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Roberto Soldado scored his second penalty in as many matches as Tottenham Hotspur overcame Swansea City 1-0 to earn their second successive Barclays Premier League win on Sunday.
The Spain international, who also scored twice in midweek against Dinamo Tbilisi in the UEFA Europa League, converted from the spot early in the second half to wrap up the points after Jonjo Shelvey had brought down Andros Townsend in the area.
Townsend was handed his first Barclays Premier League start for Spurs by head coach Andre Villas-Boas, while Etienne Capoue – signed from Toulouse earlier in the month – made his home debut as he was preferred in midfield to Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Michael Laudrup opted to leave Wilfried Bony – scorer in the 4-1 defeat to Manchester United last week – on the bench, with Michu named as the visitors' lone striker.
Both sides were reduced to efforts from outside the box in the early stages, Paulinho and Capoue testing the reflexes of Michel Vorm, while former Tottenham winger Wayne Routledge forced a good save from Hugo Lloris.
It took 20 minutes for the hosts to fashion the game's first real chance and they almost took the lead in fortuitous circumstances. Swansea captain Ashley Williams headed against his own near post from Kyle Walker's right-wing cross and Paulinho reacted quickest to the rebound, but his driven shot was brilliantly kept out by Netherlands international Vorm.
The visitors were undeterred by that scare and continued to press forward, Shelvey keeping Lloris on his toes with a low effort that the Frenchman tipped wide.
Laudrup's men appeared to struggle in defence, however, and they were grateful to Vorm once more as he pulled off another acrobatic save to deny Moussa Dembele after more good work down the right by Walker.
Walker forced another save from Vorm before Paulinho fired over from close range, while Townsend curled inches over from distance shortly after the interval.
The hosts were finally rewarded 12 minutes into the second half, when Shelvey was adjudged to have clipped Townsend inside the area. Soldado made no mistake, replicating his winner at Crystal Palace last Sunday by scoring from 12 yards with a calm finish into the bottom corner.
Swansea still posed a danger in spite of that setback, and came close to levelling when Pablo Hernandez curled wide from the edge of the box.
Chico Flores stung the palms of Lloris with a vicious volley but, although Laudrup threw Bony into the action in search of a leveller – Spurs held on, with Paulinho denied by Vorm at the death.
Tottenham Hotspur head coach Andre Villas-Boas: "When [Andros Townsend] receives the ball with space he has one objective, which is to take on the man and beat the man. He's really adding to our game because he brings that light and spark into our game. He's a very explosive player. We gave him the opportunity bearing in mind what he did against Dinamo Tbilisi and I think he took it very, very well.
"For a team that hasn't had a lot of time to train, the knowledge of the game that [the new signings] have, the technical qualities that they have enabled them to play like this with such less time together. All of these additions are really showing quality, plus they have brought to the team and the players a new mentality, we look sharper and have a greater will to win."
Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup: "When you play away from home, you can't expect to dominate the game, but it’s important for me to see how we react in the periods when we aren't dominating.
"And we also have to accept that most other teams are stronger than us physically. But we compensate that with the way we play and pass the ball about.
"We have to push forward a little bit more and make more of the times when we have the ball in the final third. They are a very good team, but they didn't really create a clear effort at goal. We had a good chance in either half, but in the end we have to accept it and move on."
|19 Jan 2014||v Swansea (A)|
|26 Dec 2013||v West Brom (H)|
|24 Nov 2013||v Man City (A)|
|01 Jan 2014||v Man Utd (A)|
|01 Dec 2013||v Man Utd (H)|
|07 Apr 2014||v Sunderland (H)|