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Spurs v Cardiff Premier League Review

Spurs 1-0 Cardiff Report

Spurs went 38 games unbeaten against promoted Premier League teams after beating Cardiff 1-0 at Wembley on Saturday. Eric Dier, Danny Rose and Moussa Sissoko all came into the team from the midweek Champions League defeat to Barcelona as Mauricio Pochettino sought to go into the international break with a 3rd win on the trot in the Premier League.

The first chance, and goal, for Spurs came in the 7th minute. Kieran Trippier took a short corner to Lucas Moura who then gave the ball back to the Spurs and England right back so he could cross from a better angle. His cross found Davinson Sanchez whose header hit Cardiff defender Joe Bennett before bouncing free in the penalty area. Dier was the quickest to react to the loose ball and could not miss. He lashed home from inside the six yard box for his first goal since scoring against Watford in April 2017.

Sanchez was again involved in Spurs’ next chance. After excellent work on the left, Lucas Moura cut into the area before laying off to his Colombian teammate. With his back to goal, Sanchez let the ball come across him before turning and firing a shot at goal. It was very sharp play from the defender and he would have got Spurs’ second was it not for Neil Etheridge in the Cardiff goal.

But the game was not out of sight for Cardiff despite their poor start to the season and they went close midway through the first half. Neil Etheridge’s clearance was met by Callum Paterson who flicked the ball on into the space behind the Spurs defence. His header caused problems for Hugo Lloris who, perhaps with his error against Barcelona fresh in the memory, did not know whether to come off or stay on his line. Josh Murphy was first to the ball and tried successfully to lift the ball over Lloris. The Spurs keeper was beaten, however Toby Alderweireld was covering and did exceptionally to clear whilst under pressure from Junior Hoilett.

Just before halftime Spurs went close. After a surging run by Harry Winks from inside the Spurs half he played in Heung-min Son. The South Korean danced round the Cardiff defence before laying the ball back to Lucas Moura. Moura was totally unmarked and no more than ten yards away from the goal, but his side-footed effort went agonisingly past the post.

Spurs were not done there with the first half. After a flowing move involving Moussa Sissoko and Harry Kane, Son had the opportunity to have a shot at goal. Like his teammate just a few minutes earlier, he could not guide his effort on target and instead blazed his effort over the bar.

Eric Dier scores the only goal for Spurs

Spurs were immediately onto the front foot in the second half and were only denied by some excellent goalkeeping and defending from Cardiff. Danny Rose made a marauding run from left back before standing up a perfect cross for Harry Kane. His header was parried by Neil Etheridge straight into the path of Lucas Moura whose shot back at goal looked certain to double Spurs’ lead but was miraculously cleared by Sean Morrison on the line.

Still, Spurs looked for the second goal that would put them at ease but it would not come. Harry Kane went close, taking a shot on the half-turn from 18 yards that caught Etheridge out and only narrowly went wide.

Then came a moment of madness from Cardiff midfielder Joe Ralls. After Lucas Moura was put through, Ralls cynically fouled him to stop him going on further. It was a deliberate and dangerous challenge and although he did not intentionally mean to hurt Lucas, referee Mike Dean saw the challenge as serious foul play and so produced a red card. Harry Kane was also booked in the aftermath of the tackle because of his reaction to it.

Despite being down to ten, it was actually Cardiff who had the next chance in the match. Victor Camarasa’s free kick was met at the back by captain Morrison. His header forced Lloris to tip the ball onto the post before Toby Alderweireld then cleared the danger.

Other than that opportunity there were few key chances for either team as the match rather faded out. Harry Kane played the game in a much deeper position that usual and his chances were limited to efforts from outside of the box.

Despite not being a pretty one, the victory for Spurs meant that they equalled their best start to a Premier League season after eight matches. With 18 points, they are currently 5th in the table after the matches at the weekend but are only 2 points off first place as we head into the international break.

Spurs v Cardiff Lineups

Spurs Hospitality and Tickets

 

Spurs v Cardiff Attendance

Wembley Stadium: 43,268

Spurs v Cardiff Man of the Match

Man of the match for Spurs was Toby Alderweireld. The Belgian centre back made two goal saving clearances in the game in both halves and Spurs will be thankful to him that they kept a clean sheet.

Harry Winks also had another good game in the centre of midfield and it will be interesting to see how he gets on for England in the international break in their games against Croatia and Spain.

What the Managers Said

Mauricio Pochettino

“After Wednesday and the effort from the players, which was massive, it was so important to win again and it was difficult.”

“It was a very physical game, Cardiff ran a lot, they were preparing all week to play us, the motivation to play at Wembley…many things happened and that’s why I’m happy with the victory. At the end, the most important thing is the three points. When Eric scored, at that moment you start to think ‘okay, let’s score more and kill the game’.”

“After that we created chances but didn’t score, we didn’t kill the game and then you are worried because always in football it can happen, a situation where you can concede. I’m happy for the victory, the three points and looking forward now for this two weeks to give some rest, but players also going to be involved in internationals.”

“So good, happy, we’re one point from the top and looking forward to the next month.” (Tottenham Hotspur Official)

Neil Warnock

“When I look at Danny Rose’s challenge on Bruno Manga, that is worse in terms of violent conduct. But we kept our discipline and we kept going, so there were lots of positives. To see Spurs keep it in the corner against 10 men shows how well we did. I’m disappointed on the goal – it’s a nothing cross – but you thought that would open the floodgates and I’m delighted with how we stuck at it.” (BBC Sport)

What’s next for Spurs?

Because of the international break Spurs will not play until for another two weeks. Their next match is against West Ham on 20th October. They then travel to Eindhoven to play PSV Eindhoven in their third game of the Champions League Group Stage.


 

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