For the second week in a row, Tottenham Hotspur earned a 1-0 win via penalty kick. Having beaten Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park via a Roberto Soldado effort from the spot, they'd have been hoping for a more expansive win against Swansea City. They didn't get it, but a second-half foul by Jonjo Shelvey on Andros Townsend and a confident finish by the summer signing ensured that they got all three points anyway.
Swansea had the first real chance of the match, with Hugo Lloris froced into a sprawling save after his defence had for some reason allowed Wayne Routledge space to shoot from 18 yards. His parry went straight to Michu, whose embarrassment at missing the empty net was somewhat alleviated by the offside flag.
That opportunity definitely wasn't a sign of things to come. From then on, the half was all Spurs, and it was a minor miracle that the visitors went into the interval on level pegging. Ashley Williams nearly put into his own net while trying to clear a Kyle Walker cross -- he was saved by a post and then was hit on the line by Paulinho's followup shot.
Tottenham had plenty more chances to score. Moussa Dembele should have done far better from Walker's pullback, hitting his shot too close to the centre and allowing Michel Vorm to save. But Spurs would have forgotten that miss after being doled out a pretty astonishing piece of injustice at half time, when Michael Laudrup's pet ogre Shelvey wiped out Townsend inside the area.
The pair were a good yard inside the box, but rather than a penalty, Neil Swarbrick indicated that Spurs would be getting a free kick instead. It's safe to say that Andre Villas-Boas was not amused.
But the referee's mistake didn't impact the game for too long. 12 minutes into the second half, there was another coming-together between Townsend and Shelvey in the box. This time it was a dive, not a foul, but Swarbrick presumably wanted to make up for his earlier error and pointed to the spot. The hitherto anonymous Roberto Soldado stepped up to send Michel Vorm the wrong way.
The goal (and the introduction of Wilfried Bony) inspired something approximating life from Swansea, who finally began to attack in earnest. Pablo Hernandez flashed a shot just wide after creating space for himself near the top of the box, and Lloris had to stand tall to punch away a vicious volley from Chico Flores that looked destined to level the scores. The goalkeeper was then very fortunate that a freak deflection from Michael Dawson's attempted clearance dropped into his arms rather than into the unguarded net -- seeing Hernandez equalise with his stomach would have been pretty unpalatable for the hosts.
The Swans' late resurgence, however, ended up being too little too late, and Spurs would see out the rest of the match to take all three points.
Goals: Soldado (58'. p)