Belfast Telegraph

Poch defends call to bench Kane as deadly Spurs extend hot streak

Swansea 0 Tottenham 2

By Phil Blanche

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said he felt his side deserved their 2-0 win over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.

Fernando Llorente returned to haunt his former club and Dele Alli struck late on as Tottenham claimed a fifth win in six Premier League games on a rainy night in south Wales.

Llorente struck a controversial 12th minute goal - his first in the league for Spurs, after Harry Kane had been named on the bench following a heavy cold - before Alli clinched matters in the final minute.

TV pictures clearly showed Llorente standing in an offside position when he met Christian Eriksen's free-kick.

Bottom-placed Swansea could also take issue with referee Robert Madley's decision to allow Davinson Sanchez to stay on the field after 55 minutes.

Sanchez, already booked for an off-the-ball incident in the first half, scythed down Martin Olsson and seemed certain to be sent off. But Madley chose only to lecture Sanchez before Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino substituted the Colombian four minutes later, handing the fit-again Victor Wanyama his first run-out since August.

Pochettino's side have won their last three games and the Argentinian said: "I think the result is what we deserved, we were better than Swansea."

On the decision to leave Harry Kane the bench, the Spurs manager said: "I think it was a good training session to prepare for the next game.

"We hope he goes well in the next 24 hours and he can be ready for West Ham."

New Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal had instilled some belief in his side with a first-day win at Watford, and there were plenty of positives to be drawn from a second half in which the Spurs woodwork was struck.

Tottenham old boy Tom Carroll felled Son Heung-min near the touchline and Eriksen's trademark delivery quality picked out the head of Llorente in the penalty box.

Tottenham's possession touched 80% at times as Eriksen sprayed passes right, left and centre, but the good approach work lacked a killer pass or shot.

Swansea had struggled to get up the pitch, but Trippier's careless back-pass, which forced Hugo Lloris to scramble across his goal, presented an opportunity for a rare attacking flurry.

The Eriksen-Llorente double act almost struck again close to half-time as the Spaniard stuck out a foot to another testing free-kick, with Fabianski grateful the ball was off-target this time.

Eriksen's free-kick forced an excellent save from Fabianski at his near post but there was a far more even feel about the contest after Dyer drove wide and Sanchez escaped a red card.

Pochettino recognised the danger and sent Kane on at the three-quarter mark.

But there was a tail-wind behind Swansea, and Lloris batted as Luciano Narsingh's effort.

Spurs survived again as the ball hit Jan Vertonghen's back and struck a post, but Alli eased away nerves with time running out. The midfielder ran on to a great ball by Kane and showed great instincts to lash home the rebound after his initial effort was saved by Fabianski.

Swansea: Fabianski, van der Hoorn, Fernandez, Mawson, Rangel (Narsingh, 53 mins), R Sanches, Carroll (Routledge, 78 mins), Clucas, Olsson, Dyer (McBurnie, 71 mins), J Ayew. Unused subs: Nordfeldt, Fer, Bartley, Mesa

Tottenham: Lloris, Trippier, Sanchez (Wanyama, 59 mins), Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Lamela (Sissoko, 77 mins), Eriksen, Alli, Son, Llorente (Kane, 68 mins). Unused subs: Vorm, Walker-Peters, Winks, Aurier

Referee: Robert Madley

Man of the match: Dele Alli

Match rating: 7/10

Belfast Telegraph

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