Premier League
TottenhamTottenham Hotspur1CardiffCardiff City0

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Cardiff City

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport
Roberto Soldado

Roberto Soldado scored his first goal in nine games as Tottenham beat Cardiff to close the gap to fourth-placed Manchester City.

The Spanish striker was hugely relieved as he swept in after a counter-attack for his 11th goal of the season.

Cardiff's Steven Caulker almost scored against his former club when he hit the crossbar from two yards.

Solskjaer bemoans fine margins in defeat

Declan John also tested Hugo Lloris but the Bluebirds remain second from bottom of the Premier League.

Defeat for Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer means his side are still three points from safety and failed to overtake third-bottom Sunderland, who were beaten by Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final.

In front of watching owner Vincent Tan, the Norwegian stretched his poor record to just one win from eight Premier League games since he took charge at the start of January.

After their 4-0 thumping at home to Hull last weekend, it was clear Solskjaer intended to give his side greater assurance by employing three centre-backs, allowing wing-backs John and Fabio to race down the flanks.

Although they caused problems in the first half, Cardiff did not exert any sustained pressure on the Spurs goal after the interval and have only 10 matches to save their season, with bottom-of-the-table Fulham their next opponents.

Victory for Tim Sherwood's Spurs, meanwhile, was a positive response to their 1-0 defeat by Norwich in their previous league game as they kept their Champions League hopes on track.

They are four points adrift of Manchester City, who have two games in hand, but if they are to make it into the top four they will need to find more energy against league leaders Chelsea and third-placed Arsenal in their next two games.

The hosts struggled to break down a well-organised Cardiff team, whose game plan almost completely disintegrated when Craig Bellamy, back from suspension, nearly talked himself into an early sending-off.

Bellamy was booked by referee Phil Dowd for dissent as he protested against a deserved yellow card for Kim Bo-Kyung, and only what seemed a last-minute change of mind from the official saved him from being dismissed.

Sherwood says Spurs 'won ugly'

Though Cardiff's new approach appeared to be working, they went behind from a quick Spurs counter-attack.

Andros Townsend broke forward following a Cardiff free-kick, passed inside to Emmanuel Adebayor and the Togolese striker fed the onrushing Soldado, who took one touch and found the bottom corner.

Cardiff almost struck back instantly when Caulker headed against the woodwork following a corner, and John later raced forward but was denied at the near post by Lloris.

The hosts began to reassert their authority after the break and came very close to earning a penalty when John tripped Aaron Lennon on the corner of the area, but Dowd decided the first contact was outside the box.

With an hour gone, Solskjaer decided to play four defenders at the back as he introduced Kenwyne Jones.

But he made little impression and Spurs came closest to scoring in an underwhelming second half when David Marshall saved substitute Harry Kane's effort.

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Line-ups

Tottenham

  • 25Lloris
  • 16Naughton
  • 35Fryers
  • 19Dembélé
  • 20Dawson
  • 5Vertonghen
  • 7Lennon
  • 8PaulinhoSubstituted forGuimarães Cordeiroat 73'minutesBooked at 88mins
  • 9SoldadoSubstituted forKaneat 83'minutes
  • 10Adebayor
  • 17TownsendSubstituted forChadliat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 21Chadli
  • 22G Sigurdsson
  • 24Friedel
  • 30Guimarães Cordeiro
  • 37Kane
  • 42Bentaleb
  • 51Veljkovic

Cardiff

  • 1Marshall
  • 35da SilvaSubstituted forJonesat 73'minutes
  • 42John
  • 6Turner
  • 27Torres RuizBooked at 90mins
  • 4Caulker
  • 17GunnarssonSubstituted forDaehliat 63'minutes
  • 8Medel
  • 39BellamyBooked at 12minsSubstituted forMutchat 63'minutes
  • 10Campbell
  • 13KimBooked at 12mins

Substitutes

  • 9Jones
  • 18Mutch
  • 19Cowie
  • 28Théophile-Catherine
  • 29Daehli
  • 32Lewis
  • 36Zaha
Referee:
Phil Dowd
Attendance:
35,512

Match Stats

Home TeamTottenhamAway TeamCardiff
Possession
Home60%
Away40%
Shots
Home15
Away8
Shots on Target
Home6
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away7
Fouls
Home11
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Cardiff City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Cardiff City 0.

  3. Booking

    Cala (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card.

  4. Post update

    Offside, Cardiff City. Ben Turner tries a through ball, but Cala is caught offside.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Hugo Lloris.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Ezekiel Fryers.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur).

  8. Post update

    Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Declan John.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Nacer Chadli.

  11. Booking

    Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur).

  13. Post update

    Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Ben Turner (Cardiff City).

  16. Post update

    Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Cala (Cardiff City).

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Harry Kane replaces Roberto Soldado.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea28196352223063
2Liverpool28185573353859
3Arsenal28185552282459
4Man City26183569274257
5Tottenham2816573733453
6Everton27139538271148
7Man Utd27136843311245
8Newcastle28134113739-243
9Southampton2810993835339
10West Ham2887133135-431
11Aston Villa2887133138-731
12Hull2886143035-530
13Stoke2879122842-1430
14Swansea2878133741-429
15Norwich2877142143-2228
16Crystal Palace2783161937-1827
17West Brom27413103139-825
18Sunderland2666142642-1624
19Cardiff2857161949-3022
20Fulham2863192862-3421
View full Premier League table

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