Tottenham got their top-four tilt back on track by overcoming Swansea 3-2 on a night when Bafetimbi Gomis’ collapse had those inside White Hart Lane fearing the worst.
As play was about to restart following Nacer Chadli’s wonderful, early opener, paramedics and medical staff raced onto the field to tend to the French striker after he went down.
Hush fell on the ground where Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest three years ago, but good news emanated from the Swansea dressing room that Gomis was fine and had not been hospitalised after feinting.
Garry Monk’s side will have unlikely been aware of the positive news when Ki Sung-Yueng drew parity in a match which Spurs would go onto win, with second-half strikes from Ryan Mason and Andros Townsend securing the result after Gylfi Sigurdsson’s late strike.
Having exited the Europa League and lost the Capital One Cup to Chelsea in the past week, this felt like a huge win for Mauricio Pochettino’s side,
Defeat to Swansea would have seriously harmed their hopes of Champions League qualification, so Chadli’s fine, cushioned volley got Spurs off to the best possible start.
That strike was quickly forgotten, though, when Gomis collapsed – an incident which saw him leave the field on a stretcher, but was thankfully not as serious as first feared.
It was a worrying moment Swansea recovered well from, with Ki striking home from an acute angle soon after Sigurdsson sent a free-kick off the post.
However, there was not to be a third straight Premier League win for Swansea, with academy graduates Mason and Townsend striking for Spurs in what was for the most part a comfortable second half.
Sigurdsson’s late goal led to a nervy ending during which Hugo Lloris produced a wonderful save to ensure Spurs held on for victory – a fitting way to remember great Dave Mackay after he passed away on Monday.
Spurs greats led a minute of applause before kick-off and the current squad wore black armbands in remembrance of one of the finest players to ever don the lillywhite shirt.
None of the current side are a patch on Mackay but they got a win for him, opening the scoring inside seven minutes.
Danny Rose found space on the left to send over a cross to Chadli, who showed wonderful skill and vision to hit an unorthodox cushioned volley past Lukasz Fabianski.
It was a fine opener but it was quickly forgotten as the emotion from everyone inside White Hart Lane became one of concern as Gomis collapsed.
The striker had four minutes of treatment before leaving the field on a stretcher – by this point conscious and wearing an oxygen mask.
All corners of the ground applauded Gomis as he left to be replaced by Nelson Oliveira, with good news later filtering through that he would be fine.
The first few minutes after the restart were understandably tense, with the volume only lifting when Townsend saw a low shot saved.
By this point Swansea appeared to have refocused and Sigurdsson hit a wonderful, curled free-kick off the post.
It was a let-off Spurs failed to heed as Swansea worked the ball back in the box and Ki stole in to prod home from an acute angle after a Jan Vertonghen mis-kick.
The 19th-minute leveller led to a more open, end-to-end encounter, with Mason hitting at Fabianski before former Spurs full-back Kyle Naughton fizzed a low strike wide at the other end.
Swansea’s former Arsenal goalkeeper was proving a capable last line of defence for the visitors, getting a slight touch to take a clipped Christian Eriksen cross away from danger.
A powerful Nabil Bentaleb drive was the next effort to test Fabianski, who was not to be beaten before half-time was called.
Jonjo Shelvey saw an effort tipped over when play resumed before Ashley Williams’ tackle on Eriksen only put the ball into Mason’s path, with the midfielder lashing home with his right foot.
The 23-year-old’s first Premier League goal swayed the match in Spurs’ favour, with Eriksen slicing an effort before Townsend broke at speed and cut onto his right foot, firing home when many expected him to square for Kane.
Kyle Walker came close with an effort which deflected just wide as Spurs pushed for a fourth, with Eric Dier hauling back Oliveira on a rare Swansea attack.
Substitute Roberto Soldado glanced a header inches wide, with the Spaniard inches away from directing home a Ben Davies cross – a missed opportunity which allowed Sigurdsson to reduce the deficit, volleying home a Jefferson Montero cross.
The visitors pushed for an equaliser but, try as they might, there was not to be one, with Lloris tipping a Federico Fernandez header wide in stoppage time.
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