Sunday 22nd September 2013.
Cardiff City 0-1 Tottenham. Paulinho 92′
Wow! Nerve wracking game. We dominated the match from start to finish but just couldn’t get the ball in the net! Chance after chance came, but Cardiff City’s goalkeeper kept us at bay time after time. It looked as though we were bang out of luck. We were not at our best, actually far from it, but we grinder out a result and three points is all that matters. Our passing was okay and we dominated possession, but it just wasn’t penetrating the solid Cardiff defence. A few subs from AVB changed that, and finally we got the winner through Paulinho! Happy Days!
Cardiff were holding on so well. All credit goes to them for making it really difficult for us and still having a threat at the other end. Steven Caulker had a solid game handling Soldado, kept him at bay really well and was good on the ball. At the other end, Peter Whittingham caused us problems when he got on the ball, really good player that gave Naughton problems. Unlucky for them, but they looked good and if they perform like that every game they will stay up.
I don’t think we were very good to be honest. Frustrating evening for our players. The substitutions from AVB were spot on. Probably easy decisions to make with the players he had available but he made them perfectly. Lewis Holtby and Erik Lamela gave us a different look and in the end, they both had a key part in our winning goal. Soldado’s link up play with Eriksen was great, they were just unfortunate not to make a few more clear cut chances. Hugo Lloris saved us a few times too, another clean sheet for him! Kyle Naughton had a poor game, mistake after mistake and made the wrong decisions in the final third when he attacked, was a frustrating day for him. Christian Eriksen couldn’t really get going today, but his passing was sharp and quick, difficult when he’s got a lot of Cardiff players tracking his every move, still needs to adapt a bit more to the pace of the Premier League.
Very good win that takes us up to second, level on points with our North London rivals Arsenal. We need to improve, but with time the team will continue to gel and get better. Very excited about what’s still to come! Our next game is against Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday 24th September. Our next Premier League game is against Chelsea on Saturday 28th September. COYS!!
My player ratings for the team that faced Cardiff City:
Lloris – 7 – Slightly shaky game from Hugo, but when called upon made some key saves.
Walker – 8 – I thought Walker really improved. A threat down that right hand side, and solid defensively.
Dawson – 6 – Made some silly decisions, but also some crucial interceptions! Dealt with Campbell well I thought.
Vertonghen – 6 – Not his best game at all, but always good on the ball. Looked a little off the pace.
Naughton – 4 – Defensive liability. Really poor and doesn’t look Spurs standard after his two seasons back from Norwich.
Paulinho – 8 – Man of the match. Good on the ball and got the all important goal to get us the three points!
Dembele – 7 – Mousa and Paulinho dominated possession. He also made some key tackles.
Townsend – 6 – Very selfish. A real threat, but needs to pass a lot more. His shot really didn’t trouble Cardiff’s keeper.
Eriksen – 7 – Passing was sharp, and looked a threat but was crowded out a lot and didn’t make a massive impact.
Sigurdsson – 7 – Unlucky is his middle name! Thought he was good otherwise, but didn’t get into many goalscoring positions.
Soldado – 6 – A few chances to score, but Cardiff’s keeper was sensational. He’s getting into the positions which is good!
Holtby – 8 – Was superb when he came on. Such passion and a real creative spark!
Lamela – 7 – Got they assist after getting into a great position on the right. Very good when he came on.
Kane – 7 – Thought he was good when he came on! His touch was good and came close to scoring!