Tottenham emphatically bounced back from their defeat to Wolves by starting 2019 with a 3-0 win away to Cardiff City as they moved back up to second in the Premier League table.
Mauricio Pochettino was after a response following his team’s shock 3-1 loss on Saturday, and Spurs duly delivered as they made light work of hapless Cardiff in south Wales.
Cardiff got off to a calamitous start when Harry Kane netted in bizarre fashion early on and here never looked like being a fightback, particularly after Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min scored to open up a three-goal lead before half-time.
With victory effectively secured by that point, Spurs eased off after the break, though Cardiff were still unable to muster much of a response and Pochettino’s men cruised to the three points, taking them back above Manchester City – at least until their meeting with leaders Liverpool on Thursday.
Spurs took the lead after just three minutes, though there was more than a hint of fortune about the goal, as Sean Morrison saw his attempted clearance strike Kane and ricochet into the net.
There was no hint of calamity about Spurs’ second, though, as Cardiff were caught on the break and Eriksen dispatched an 18-yard finish into the bottom-left corner after cleverly making space for himself.
Son then got in on the act just before the half-hour mark, latching on to Kane’s pass on the right side of the box and finishing across Neil Etheridge.
Cardiff crafted a rare chance at the start of the second half, as Junior Hoilett – on for Josh Murphy at the break – saw a header saved by Hugo Lloris.
Etheridge did well to deny Kane a second late on, racing out and palming the ball away as the striker attempted to skip around him, though it had no impact on the result as Spurs eased to victory.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 1, 2019
What does it mean? Son will be sorely missed
He looks set to be available for the next three games, but after that Son will jet off to the Asian Cup to represent his country. South Korea’s gain will be Spurs’ huge loss, as the forward showed again on Tuesday why he is so valuable, working tirelessly and effectively, troubling Cardiff with his movement and unpredictability.
Looking for Eriksen
Most of Spurs’ play went through their great Dane in midfield, as they constantly looked for Eriksen to dictate the play. He obliged and Cardiff hardly got near him all match, while he showcased some real class with his goal.
Alli off the pace
While he was by no means terrible, Dele Alli was the most disappointing Spurs player in Wales, as he just did not look sharp, appearing a second behind everyone else in the final third.
Key Opta Facts
– Spurs have won each of their four Premier League games against Cardiff – only Manchester City (7 v Bournemouth) and Arsenal (6 v Reading) have a better 100 per cent record against an opponent in the competition.
– Spurs are still yet to play out a draw in the Premier League this season (W16 D0 L5), just the ninth occasion in top-flight history that a team has gone 21 or more games into a season without drawing.
– Cardiff have the same number of points this season (18) as they did after 21 games of their only previous Premier League campaign (18 in 2013-14), however they do have a worse goal difference this term (-22).
– Cardiff have conceded 25 goals across their games against the “big six” teams in the Premier League this season; the most of any side.
– No player in Premier League history has scored more goals on New Year’s Day than Kane (5 – a joint-high with Andy Cole and Steven Gerrard).
– Son has been directly involved in 11 goals in his last eight starts for Spurs in the Premier League, scoring eight and assisting another three.
– Spurs midfielder Eriksen has scored 19 goals from outside the box in the Premier League – the most of any player in the competition since his debut (September 2013).
After Friday’s FA Cup trip to Tranmere Rovers and the EFL Cup semi-final first leg against Chelsea the following Tuesday, Spurs are next in league action against Manchester United on January 13. Cardiff’s next top-flight fixture is against fellow strugglers Huddersfield Town a week on Saturday.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!