4 tactical notes from Swansea 2-2 Tottenham
Two magical free-kicks from Christian Eriksen saw the points shared after Swansea had taken an early lead at the Liberty. And both sides had plenty of opportunities to win the match with each outfit enjoying brief spells on top. Here are four tactical observations from the showdown in South Wales...
1) Eriksen needs to improve open-play shooting
Granted, Eriksen is among, if not, the best dead-ball specialists in the Premier League. However, he also had the most shots during an open game against the Swans. Lukasz Fabianski proved equal to all Tottenham's attacking, and to win the game Spurs needed Eriksen or Harry Kane to convert one of the 10 shots (7 to Eriksen; 3 to Kane) that fell their way. Also failing to impress: Andros Townsend, who provided a lively cameo from the bench and got 4 shots away, 2 of which were saved.
2) The Jacks are a force in the air
Swansea's first goal was a beautiful move that involved Jefferson Montero skipping past Kyle Walker and delivering to the back post for Andre Ayew to score another header (following one against Manchester United). Meanwhile, Bafetimbi Gomis won every attacking aerial duel he was involved in. With more crosses the Swans could have posed more of a threat to Hugo Lloris' goal than just the 2 shots on target all game.
3) Walker finding form again
Right-back Walker is starting to find good form again and despite struggling initially with the quick 20-30m acceleration of Montero, the England international defender recovered to eventually nullify Swansea's potency down his flank. Walker won 5 of 7 tackles: the most in the match, and posted the second most successful ball recoveries after initially allowing Montero to evade him three times in the opening 20 minutes. A faster start might be required next time but Walker looks to be slowly returning to his best.
4) Shelvey both hot and cold
The Jacks' midfielder hit several exceptional long passes to Gomis to create excellent counter-attacks for the Jacks. The England man also won several snapping tackles to shut down Spurs in the middle. However, it was from an unclean tackle resulting in a foul that Eriksen smashed in his second set-piece of the day.