Swansea 1-1 Tottenham

By Peter ShuttleworthBBC Sport Wales
Scott Sinclair celebrates with Kemy Agustien and Stephen Dobbie
Swansea winger Scott Sinclair celebrates his fifth goal of the season

Tottenham Hotspur wasted a chance to close the gap on the Premier League's top two as Scott Sinclair's late equaliser rescued Swansea City a point.

Rafael van der Vaart's opener looked to have dragged third-placed Spurs to within four points of the leaders after .

Van der Vaart converted Benoit Assou-Ekotto's deflected left-wing cross.

But Sinclair levelled as he capitalised on a Brad Friedel error as the keeper failed to hold Angel Rangel's cross.

The Spurs stopper fumbled Rangel's teasing right-wing centre, which took a wicked deflection of Assou-Ekotto's boot, under pressure from Swans striker Danny Graham and Sinclair tapped into an empty net.

The close presence of his own defenders William Gallas and Younes Kaboul would not have helped Friedel's cause as the American made an uncharacteristic mistake.

But Sinclair and Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers, who ran down the touch-line and punched the air to celebrate the goal, did not care as it was a much-needed point for a Swansea side that looked set to drop to within four points of the relegation zone.

On the balance of play, the hosts deserved their point. Sinclair had a shot cleared off the line by Spurs midfielder Luka Modric and Rangel and Luke Moore both went close as Swansea chased an equaliser.

Rodgers's men also restricted an in-form Spurs side to half chances and long-range efforts but Harry Redknapp will be disappointed as the visiting manager insisted his side needed a win at the Liberty Stadium if they had hopes of a first title since 1961.

Swansea are a pleasure to watch - Redknapp

Redknapp, already without defender Ledley King who has knee problems, will also be concerned by the loss of key midfielder Scott Parker after the England international was forced off injured with 20 minutes remaining, needing an ice pack on his right knee.

Jazz Richards suffered a torrid time at right-back with both Gareth Bale and Assou-Ekotto testing Swansea's inexperienced defender throughout.

And it was Cameroon's Assou-Ekotto who beat Richards before his cut-back was inadvertently knocked into Van der Vaart's path by Swansea midfielder Joe Allen leaving the Dutch forward to acrobatically volley in his eighth of the season, via a deflection off Ashley Williams.

Van der Vaart's first league goal for two months was only the fourth goal Swansea had conceded at home this season - and the fifth could have come just after half-time.

Rodgers happy with ending to 'iconic' year

The legs of Swansea keeper Michel Vorm kept out Kaboul's near-post strike after the Spurs centre-back's surging run from defence and Van der Vaart wasted a great chance to extend Tottenham's lead from Emmanuel Adebayor's defence-splitting pass but his tame first-time 25-yarder was routine for Vorm.

Spurs right-back Kyle Walker, with Sinclair waiting to pounce, was forced to make a goal-saving intervention from Stephen Dobbie's goal-bound shot soon after.

But Sinclair, the Swans' Championship play-off hero and top-scorer last season, was again the man as his fifth goal of the season earned the homes side a first point this term after going behind, a result that leaves Spurs six points adrift of the Manchester clubs in the title race.

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers: "This will be a really good result for us psychologically. I said to the players at half-time that we don't want to come off the field as heroic losers.

"People would be saying it's alright playing our tippy-tappy football but it's no good if you then lose the game, but it was a fantastic performance.

"It's always good to put on a performance and result against a top team and you can see our growth."

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp: "It was a sloppy goal. One or two of them switched off and we didn't pick up Sinclair, we have let him come in unmarked so it was a catalogue of errors, but that's how it goes.

"It was a tight game. They are a good side, I like the way they play. The way they pass is amazing really. The belief Brendan has installed into them to play is top class.

"Anyone coming here and winning will do well, only United have won here and that was a tough game.

"You are obviously disappointed when you are winning and get pegged back, but the last 20 minutes they came on strong and, in the end, deserved their equaliser."