5 talking points from Tottenham’s 5-0 victory against Swansea
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Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen both scored twice while Heung-Min Son was also on target as Tottenham strolled to a 5-0 home win against Swansea at White Hart Lane. Here are five talking points.
1. Moussa Sissoko returns – and sets up a goal
The Frenchman was omitted from the squad for the previous game at Chelsea, and Mauricio Pochettino stated after that match that he needs to earn his place.
Sissoko was given a place on the bench this time and he entered the fray in the second half, going on to set up the final goal, teeing up Christian Eriksen, who found the bottom right corner.
Meanwhile, Vincent Janssen was absent after picking up an ankle injury, and Toby Alderweireld was also missing once again. It is hoped the Belgian will be back in action after his knee injury in the coming week.
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2. Spurs saunter through the first half
Tottenham lacked intensity in the opening 45 minutes. There seemed to be an air of complacency which was shared by the supporters, who were generally quiet in the stands.
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Such a laid-back attitude could have proved problematic but, in the end, it was entirely justified.
While Swansea resisted for nearly 40 minutes, they offered precious little as an attacking threat – and Mauricio Pochettino’s side were able to take a 2-0 lead into the break before adding another three goals in the second half.
3. The penalties just keep coming
The breakthrough came in the 39th minute as Dele Alli went down just inside the box, having seemingly had his ankles clipped by ex-Spurs defender Kyle Naughton, and Harry Kane beat Lukasz Fabianski from the spot.
It was Tottenham’s sixth successful penalty in eight games following strikes against Liverpool, Leicester, Arsenal, West Ham and Monaco.
Unfortunately, the law of averages says they will have a frustratingly barren spell at some point to equal out this welcome sequence of spot-kicks.
4. The goals are flying in again
Spurs lacked creativity and struggled to find the net for a spell in October and early November, scoring just two goals in a five-game period – both of which were penalties.
That was largely due to Kane’s absence, combined with the fact that their attacking midfielders all lost form at the same time.
However, Kane has returned with a bang, scoring six goals in his last five games – albeit with four of them being penalties – and the supporting cast are now chipping in as well.
Heung-Min sent an audacious scissor kick flying past Fabianski to put Spurs 2-0 up today and Christian Eriksen then scored twice, taking his tally to three goals in two games after also firing home in style against Chelsea last weekend.
Swansea were facing very limited opponents – the visitors only had one shot on goal and it was off target - but Tottenham have nonetheless scored eight goals in their last two home games, having beaten West Ham 3-2 in their previous outing at White Hart Lane.
5. All to play for in the top-four fight
Tottenham may have only won one of their previous 10 games in all competitions, including back-to-back European defeats which have ended their hopes of progressing to the Champions League knockout stages, but they are very much alive in the battle for the top four.
Indeed, today’s comfortable victory took them within three points of third-placed Manchester City.
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs