VIDEO: No shame, but no points for Swans
SWANSEA City will take their search for a first point of the season to West Bromwich, via Eastern Europe, after defeat in North London yesterday.
Swansea's start to this campaign looked like being an awkward one from the moment the fixtures were released in June.
As well as negotiating a path to the Europa League group stages, Michael Laudrup's men were faced with a daunting beginning in the Premier League.
First the champions on their own patch, then a trip to one of the top-four contenders.
And challenging it has proved. Swansea have dealt with Malmo and Petrolul Ploiesti, but Manchester United's finishing power saw them home on the opening day of the campaign and yesterday Laudrup's side came up short at White Hart Lane.
They were beaten by a questionable penalty, but they could not really argue with the result.
Even with Gareth Bale on his way to Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur always looked the team most likely to win this game.
Swansea were competitive and, for all Spurs' attacking threats, Laudrup can take some heart from the fact that it took a spot-kick for the home side to win it.
The Dane complained that the penalty should never have been awarded — but accepted that Tottenham should have got one earlier in the game.
"When you play against teams like this away from home, you cannot expect to dominate the game and create eight or ten chances," Laudrup pointed out.
"I said to the players before this game that we had three away games in one week, and what was important was that we are competitive in all the games even when we are not dominating.
"Spurs are a very good team, but their goal came from a penalty and overall they created only three big chances. That's what you have to expect in a game like this.
"We had a couple of chances too, and (Hugo) Lloris made a great save from Chico Flores.
"In the end we lost 1-0 and that's how it is. I don't know about being frustrated or anything like that — overall I was happy with our performance."
But unhappy with the result.
Swansea will go to West Bromwich Albion next Sunday with a burning desire to get something on the board in the Premier League.
A visit to the Hawthorns will be far from easy, particularly with a trip to Romania to fit in during the week.
But at least Swansea will walk out against West Brom knowing that a positive result is far from inconceivable.
They were heavy underdogs in North London yesterday, and the pattern of the game was set early on when Paulinho picked up possession in midfield and then tricked his way past Jose Canas.
The Brazilian international let fly from range, and Michel Vorm gathered comfortably enough on this occasion.
Swansea responded with an early effort of their own, when Michu and Wayne Routledge combined neatly down the left. Kyle Walker's intervention stopped Michu as he advanced into the area, but the ball rolled to Routledge and his shot drew a smart save from Lloris.
This was a rare bit of work for Tottenham's French international goalkeeper. Andre Villas-Boas's team were in charge of the midfield, hunting Swansea down and putting Laudrup's men off their passing game.
When they won the ball, Spurs poured forward, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker supporting Andros Townsend and Nacer Chadli on the flanks.
Chadli, who Swansea were interested in over the summer, whipped a free-kick over the top of Vorm's goal, then Walker galloped in behind Ben Davies.
His cross almost led to an own goal, Ashley Williams heading on to the post as he attempted to clear for a corner.
The rebound fell to Paulinho — and the £17.5 million summer signing seemed certain to score.
Vorm saved Swansea, leaping to his left to smother as White Hart Lane held its breath.
Swansea were only threatening occasionally, though Routledge's neat pass gave Jonjo Shelvey a shooting chance.
With the angle tight, Shelvey struck his shot well but Lloris got down sharply to save at his near post.
Jonathan de Guzman tried his luck next with a 20-yard effort which rolled the wrong side of the upright, but Swansea were delighted to go in level at the break as the home side carried most of the threat.
Walker got behind the Swansea defence once again and this time his pull-back reached Mousa Dembele.
The Belgian midfielder struck his first-time shot with power but not enough accuracy, Vorm thrusting a hand skywards to turn the ball over the crossbar.
Next Spurs got in down the opposite flank, Chadli crossing for Paulinho, whose volley bounced up and over the woodwork.
On the touchline, Villas-Boas slapped his thigh in frustration as his opposite number breathed his latest sigh of relief.
Shelvey was the one puffing out his cheeks in the last minute of the first period, after his clumsy foul on Townsend.
Spurs should have had a penalty but, fortunately for Swansea, referee Neil Swarbrick wrongly decided the challenge occurred just outside the box rather than half a yard inside.
The second half began as the first had ended, with Spurs asking questions and Swansea using up most of their energy just to keep the hosts out.
Townsend, the young winger who was sent out on loan to Queens Park Rangers last season, was the biggest threat despite all the cash splashed by Villas-Boas this summer.
He lashed the first effort of the second period narrowly over the top from the edge of the D — and then won the penalty having been denied earlier on.
This time Townsend skipped into the penalty area — and took the chance to go down as Shelvey offered out a leg.
This time Swarbrick pointed to the spot, even though Swansea were convinced there was no contact.
Roberto Soldado, a £26 million summer signing from Valencia, sent Vorm the wrong from 12 yards for his second spot-kick winner in a week.
Ahead at last, Spurs were instantly less willing to commit men forward.
Alejandro Pozuelo and Wilfried Bony arrived from the bench, and Swansea suddenly looked a little more threatening.
Pozuelo was busy and balanced, using the ball well every time it came his way.
Pablo Hernandez was sloppy at times by comparison, though it was he who had Lloris worried with a 20-yard curler which drifted just the wrong side of the post.
The closest Swansea came was 19 minutes from the end, when a quick free-kick was worked to Hernandez on the left and he crossed to the far post.
Flores did everything right, striking a high-class volley and then clutching head in hands as Lloris saved sharply to preserve the Tottenham lead.
Swansea kept on pushing in the closing stages, but Lloris's work for the day was done.
It was Spurs who might have scored in stoppage time as Paulinho broke away, but Vorm raced off his line to save.
It did not matter. By then Swansea's race was run.
As was the case against United, there was no shame in this performance.
But Swansea could do with a result when they go to West Brom next Sunday afternoon.