Tottenham Overtake Arsenal After Defeating Swansea

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Tottenham overtook Arsenal to climb to fifth place in the Premier League table as they beat bottom side Swansea City at a sodden Liberty Stadium.

With Harry Kane left on the bench, his deputy Fernando Llorente headed home against his former club from what appeared to be an offside position to put the dominant visitors ahead.

Having initially set out to contain Spurs, Swansea grew in belief and had chances to equalise, most notably when Mike van der Hoorn’s header hit the post.

But after surviving spells of home pressure, Spurs launched an 89th-minute counter-attack and Kane found Dele Alli, who had his initial shot saved by Lukasz Fabianski before scoring with the rebound.

That ensured Tottenham’s third successive league win but a first defeat for Swansea under new manager Carlos Carvalhal as the Welsh club stay at the foot of the table, four points adrift of safety.

Tottenham had not played since their 5-2 drubbing of Southampton on Boxing Day and Kane – who scored three of their goals against the Saints – was seeking to become the first player to score three successive hat-tricks in English league football since 1946.

However the England striker was only named on the bench at the Liberty Stadium having suffered with a cold in the run-up to the match.

His absence did not seem to affect Spurs, whose early supremacy was rewarded with Llorente’s glancing header from a Christian Eriksen free-kick.

The combination of torrential rain, a unhelpful surface and an ultra-defensive Swansea side had the potential to make this a difficult evening for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

But they made light of those factors with an authoritative first-half display, even if there was a relatively short supply of clear scoring opportunities.

Tottenham’s grip on the game loosened after the interval and, as Swansea threatened to equalise, Pochettino sought to swing the momentum back in his side’s favour with the introduction of Kane.

The man with 39 goals to his name in 2017 was initially busy helping his side to defend but he eventually had his say in attack, lifting a fine cross-field ball to England team-mate Alli, who showed sharp reflexes to score after his first effort was saved.

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