05/04/2017 18:45 v Tottenham Hotspur
Swansea City were beaten in cruel circumstances as three late goals saw Tottenham Hotspur claim a 3-1 victory at the Liberty Stadium.
Paul Clement’s men were on course for a first ever Premier League triumph over Spurs as a gripping contest headed into its 88th minute.
But their hopes of a famous victory were ripped away in an agonising finale.
Dele Alli scored the equaliser, then Son Heung-min put Spurs ahead in stoppage time before Christian Eriksen wrapped up the points.
It was a painful end for the Swans, who had defended with courage and determination until Tottenham did the damage late on.
Clement’s side had led from the 11th minute courtesy of a Wayne Routledge goal.
Though the result hurt, the Swans could take heart from the nature of their performance.
The defeat means they have 28 points from 31 games.
The Swans looked nervy in the opening exchanges, putting themselves under pressure at times with some wayward passes.
Yet it was Kyle Naughton who had the game’s first shot at goal after seven minutes as his 20-yard drive flew over Vorm’s crossbar.
Four minutes later, the Swans were in front.
The goal came in unusual circumstances, as a Swans corner was cleared and the retreating Martin Olsson was forced to go all the way back to Lukasz Fabianski.
But as Spurs rushed up the pitch en masse, Fabianski pumped the ball 70 yards forward and into the path of Jordan Ayew.
The Ghanaian showed good pace and some nimble footwork to get away from Ben Davies before pulling the ball back for Routledge.
The former Tottenham man got ahead of Toby Alderweireld to take his chance, sweeping home with his right foot from point-blank range.
It was Routledge’s third goal of the season, and it gave his team a huge lift as they looked to cause a shock.
Spurs, as might have been expected given their excellent form, responded well.
Alli threatened first, trying a spectacular overhead kick which had Fabianski worried until the ball drifted beyond the far post.
Then Eriksen sent in a dipping 25-yard drive which the Swans keeper did well to gather.
Spurs looked menacing going forward, particularly when they were on the counter-attack.
But with Clement’s men working overtime to smother their opponents at bay, they got through to half-time with the lead after Son’s half-volley flew too high.
The second half began with more Spurs pressure, with Davies’s header laying on an early opportunity for Son only for his shot to be blocked by Federico Fernandez.
The Swans responded, with Alfie Mawson’s fabulous pass sending Kyle Naughton scampering into space on the right.
Naughton attacked Davies, cutting inside before unleashing a left-foot shot which skimmed the former Swans left-back’s studs before rolling inches wide of the far post.
The Swans were competing admirably as the hour mark passed, prompting Mauricio Pochettino to send on an extra forward in the shape of Vincent Janssen.
Eric Dier tried his luck from distance, but Fabianski watched on in comfort as the ball sailed wide of the target.
The Swans were then forced into change, with Naughton hobbling off to be replaced by Ki Sung-Yueng. As at Bournemouth last month, Leroy Fer was forced to play as an emergency right-back.
Next Clement turned to Oli McBurnie, giving the young striker a rare chance as a replacement for Ayew, who had put in a fine shift.
McBurnie was soon linking up well with Gylfi Sigurdsson, but the Icelander’s back flick lacked power when a better connection would have put the substitute clean through.
Pochettino made another attacking change, with Georges-Kevin N’koudou in place of Davies.
It was Janssen who had a sight of goal with nine minutes to go, the Dutchman running onto Alli’s flick only to be denied by a courageous save from Fabianski.
Spurs came again, Alderweireld trying his luck from range but seeing his effort fly over the top.
Next’s Eriksen’s fine ball found Alli, but his header was brilliantly saved by Fabianski.
The Pole looked certain to come off, with Kristoffer Nordfeldt stripped and ready on the touchline.
But when Fabianski’s number was held up, he told the bench he was okay to stay on.
The Pole looked set for a famous clean sheet until two minutes from time, when Eriksen’s cross-shot deflected off Mawson and fell perfectly for Alli to tap home.
And the pain did not end there for the hosts.
In the first minute of stoppage time, Janssen’s clever backheel sent in Son, and his shot squirmed under Fabianski and into the net.
And in the fourth of seven added minutes, a swift Spurs counter ended with Eriksen steering home their third goal.
SWANS: Lukasz Fabianski, Kyle Naughton (Ki Sung-Yueng 72), Federico Fernandez, Alfie Mawson, Martin Olsson, Jack Cork (capt), Tom Carroll, Leroy Fer, Wayne Routledge (Luciano Narsingh 90 +3), Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jordan Ayew (Oli McBurnie 75).
SUBS: Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Jordi Amat, Stephen Kingsley, Jefferson Montero.
TOTTENHAM: Michel Vorm, Kyle Walker, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen (capt), Eric Dier, Ben Davies (Georges-Kevin N'Koudou 79), Moussa Sissoko (Vincent Janssen 61), Mousa Dembele, Deli Alli, Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-Min (Kieran Trippier 90 +3).
SUBS: Pau Lopez, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Josh Onomah, Kevin Wimmer.