The game began with both teams attempting to monopolise possession and largely cancelling each other out, neither side fully getting going. For all Swansea's possession football, their passing was frequently sloppy, although Tottenham's sluggish start left them unable to capitalise on any of their mistakes.
Midway through the first half, however, Spurs were in the ascendancy, Jermain Defoe twice going close, first seeing his low shot saved by Gerhard Tremmell, and secondly failing to capitalise on a clear chance after being found by Moussa Dembele in the box following an error by Michu.
Spurs' pressure continued to build, and after Emmanuel Adebayor went close, forcing a succession of corners before Kyle Walker caused chaos in the Swansea area with a ferocious effort from 25 yards out. Despite Tottenham's dominance, however, the home side could not find a way through and the teams went in level at the break.
After half-time, Swansea came out with renewed determination, and almost took the lead through Nathan Dyer's trickery - after making good progess down the right flank, he then ended up getting on the end of Wayne Routledge's cross but miscued his header, failing to direct it on target.
Yet as Swansea were forced further and further back, it seemed more and more inevitable that Spurs would find a way through, and in the 75th minute they did, after Kyle Walker's delivery from the right was flicked on for Jan Vertonghen, who turned to fire a superb finish past Tremmell to put Tottenham in the lead.
The goal forced Swansea to come out of their defensive shell, but it was Tottenham who were the most inspired, as they continued to dominate play for the rest of the game. On the 90th minute, there was more good news for the home fans as Scott Parker replaced Moussa Dembele, the England midfielder making his long-awaited return from injury.
The match ended on a slightly controversial note, however, with Tottenham playing on despite a head injury to Michu after he clashed with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris as both competed for a ball in the Spurs area. The rage soon spread to both benches, with Jake Livermore being booked for entering the pitch.
Tottenham played well and will be content with their overall performance if not their profligacy in front of goal. Jermain Defoe has been in fine form but was not at his best today, and Emmanuel Adebayor, for all his excellent work in Spurs' build-up, may have to contribute more to their play inside the box as well as around it. Swansea's inconsistency under Michael Laudrup, meanwhile, continues - they offered little today and beyond relying on the pace of their wingers to counter-attack, looked out of ideas against a side that were clearly superior.