Swansea City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 3 match report: Emmanuel Adebayor double keeps Tim Sherwood's Spurs in the Champions League chase

Spurs have won 16 points out of a possible 18 since Sherwood took over

The Liberty Stadium

Tim Sherwood maintained his unbeaten Premier League start as Tottenham Hotspur manager with victory in south Wales on Sunday but knows his fate will ultimately rest on securing Champions League football for next season.

Emmanuel Adebayor fired Spurs up to fifth, behind Liverpool on goal difference, with strikes either side of a Chico Flores own goal. It wrapped up a consummate display by Tottenham, who have now won five and drawn one of their six Premier League games since Sherwood was handed an 18-month contract after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas.

Yet, even in his first senior managerial role, Sherwood is experienced enough to know he must find a way of matching the ambition and investment of the club’s hierarchy and fifth place is unlikely to do that. With Spurs finishing in that position or better six times in the last eight seasons, Champions League football is what is expected and what Sherwood must deliver.

“If the season ended tomorrow then the chairman wouldn’t be happy because we’re still fifth. The final league position has to matter because the expectation of the club is finish in the top four or it’s goodbye Charlie,” he admitted. “The club needs and wants to finish in the top four and anything else will be a disappointment. Realistically, we should be in amongst it but it is not easy. There are a lot of tough teams and no one is giving any leeway.

“Every week I keep looking at the fixtures and thinking someone will drop points, just as they probably thought we would here at Swansea, but no one is giving anything away. It’s going to come down to the games we play among ourselves in that mini-league and go down to the wire.

“I’m delighted with how it’s gone, it has been a good start for me, but there will be tougher tests to come.”


Key to that success has been finding a goalscorer who was always just under the nose of Villas-Boas despite the arrival of £26m signing Roberto Soldado. Sherwood has managed to rejuvenate Adebayor, who continued his latest renaissance by taking his tally to five in his last six games in the Premier League. Roberto who?

“I’ve just given him space to play as he hasn’t had that stage on which to play for a while,” said Sherwood.

“I haven’t just turned him into a good player, he has always been one at every club he has played for. He just needed consistency and if he keeps enjoying playing he will keep performing well.”

At the other end of the spectrum is the Swansea manager Michael Laudrup, who must be wondering what ladder he walked under to deserve his current misfortune.

In the grip of an injury crisis that was borne out by the display yesterday of his patched-up but woefully inadequate midfield, Laudrup saw Jonjo Shelvey limp off with a pulled hamstring and Wilfried Bony thunder a shot against the bar. Bony was then denied a penalty after being shoved to the floor by Michael Dawson.

That stroke of luck proved the catalyst for Tottenham while Swansea have now gone eight league games without a win and are slipping closer to the relegation fight.

For Laudrup, the honeymoon period of his first season in charge that brought Europa League football is over, and he admits he now faces his toughest challenge at the Liberty Stadium to lift the slump.

“Right now it is easy to see that everything is black and negative. But we have to be positive and start again tomorrow and look for that win that we need,” said Laudrup.

“We may have lost another player to injury just when you couldn’t afford to lose any more because we are short in certain areas, especially in midfield, but the next four games will decide how the rest of the season will be.”

Swansea began with far greater urgency and purpose. Shelvey fired wide with both his right and left foot inside five minutes, and his third effort, after riding the challenge of Vlad Chiriches, forced a solid save from Hugo Lloris.

But there was a chasm at the heart of the Swans’ injury-ravaged midfield that Christian Eriksen, who grew up in Denmark idolising Laudrup, exposed. Eriksen and Mousa Dembélé did to Swansea what they usually inflict on opponents and it paid dividends.

The Dane released Aaron Lennon and then whipped in the return pass for Adebayor to head home Tottenham’s first effort at goal.

Nacer Chadli should have doubled the lead within a minute but lacked composure in the box. Adebayor then struck a powerful shot that was matched by Gerhard Tremmel.

The writing was on the wall for Swansea, though it took an unfortunate deflection to open breathing space for Spurs when Chico, under little pressure, put Kyle Walker’s cross into his own net. Sherwood punched the air and Swansea were floored.

Eriksen then released Danny Rose, who easily out-paced a Swansea defence tiring from an afternoon spent chasing. Rose squared his pass to Adebayor, unmarked on the penalty spot, where he had time to pick his shot past the hapless Tremmel.

The one glimmer of light amid the darkness for Swansea is the form of Bony. The powerfully built Ivorian caused Dawson all sorts of trouble and after an exchange that sent Ben Davies surging into the box, he finished Roland Lamah’s pass for his 14th goal of the season.

It was too late to deny Tottenham a fifth consecutive league win on the road for the first time since 1960. Just the sort of form to secure a top-four finish.

Swansea (4-2-3-1): Tremmel 6; Davies 6, Flores 5, Williams 6, Rangel 5; Britton 6, Amat 5; Routledge 6, Shelvey 6 (Lamah 50, 5), Pozuelo 4; Bony 7.
Subs not used: Cornell, Taylor, Tiendalli, Vasquez, Richards, Donnelly

Booked: Amat, Bony

Tottenham Hotspurs (4-3-3): Lloris 7; Rose 7, Chiriches 6, Dawson 5, Walker 7; Bentaleb 6; Chadli 6 (Sigurdsson 67, 6), Dembele 7; Eriksen 8, Adebayor 8, Lennon 6 (Naughton 79).

Subs not used: Friedel, Soldado, Holtby, Capoue, Defoe.

Booked: Rose

Man of the Match: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)

Referee: Martin Atkinson (Yorkshire)

Attendance: 20,769

Match Rating: 7/10

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
Life and Style
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone