Some may say that with the possession (63%), shots (29) and corners (12) Spurs had, they made hard work of their win over Cardiff. City were a very determined, well-organised team who battled for everything and never gave up. It may have been the 92nd minute before Spurs scored that vital goal but they showed determination and a never-say-die attitude and commitment which was rewarded by Paulinho’s winner. Spurs took the three points but Manchester City who also dominated possession at Cardiff were caught out with two late goals and took nothing from their visit to the Welsh capital.
Tottenham dominated the match in terms of possession, shots and corners with the Cardiff goalkeeper, David Marshall, being called upon to make a number of crucial saves. It took a goal from Paulinho in added time to secure the points but which players earned their ‘Spurs’ at the City of Cardiff Stadium?
Who Caught Your Eye to earn Their Tottenham ‘Spurs’?
Christian Eriksen carried on from where he left off against Norwich last weekend. He caused Cardiff problems with his movement and passing and was a constant threat to Marshall’s goal, the goalkeeper pulling off a couple of saves to deny the Dane in the first half.
Paulinho scored the winner with a back-heel in the 92nd minute and had a couple of earlier opportunities only to be denied by Marshall who saved low at his near post when Paulinho got free in the area and came out quickly to make a save in the 90th minute.
Gylfi Sigurdsson worked hard and hit the bar after the interval with a great shot and set up the chance for Paulinho. The rebound off the woodwork fell for Soldado who forced the goalkeeper into another save but the Spurs’ striker was given off-side.
Roberto Soldado was lively throughout and but for Marshall and the close attention of Steven Caulker would have scored. He showed good movement to find space in the area and get a shot in on goal only to be thwarted by the goalkeeper.
Tottenham’s two late substitutes Erik Lamela and Lewis Holtby brought their influence to bear on the game even though they were only on the pitch for a short period.
Lewis Holtby came on in the 89th minute as it looked as if Spurs were going to have to settle for a draw. They had in the previous minutes resorted to playing the long ball towards the Cardiff penalty area. This played perfectly into the home defenders hands as Spurs appeared to be running out of ideas. Holtby in his six minutes on the pitch buzzed about playing quick passes and created a chance for Paulinho and then was involved with Lamela in creating the winning goal.Erik Lamela came on with 20 minutes to play but had little opportunity to influence the game until the 92nd minute. He won an aerial challenge on the right. The ball fell to Holtby who played him in behind the Cardiff defence and from the bye-line he put in the cross from which Paulinho back-heeled the winning goal. Cue wild celebrations!
Which player won their ‘Spurs’?
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