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All square in Swansea

Posted on 31 December 2011  - 12:00

Scott Sinclair's late strike denied us another win on the road but we sit proudly in third in the Premier League after Saturday's 1-1 draw at Swansea.

Scott Sinclair's late strike denied us another win on the road but we sit proudly in third in the Premier League after Saturday's 1-1 draw at Swansea.

We were six minutes from a record-equalling seventh away win in a Premier League campaign when Sinclair finally broke our resistance at the Liberty Stadium.

He tapped home from close range after Angel Rangel's cross took a wicked deflection off Benoit Assou-Ekotto and diverted into the six-yard box. The skidding ball evaded Brad Friedel and Sinclair pounced.

It would be hard to argue against the home taking a point after they created a host of chances in the second half, although we had opportunities to put the game beyond doubt after Rafa van der Vaart opened the scoring a minute before half-time.

Neverthless, an away point can never be scoffed at in the Premier League, not least against a team that has now lost just once in 10 starts at home.

Harry Redknapp named the same starting 11 that beat Norwich City on Tuesday and there was good news on the bench where Michael Dawson and Jermain Defoe returned from injury. It was Dawson's first involvement since August.

There was little in the first half as both sides - matched-up in 4-2-3-1 systems - looked to stamp their authority on the game.

Nathan Dyer tested Friedel in the fourth minute and the goalkeeper was up to it, springing to his right to turn away a curler from 22 yards.

Sinclair failed to connect with a corner routine and Stephen Dobbie fired straight at Friedel as the Swans started well.

Luka Modric was just off target from 25 yards and that was the story of our half as Emmanuel Adebayor and Benoit Assou-Ekotto kept Michel Vorm on his toes without troubling him from the edge of the box.

At the other end, Dyer's cross was deflected wickedly across the six-yard line and the lively Sinclair's 20-yarder brushed the roof of the net.

The breakthrough arrived a minute before half-time. Assou-Ekotto took off down the left and turned Jazz Richards left and right before firing low into the box. The ball arrived at van der Vaart, who volleyed at goal from eight yards. The ball looked on its way in but a deflection off Ashley Williams made sure of it.

We started brightly in the second half as we looked for the second goal.

Vorm was forced into action three times in the first 10 minutes to deny Younes Kaboul, Gareth Bale and van der Vaart and as we really got into our stride, Scott Parker, van der Vaart and Adebayor combined to set-up Bale, who poked inches wide.

You sensed a second goal was on the way but to their credit, Swansea fought back.

Dobbie was inches away with a volley from a corner after 67 minutes and substitute Danny Graham angled a glancing header just over.

Defoe and Jake Livermore came off the bench for Parker and van der Vaart in the 71st minute but Swansea remained in the ascendency.

Walker somehow cleared from Sinclair in the six-yard box and Modric denied the same player with a goalline clearance.

Swansea and Sinclair finally got their reward six minutes from time but typically of the game, play switched to the other end in the final minutes as we searched for a winner.

Bale's free-kick from 25 yards looked destined for the corner until a deflection off the wall took it into Vorm's hands and right at the end, Bale's cross just cleared Adebayor, hit Sandro and was grasped again by a grateful Vorm.

Swansea City: Vorm; Richards (Rangel, 46), Williams, Monk, Taylor; Gower (Agustien, 62), Allen; Dyer, Dobbie, Sinclair; Moore (Graham, 69). Unused subs: Tremmel, Britton, Routledge, Lita.

Spurs (4-2-3-1): Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Parker (Livermore, 71), Sandro; Van der Vaart (Defoe, 71), Modric, Bale; Adebayor. Unused subs: Cudicini, Dawson, Rose, Kranjcar, Pienaar.

Goals: Swansea - Sinclair (86); Spurs - Van der Vaart (44).

Attencance: 20,393.

Referee: Mr P Dowd.