WEM­B­LEY

Tot­ten­ham ...... 0 Swansea ...... 0 Po­chet­tino’s home flops fail again as the hoodoo bites back

Daily Star Sunday - - RESULT! - By Tony Sten­son

TOT­TEN­HAM’S Wem­b­ley hoodoo re­turned to haunt them again yes­ter­day.

Just when boss Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino must have hoped the curse had been lifted, Swansea en­sured the jinx stayed firmly in place.

The Welsh­men needed the bril­liance of their keeper Lukasz Fabi­an­ski and sev­eral penalty ap­peals in their favour to help them – but Spurs can­not com­plain.

They had vir­tu­ally all the pos­ses­sion but cre­ated few chances.

Af­ter beat­ing Borus­sia Dort­mund a few days ear­lier in the Cham­pi­ons League they had hoped their tem­po­rary home – once a dark grave­yard for re­sults – had be­come a wel­com­ing bea­con.

But Swansea cer­tainly dimmed those lights, deny­ing them a first league win at the na­tional sta­dium.

And against the top sides like free-scor­ing Manch­ester City those lights could eas­ily be put out again.

Spurs found keeper Fabi­an­ski in su­perb form, pro­duc­ing a string of su­per saves.

Po­chet­tino’s side did enough with­out be­ing re­ally con­vinc­ing and again huge ques­tions marks were raised over Dele Alli. Eng­land’s great hope looked a shadow of his usual self and when it comes to point­ing fin­gers he should di­rect them at him­self.

He spent more time in the first half on the floor and ar­gu­ing with ref­eree Mike Dean than in his usual deadly dou­ble-act with striker Harry Kane.

Po­chet­tino needs a quiet word in his ear to re­mind him that he is still a work in progress.

He is a tal­ent for sure but he has got to har­ness it bet­ter. One or two neat touches does not make a player.

Alli’s per­for­mance was vastly im­proved in the sec­ond half – but he did not have much to beat.

Spurs found it a long, hard slog against a team that just re­fused to lie down de­spite be­ing con­stantly pum­melled.

His­tory had it down for a home banker with Spurs hav­ing never lost to Swansea in the Pre­mier League era. But they also went into the game hav­ing dropped more points in home games at Wem­b­ley Sta­dium this sea­son (five) than they did in the en­tire 2016-17 Pre­mier League cam­paign at White Hart Lane (four).

Af­ter notch­ing two goals in Europe in mid­week, Kane al­most added another af­ter eight min­utes with a low

30-yard free-kick but Fabi­an­ski dived low to his left to turn it away for a cor­ner.

And within a minute Fabi­an­ski was called into ac­tion again to keep out a fe­ro­cious an­gled shot from Son He­ung-Min.

On Wem­b­ley’s open acres there is al­ways room for move­ment and Swansea were ready and will­ing to fill the spa­ces. They moved the ball around well – par­tic­uarly Re­nato Sanches – but Tot­ten­ham’s de­fence al­ways had the edge, with Davin­son Sanchez, a £36.5mil­lion sign­ing from Ajax, a pow­er­ful fig­ure. Swansea also packed their de­fence well, leav­ing Spurs

PAIN GAME: Aurier goes down un­der chal­lenge from Ayew but Spurs’ penalty ap­peals were waved away ■

HIT AND HOPE: Striker Son fires in another ef­fort ■ DE­JECTED: Striker Kane

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