Laudrup: Bale was the difference

30th March 2013

Michael Laudrup singled out Gareth Bale as the difference between the two sides as Swansea went down to a narrow defeat against Spurs.

The Wales international set up Jan Vertonghen to score the visitors' opener after seven minutes, before scoring a sublime second shortly after as Spurs made a dream start.

Nathan Dyer hit the bar for the home side as they tried to respond and despite Michu's second-half goal, the Swans couldn't find the equaliser and went down to their third consecutive league defeat.

But Bale, who notched his 22nd league goal of the season at the Liberty, drew plaudits from Laudrup as he reflected on a frustrating afternoon.

"They (Spurs) had a very good start," he said. "The first goal we could have done more, but the second one from Gareth Bale is a fantastic finish from a very good player.

"When you have a player like Bale in your team, then players like that can get you a goal out of nothing, and in the end he was the difference.

"But our reaction was good, and we should have scored through Nathan. We knew they could be tired and the second half we dominated a lot. We got close, but not close enough in the end."

It is now three defeats on the trot for the Swans following losses against West Brom and Arsenal.

Laudrup's side now travel to Norwich next weekend as they look to get their season back on track, and Laudrup insisted that his side are not far away from getting back to picking up points.

"We have had very good moments in each game," he said. "And the last five per cent in the last three games could have turned into draws.

"They are the small things, but we played a good team today and did very well for long periods.

"We had the ball most of the time in the second period but just couldn't get that second goal.

"Next week is a different kind of game against Norwich. They are in that group of teams that are looking over their shoulder still."

Meanwhile, the win for Spurs sees them leapfrog Chelsea into third, following the Blues' defeat to Southampton.

Andre Villas-Boas's side remain four points clear of Arsenal in fifth, and the Spurs boss praised his players after securing all three points in SA1.

"The win was extremely important," he said. "It was never going to be easy against a side that plays very well at home.

"Swansea did ever so well to come back into the game, but the victory shows the winning mentality we have.

"The team probably deserves even more credit today, especially after we suffered back-to-back defeats recently."