TOTTENHAM (3) vs SWANSEA (1)
TOTTENHAM manager Harry Redknapp believes five wins from seven remaining Premier League games will secure a Champions League place, after striker Emmanuel Adebayor’s brace tightened their grip on a top four spot.
Adebayor’s two second-half headers moved Spurs level on points with third-placed Arsenal, after Swansea midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson’s equaliser had answered Rafael van der Vaart’s opener.
Victory earned Tottenham back-to-back wins for the first time since January, fuelling hope that their recent slump is behind them and encouraging Redknapp to predict that 15 more points will guarantee Champions League qualification.
“If we get five [wins] we will have Champions League football next year, I’m sure of that,” he said. “It is hard to call where the results are going to come and who against and that is what makes it interesting.”
Arsenal’s shock defeat at struggling QPR on Saturday allowed Spurs to fight back in their tussle for north London supremacy, and Redknapp admits he is desperate to topple the Gunners for the first time in 17 years.
“We would love to get third; I would love to finish above Arsenal if I can,” he added. “If we get Champions League football we will all be delighted again. That is the key really, that is what we want.”
Van der Vaart set Tottenham on their way in the 19th minute, calmly planting a side-footed shot past Michel Vorm for his 11th goal of the season after Gareth Bale had raided the left wing and cut back.
Redknapp’s men looked on course to end their five-match run without a league win until Sigurdsson replied just before the hour mark, the Icelander driving his volley into the turf and over goalkeeper Brad Friedel.
Adebayor wrested the momentum back from the visitors in the 73rd minute, heading home Van der Vaart’s corner unchallenged, and the ex-Arsenal target man sealed three points in similar fashion late on, rising highest to convert substitute Aaron Lennon’s right-wing cross.