bale, who raced down the left flank but Adebayor could not convert his cross.

Taylor gave the home fans a scare when he wriggled past Gallas to sneak into the box but Brad Friedel saved with his legs at his near post.

The home fans' nerves eased soon after when Spurs took the lead from a lightning counter-attack.

Modric released Bale down the left and Ashley Williams cleared his cross straight into the path of Van der Vaart, who side-footed home from 18 yards.

Michel Vorm pulled off a fantastic diving save to deny Younes Kaboul just before the half-hour as Spurs looked for a second.

Swansea still looked threatening on the attack though and would have equalised had Williams not headed Gylfi Sigurdsson's corner over.

Bale fired just over on two occasions and Modric narrowly missed a header as Spurs ended the first period well on top.

Bale found Modric in space in the final minute of the first half but the Croatian mishit his shot, which dribbled well wide.

Friedel pulled off a world-class save to deny Sigurdsson after the break, the American moving across his line before athletically tipping the forward's screaming 25-yard shot wide.

Sigurdsson soon had his revenge over Friedel though as he beat the 40-year-old to give Swansea a shock equaliser just before the hour.

Joe Allen's deflected shot fell into the path of Routledge, who held off Benoit Assou-Ekotto's challenge and chested the ball down to Sigurdsson.

The Iceland striker fired a volley into the ground that looped over Friedel from 18 yards.

Spurs looked for an immediate response but they were denied by a top-drawer save from Vorm.

Van der Vaart rose to meet Bale's corner at the near put but the forward's Dutch compatriot tipped his header around his near post.

Vorm was again on hand to save Bale's low shot from range.

Kaboul surged forward and found Adebayor on the edge of the box but his shot was weak.

The Togo striker soon made amends, however, as he put Spurs back in front with 18 minutes left.

The 28-year-old rose majestically in the centre of the box to beat his marker and power home a head from Van der Vaart's corner before embarking on a wild celebration in front of the home fans.

Sigurdsson fired a warning shot to the hosts when he curled a delightful free-kick just wide of Vorm's goal, before Adebayor sealed the contest with four minutes left when he nodded home Lennon's cross.

 

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