Spurs 0-0 Swansea - report from Wembley
Sat 16 September 2017, 19:30|Tottenham Hotspur
Frustration was the name of the game at Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as we were held to a goalless draw against Swansea City.
Despite having 75 per cent possession of the ball, we were unable to break down the visitors' massed ranks in defence and, when we did get a glimpse of goal, Lukasz Fabianski was there to deny us.
Our best chances in the first half came within the opening quarter-of-an-hour, Harry Kane bringing a smart save out of Fabianski from his 30-yard free-kick before the Swansea goalkeeper denied Heung-Min Son’s shot from a tight angle.
The visitors were more than content to just sit back and soak up the pressure and we struggled to carve out good opportunities as a result. Kane did have a good sight of goal on 56 minutes, just seconds after Fabianski had again thwarted Son, but our England striker rattled the crossbar with his effort from 12 yards.
Kane’s near-post flick from a Christian Eriksen corner was tipped over by the Swans’ custodian as we continued to surge forwards and Kieran Trippier was unlucky when his fierce shot flew inches wide late on.
The visitors didn’t muster a single shot on Hugo Lloris’ goal, but they did leave north-west London with a point.
Mauricio Pochettino made three changes to the team that started against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday. Trippier came in for Serge Aurier, Moussa Sissoko was back for Mousa Dembele and Dele Alli - suspended in midweek - returned with Ben Davies the third player to drop to the bench.
Save: Fabianski foils free-kick – 9mins
The pattern of the game was set early on, with Swansea allowing us to have the ball and dropping deep to make it difficult for us to find a way through. On nine minutes though, Dele was brought down 30 yards from goal, Kane took the free-kick and his right-footed drive around the wall was heading for the far corner before Fabianski tipped it wide. Two minutes later, Sissoko put in Son left of the area and – just like he did against Dortmund on Wednesday – he aimed his shot for the near post, but this time Fabianski saved.
Save: Vertonghen denied from distance – 45mins
Although they weren’t seeing much of the ball, Swansea did occasionally hit us on the counter, as they did in the 25th-minute. Tammy Abraham got away down the right and cut back for our former midfielder Tom Carroll but Sissoko did enough to prevent him getting a clean shot away. We were struggling to break down the Swans, resorting to long shots from Sissoko and Trippier which were both wide. Mike Van Der Hoorn headed over from a rare Swansea corner late in the half, which ended with Jan Vertonghen trying his luck from distance, but Fabianski saved diving to his left.
Above: Toby Alderweireld holds off Tom Carroll.
Woodwork: Kane rattles the bar – 56mins
There was no change to the structure of the game after the interval, in fact if anything Swansea dropped even deeper towards their goal as we pushed them back and we should have scored 11 minutes into the half. Eric Dier’s clever through ball released Son in on goal down the right of the area, but he fired his shot into the chest of Fabianski from a tight angle. Sissoko picked up the rebound and cut back for Kane on the penalty spot, only for him to crash an effort against the crossbar before Toby Alderweireld blasted over from 20 yards.
Close: Kane and Trippier just wide – 81-90+1mins
On 65 minutes, we were denied again by the Swansea keeper who did well to tip over Kane’s near-post flick from Eriksen’s corner, but other than that it was just a case of us having all the ball without making it count. Kane had another go from distance with nine minutes left as we continued to search for that elusive opener, but his shot drifted a couple of inches wide of the post. Trippier had everyone on their feet in the first minute of stoppage time as he let fly with a rasping drive from a cleared corner which flew just wide and substitute Serge Aurier prodded past the post in the dying seconds of a disappointing afternoon.
Mauricio Pochettino said
"We had no luck. We played well, dominated, created chances but we weren’t clinical and that is a little disappointing. We have to keep going. The performance was good but we’re sad because we dropped two points. We had the shots, 11 corners, everything. We dominated the game. We had 75 per cent of the possession. That’s football. To win you have to be effective and clinical in front of goal and we weren’t."
Hugo Lloris said
"It was a good performance, yes, but not enough. Okay, we had some chances but we need to start the game in a better way and to be more aggressive in the first 10 or 15 minutes. Swansea came here for a draw and to keep it at 0-0 as long as possible. We tried and tried until the end but unfortunately we ran out of time."
Spurs (5-3-2): Lloris (c), Trippier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Son (Llorente 74), Eriksen, Dier, Sissoko (Aurier 63), Dele, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Davies, Foyth, Dembele, Winks.
Swansea (5-3-2): Fabianski, Naughton, Van Der Hoorn (Routledge 85), Fernandez (c), Mawson, Olsson, Clucas, Sanches (Fer 58), Carroll, Ayew, Abraham (Bony 72). Substitutes (not used): Nordfeldt, Narsingh, Rangel, Mesa.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Alderweireld; Swansea – Van Der Hoorn, Carroll.
Referee: Mike Dean.
We begin our Carabao Cup campaign on Tuesday as we entertain Championship side Barnsley at Wembley.
The Tykes booked their place in the third round with a 3-2 home win against Derby County on Tuesday, having beaten Morecambe 4-3 in the first round.
They lost at home to Aston Villa in league action on Saturday and find themselves 17th in their division. Kick-off is at 8pm.