Penalty controversies leave Tottenham on top against Swansea


A tale of two calls has defined Tottenham-Swansea, with a penalty that perhaps should have been given withheld while a second, dubiously awarded penalty putting Spurs in front.

For the second game in a row, Roberto Soldado has converted from the spot, going right on Michel Vorm in the 58th minute to give Spurs a 1-0 lead. The score was a fair one given the balance of play, with only a few spectacular saves from Vorm keeping Spurs from breaking through in the second fan. Swansea fans, however, may be reluctant to accept that standard after embellishment from Andros Townsend, having run into Jonjo Shelvey inside Swans’ area, drew Neil Swarbrick’s whistle.

Late in the first half, however, the same players contributed to a call that could have given Spurs an early try from the spot. That’s when Townshend was brought down by Shelvey at what appeared to be just inside the penalty area. As we see too often from officials, Swarbrick spotted the foul outside the penalty area, seemingly denying Spurs their chance for an earlier opener.

Different eyes will see different things, and in the highlight reels, the second foul will get more attention. But things may have evened out at White Hart Lane. The second foul shouldn’t have been whistled, but ultimately (if unfairly), Spurs may have got the penalty they deserved.