Tottenham midfielder Paulinho scored a last minute goal to send Tottenham second in the table with a 1-0 win over Cardiff in Wales.
The first half was filled with attacking opportunities for AVB’s visitors. We began briefly on the back foot as Hugo Lloris pulled off a typical unbelievable save to prevent former Tottenham striker Fraizer Campbell from slipping past as he cupped the ball to safety and finished the clearance himself. Christian Eriksen enjoyed a good start as he found himself firing towards goal from 25 yards however the Cardiff keeper managed to parry wide. Andros Townsend found an effort saved as well as another moments later as his obvious ability to run at defences was stronger than ever. Comparisons with Lennon can be identified however I believe Townsend has that additional presence that threatens the opposition.
Cardiff however had their share of attacking moments. We found ourselves constantly dispossessed in the middle and at the back including a rare nervous moment from Paulinho whom found himself double-teamed by Cardiff. Danny Rose’s presence on the left was missed as Kyle Naughton found himself caught out and disposed on occasion. Jan Vertonghen continued to deliver as well as Kyle Walker attempting a 60 yard dash towards the Cardiff box during the first half.
The half ended on a shaky note for Tottenham as Hugo Lloris couldn’t keep the ball in play and gave the hosts a corner. The resultant set piece was finished at the back post however Lloris was upheld during the process and the goal wasn’t given. AVB took the opportunity to consult with Walker, Townsend and several others during the multiple injury breaks for Cardiff whom seemed to be preventing our flow of attacking football from fully flourishing. The interval came as a welcomed break for Spurs.
The second half proved to be just as eventful. Spurs began strongly with persistent pushing on the Welsh hosts. Their keeper proved to carry the tradition of opposing keepers playing worldies against Tottenham as he continued to stop countless efforts. The most noticeable of the half was a particularly saucy effort from Icelander Gylfi Sigurdsson whom struck the bar only for Roberto Soldado to power the rebound towards the keeper who got up again to stop the Spaniard’s second effort. Soldado had much more luck with strikes today than we had seen in previous games.
Tottenham continued to persist however substitute Peter Odemwingie managed to threaten Hugo Lloris’ goal many a time including a curling effort past Jan Vertonghen which just curled wide. Odemwingie’s continuation was almost rewarded however some hard work from our defence managed to keep him out. Cardiff did have a few efforts trickle wide including a Peter Whittingham’s cross left untouched despite its threatening nature.
But the movement of the game came at the very last moment. Erik Lamela intercepted the ball from Lewis Holtby and the Argentinian fizzed it across the Cardiff area to pinpoint Paulinho whom carried out a spinning back heel into the net. This sparked excellent celebrations from the Spurs fans, bench and players as the bundle on the Brazilian commenced. A truly nitty gritty performance was rewarded. Tottenham now sit second in the table level with their North London rivals Arsenal.
Lloris – 8/10 – A few slips but he did redeem himself with some top saves.
Walker – 6/10 – Kyle had a late effort fly wide and generally wasn’t on par today.
Dawson – 7/10 – Some solid challenges from Daws.
Vertonghen – 8/10 – Jan Vertonghen was consistent but wasn’t his best day
Naughton – 4/10 – Rose was missed and Naughton could have given them a goal or two.
Dembélé – 7/10 – I actually loved Mousa’s performance today but he did get dispossessed often.
Paulinho 9/10 – Our Matchwinner. What a goal.
Sigurdsson – 8/10 – A cracking effort on the bar and generally good.
Townsend – 6/10 – Greed prevailed for me today.
Eriksen – 8/10 – A top notch game with some decent passing and strikes!
Soldado – 9/10 – Much more action that usual. Some naughty shots too.
MOTM – A difficult decision. A few contenders but I think it has to go to Soldado. Paulinho did score the winner but he was disposed frequently and Eriksen is probably a very close second. Roberto was very persistent and the power he puts behind the ball is phenomenal. Much improved and hardworking.
Hope you’ve enjoyed another Matchday package from us. What a game that was!!!! So exciting, Did you follow our commentary? Let me know, enjoy the review!! #COYS