FERNANDO LLORENTE returned to haunt former club Swansea as his goals dumped them back at the bottom of the Premier League table.
The Spanish striker marked his first Premier League start since joining Tottenham from the Swans for £12m on August deadline day by netting the opener.
Dele Alli’s 89th minute striker sealed the win and ensured Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs leapfrogged rivals Arsenal into fifth place in the table, four points behind Liverpool above them but with a game in hand.
Llorente, who netted 15 goals for Swansea as they beat the drop last season, will be sad to see how further his old club have fallen.
Especially off the pitch where they PIPED noise and chants into the stadium via the PA system to improve the atmosphere inside the Liberty.
That failed to stop Llorente from hitting the right note on his first top flight start for Tottenham.
All of his previous 11 Premier League appearances for Spurs had come from the bench.
But with Harry Kane having only just recovered from a festive bout of man-flu and with Pochetttino one of football’s old romantics, the Spanish made his 12th from the start.
And he wasted no time opening his League account for the North Londoners as he opened the scoring with a trademark header that owed as much to poor officiating as it did to poor marking.
Llorente was given the freedom of the penalty box by Swans defender Federico Fernandez as he nodded Christian Erisken’s past stranded keeper Lukasz Fabianski.
The goal hero must have thrilled to have scored but he kept his emotions in check and decided not to celebrate out of respect to his former club.
Mind you, it should also have been because he was embarrassed that the goal was allowed to stand as TV replays showed he was a yard OFFSIDE.
No wonder new Swansea boss Carvalhal was on the edge of his technical area screaming down the touchline at the assistant who had somehow failed to spot the infringement is he principally there to spot.
On such decisions games are won and lost, and teams relegated.
If Swans do go down this season, though, it would be a bit churlish to blame it on this one call.
We had to wait more than 30 minutes from any real threat to the Tottenham goal – and that was back-pass from their own defender Kieran Trippier, who over-hit effort tested Hugo Lloris’ heart-rate before the keeper cleared his lines.
Renato Sanches then became the first Swansea player to have a shot when he curled a 33rd minute free kick just over the bar.
Bayern Munich’s Portuguese wonderkid, who has flopped disastrously during his season loan at the Liberty, had arguably his best game for the Swans at Watford on Saturday – which is not saying much.
He improved again last night as his corner almost earned the hosts an equaliser as Alfie Mawson’s header was arrowing into the top corner of the Spurs net until Lloris intervened and fisted the ball clear.
Then in the 36th minute came surely one of the most embarrassing moments in Swansea’s history as the crowd’s rendition of ‘Land Of My Fathers’ started be piped through the stadium speakers.
What the heck?
The Jacks have always supported their club vociferously. The way their club is at the moments means they might understandably be down in the mouth at the moment, but there were several occasions last night when they got right behind Carvalhal and his players. They certainly did not need any fake noise.
Some of the regulars, whose seats are near the media benches, claimed it is not the first time this has happened this season and suggested it had been done by the club to drown out the chants against under-fire chairman Huw Jenkins.
Blimey, you know you are in trouble if you have to pipe crowd noise into a stadium in a country where community singing was invented.
Tottenham’s offside goal will boost Swansea’s claims they have not had much luck this term.
That was true when Spurs defender Davinson Sanchez, on a yellow card after getting booked for fouling Martin Olsson in the first half, escaped with a warning from ref Bobby Madley for scything down the same player in the 55th minute when he could have so easily seen red.
Tottenham boss Pochettino took the hint and substituted Sanchez with Victor Wanyama moments later.
Eriksen, who had notched up six goals and four assists in his previous eight matches against the Swans before laying on Llorente’s goal last night, nearly made it 2-0 with a free kick before Swansea carved out a few chances of their own.
First, Luciano Narsingh, whose appearance as a sub inspired Swansea’s sensational late comeback at Watford on Saturday, saw his shot blocked at the near post after coming off the bench again.
Jordan Ayew then danced through the Spurs defence and looked certain to score before the visitors hacked the ball clear.
Then from the resulting corner Mike van der Hoorn headed against the post as Swans came close to levelling.
Amid the madness, Llorente was given a standing ovation from the home fans as he was replaced by Kane having pushed his old club closer to the drop.
Then as Swans pressed Dele made it 2-0 with a breakaway goal as he netted the rebound after Fabianski had blocked his first shot.