Spurs come from behind to beat Swansea and move three points clear of Arsenal in title race
Tottenham came from behind, scoring two goals in the final 20 minutes, to beat Swansea 2-1 at White Hart Lane and move three points clear of north London rivals Arsenal in the Premier League title race.
Spurs had lost their previous two games immediately following Europa League outings – both of them at home, against Newcastle and Crystal Palace.
And, after their 3-0 triumph over Fiorentina on Thursday night, it seemed history might repeat itself as they trailed to Swansea in front of their own fans at half-time on Sunday afternoon.
Alberto Paloschi put the visitors ahead in the 19th minute and ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianksi then kept Spurs at bay with a series of fine saves.
But Nacer Chadli came off the bench just after the hour-mark and levelled less than 10 minutes later – and Danny Rose then completed the turnaround 13 minutes from time.
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Second-placed Tottenham’s latest victory took them within two points off leaders Leicester City again, and they are now three ahead of third-placed Arsenal, who were beaten 3-2 away against Manchester United, as the north London clubs prepare to meet in next Saturday’s derby at the Lane.
There were four changes to the Spurs side that had lined up against Fiorentina in Thursday’s Europa League victory. Harry Kane returned, wearing a protective mask after breaking his nose against Crystal Palace last Sunday, along with Kyle Walker, Rose and Heung-Min Son.
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Swansea very nearly struck inside the opening two minutes as Paloschi put in a low cross to ex-Tottenham midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, who seemed certain to score eight yards out, only to be denied by a stunning reaction save from Hugo Lloris.
Spurs then gained momentum and created a few opportunities of their own. Erik Lamela scooped the ball over the bar from Rose’s low cross and Christian Eriksen then put the ball in for Kane, whose shot was stopped by Fabianski at the near post.
The striker went on to score after being freed by Dele Alli, but his effort was ruled out for offside – and instead the visitors took the lead with a fortunate goal.
Angel Rangel’s shot was blocked by his team-mate Jack Cork but fell kindly for Paloschi, who beat Lloris from six yards.
Tottenham upped their efforts but continued to be frustrated. Eric Dier headed over from Lamela’s free kick, a sliding Kane was unable to reach Walker’s driven cross and Eriksen’s free kick was saved by a diving Fabianski.
Alli’s penalty appeals were waved away by referee Mike Jones after he went down in the box under pressure from Sung-Yueng Ki, and Heung-Min Son got in behind the visitors’ defence but opted for power and fired straight at Fabianski.
Swansea went close again as Toby Alderweireld blocked Paloschi’s goalbound shot, but Spurs had their heads in their hands again just before half-time as Dier met Rose’s cross six yards out, only for Fabianksi to stick out a hand and make a superb save.
The Polish goalkeeper performed more heroics after the break, diving to make another one-handed save from another Eriksen free kick, before palming Kane’s rasping 25-yard strike behind for a corner.
Eriksen went close from another dead-ball situation, narrowly missing the bottom right corner just before the hour-mark and he then tested Fabianski again with a 25-yard effort, while Dier sent a powerful effort across goal.
Pochettino then introduced Chadli off the bench and he levelled less than 10 minutes later. Fabianski tipped Rose’s 35-yard thunderstrike over the bar and, when the resulting corner fell to Walker on the far side, he delivered a low cross and Chadli diverted it into the net.
Tottenham’s players raced back to the halfway line, with 20 minutes to find a winner - and they got it in the 77th minute. Again, it came from a corner, which was headed out to Rose, who took a tocuh and fired home from just inside the box to spark delirious celebrations on the pitch and in the stands.
Spurs thought they had scored again as Kane crossed for Walker, who finished off a quick break, but the goal was rightly disallowed for offside - and Spurs survived a scare as Lloris made another key save from a Paloschi volley.
There were five minutes of added time to endure but Spurs saw them out to land another blow in the title fight.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Rose, Dier, Alli, Lamela (Chadli 61), Eriksen, Son (Mason 75), Kane (Omomah 84)
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs