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Sunday, 1 April 2012

Spurs 3 - Swansea 1 Initial Thoughts

It may be unfair to consider Caulker's absence in this game the deciding factor but two Adebayor headers, on the scoresheet at least, were the difference between the two teams.

Overall, Spurs deserved their victory but after 70 minutes a draw didn't appear to be that unlikely an outcome.  The key things for me were Spurs' aggressive pressing and their ability to put the pressure on and finish the game off in the final 20 minutes.

In total, Spurs made 29 interceptions to Swansea's 15.  8 of the 29 coming from Scott Parker and 7 of those 8 coming in the first half.
Parker made as many interceptions in first 20 minutes (5) as any player made in whole game
One advantage of playing a team as attack minded as Spurs is that it gives more space to your forward players and in particular Scott Sinclair.  In a lot of games this season teams have doubled up against Sinclair but against Spurs there were numerous occasions when he was 1 v 1 (including in the build up for the Swansea goal).

Sinclair attempted 6 take-ons (3 successful) against Spurs compared to only 1 vs. Everton and 3 vs. Fulham.  As well as Sinclair's activity, Taylor on the left hand side had 3 successful take-ons (out of 3 attempts).

In the final 20 minutes however, Spurs turned the screw and had 8 attempts on goal (including two goals) compared to 12 attempts in the previous 70 minutes.
Spurs' attempts on goal in first 70 minutes (left) and remainder of match (right)
This was another game in which Gylfi Sigurdsson had the most attempts for Swansea (5 of the 11 in total) and Danny Graham didn't have a single attempt on goal. 

As has been mentioned before, despite being the lone striker there's a lot more to Danny Graham's input to the team than goals.  That said, his return to date of 10 goals from 53 shots (1 a penalty), puts him in terms of goals per shot, above the likes of Rooney and Aguero.