Spurs started off 2019 in the best way possible with a 3-0 victory away to Cardiff in the Premier League. A ruthless first half display from Mauricio Pochettino’s team saw them go 3-0 up into the break, with goals from Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Heung-min Son allowing them to coast through the second half.
After a disappointing last match against Wolves at Wembley, Spurs responded in the best way to keep the pressure on leaders Liverpool. Only one change was made to the side that started in the defeat to Wolves as Danny Rose came in at left back for Ben Davies, who is on 99 Premier League appearances for Spurs.
It could not have been a better start to the match for Spurs as they went ahead inside three minutes under the lights at the Cardiff City Stadium. Harry Kane ensured that he has scored against every Premier League team that he has faced but was thankful to the defending of the Cardiff players, which allowed him to open the scoring. Kane started the moving with a driving run at the Cardiff backline before passing to Kieran Trippier out wide. The England right back then crossed into the area towards Kane who hit the ball off Sean Morrison. The Cardiff skipper could not sort his feet out in time and so hit his clearance off Kane, who then unwittingly saw the ball roll into the corner to give Spurs the lead.
It was a sweeping move that culminated in Spurs’ second of the match just ten minutes later, courtesy of Christian Eriksen. Kane again came deep to start the attack, setting free Moussa Sissoko who linked up with Heung-min Son. The South Korean’s pass was nearly intercepted by Harry Arter but fell kindly to the feet of Eriksen on the edge of the area. Eriksen then toyed with the Cardiff defence before slotting home into the bottom corner to double the advantage for Spurs.
Spurs go Second in the Premier League
Pochettino’s men were not done there though and made it three within half an hour. A bursting run from Moussa Sissoko set Spurs loose and then the slick passing again took over, with Kane feeding Heung-min Son just inside the area. Son took a touch and then fired back across Cardiff keeper Neil Etheridge to give Spurs an unassailable lead. Spurs’ third goalscorer will be sorely missed when he represents his country in the Asian Games in January and February. Son could miss up to five matches for Spurs, including the Carabao Cup semi-final versus Chelsea.
It was lethal finishing from Spurs, who made their opponents look ordinary. The three goal advantage allowed them to coast through the second period However Junior Hoilett had a header from a deflected cross saved by Lloris, which was the first real chance the home side had in the whole match and let Spurs know that the game was not done there.
Spurs had more chances to make it a rout, with Kane skewing a shot wide and Son seeing an effort saved by Etheridge when he really should have scored. It came about after Sissoko again won possession in midfield and on the counter Spurs had men over and should have took advantage of the situation.
Cardiff tried to salvage some pride with Aaron Gunnarsson going close from a corner, with set pieces looking like their most likely way back into the match. Hoilett also had a speculative effort from range but by then the tie was over.
Sissoko had a chance near the end to cap off an excellent performance towards the end of the encounter but, after giving himself half a yard for a shot, blazed over. However it did not matter as Mauricio Pochettino’s team eventually won 3-0 and with that victory went up to second in the Premier League table.
Cardiff v Spurs Teams
What the Managers Said
Spurs Manager Mauricio Pochettino
“I think that was key – to start the game in the way we started, with massive energy and a high tempo. The control of the game was ours. I’m so pleased, I thought the performance was fantastic.”
“We were more clinical in front of goal. Against Wolves, we missed a little freshness that you need to be more clinical but the performance was good, we were just disappointed with the last 20 minutes. Today, we knew very well it was going to be tough and we wanted to play with a high tempo from the beginning to try to make the difference.”
“We need to understand that in 10 days, we’ve played four games. We need to be very happy and pleased about the effort from the players and the staff, it was massive. I’m so happy to start the New Year with that performance and after the defeat against Wolves it was so important to build another positive run.” (Tottenham Hotspur)
Cardiff Manager Neil Warnock
“When we start off like that we shoot ourselves in the foot. All the planning goes out of the window. The goals were disappointing but they were too good for us in the first half. But that’s life and you move on.”
“I was pleased we hung in there because it’s easy to throw the towel in when you’re 3-0 down to a team like this. Four points in three games over a difficult period is good really. We have had a great season so far. Players were told what they were doing and two or three let me down a little in that respect defensively today. We were playing for pride in the end.” (BBC Sport)
Cardiff v Spurs Man of the Match
Christian Eriksen once again looked a cut above as he orchestrated Spurs’ 3-0 win in Cardiff. The Danish midfielder was at the centre of most of Spurs’ attacks in the first half and then set the tempo later on as Spurs cruised to victory. He also continued his recent goalscoring streak, notching his sixth of the season.
What’s up Next for Spurs?
Spurs’ next match is an FA Cup Third Round tie versus League Two Tranmere on Friday night. They then have a fixture in the other domestic cup competition as Chelsea come to Wembley in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final on Tuesday 8th January.
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