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March 3, 2014
• White Hart Lane, London
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 35512
That result leaves Cardiff three points below 17th-place West Brom who still have a game in hand. The Bluebirds desperately need to start picking up some points and their next test is a relegation six-pointer at home to bottom side Fulham on Saturday. As for Spurs, they continue to be in the hunt for the Champions League places and their credentials will be examined next weekend when they travel to leaders Chelsea. That's all from me on this live commentary. Until next time, goodbye.
There are just 10 games remaining for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to save Cardiff now and the Norwegian manager has picked up just four points from a possible 24 since taking over. The Bluebirds can not be faulted for their effort today but you fear that they do not have the quality in attack to keep themselves afloat in the Premier League. It is 400 minutes and counting since they last scored a league goal.
FT: Tottenham 1-0 Cardiff City. Tim Sherwood's side close the gap on fourth-place Manchester City to four points courtesy of Roberto Soldado's first-half strike. It was certainly not a convincing win for the North Londoners however who appeared to be suffering from a European midweek hangover. Yet another game goes by for Cardiff where they have not found the net.
90' + 5'
Yellow Card Cala
DANGER CLEARED! It looks like it will be another clean sheet for Tottenham as Dawson rises highest to head the ball away. Juan Cala picks up a late booking for dissent.
90' + 2'
CHANCE FOR CARDIFF! The visiting fans have their heads in their hands as Daehli fails to get his shot on target after Jones' knockdown. The danger is not over for Tottenham however as Marshall comes up for a Cardiff corner.
GREAT CHANCE FOR TOTTENHAM! We've hardly had a shot on target in the whole second half but Harry Kane really should have wrapped up the three points there. The young English striker is played clean through on goal by Chadli's neat pass but he can only fire his shot straight at the legs of Marshall with the goal gaping.
Yellow Card Sandro
Sandro picks up Tottenham's first booking of the game as he cynically prevents a Cardiff counter attack. The Bluebirds then see their misfortune compounded as Caulker's clever flick off Adebayor hits the corner flag and sets up a Tottenham counter.
Naughton sums up the quality of this second half as he passes a free kick straight to the nearest Cardiff defender. It certainly has not been a Premier League classic.
Solskjaer's change of formation has certainly given Cardiff more defensive stability but they have really struggled to test Lloris in the Tottenham goal. The Norwegian manager looks on in anguish as the clock ticks down towards a seventh consecutive away league defeat.
Roberto Soldado receives a standing ovation from the Tottenham fans as he is replaced by Harry Kane, who is yet to score a Premier League goal. Is Soldado's goal going to be the decisive one? There are seven minutes remaining.
Cardiff win a free kick outside the box but Mutch's effort goes straight into the wall. I just don't see where the goals are going to come from in this Cardiff side.
There is a real lack of purpose in the Spurs attack this afternoon and the Tottenham fans voice their frustration. Emmanuel Adebayor has not been able to continue his bright form and it seems that Tottenham are suffering from a European hangover. Can they grind out the win here to bolster their top-four ambitions?
Those Cardiff substitutions have not had the desired impact and both sides are finding it difficult to get into advanced positions. This game lost its spark a long time ago.
STAT: Cardiff have conceded 18 of their 48 goals (38%) in the last 15 minutes of games.
Tottenham are hoping to find a second goal here but they have lacked urgency and quality in the final third. Soldado watches his shot blocked by Turner before Adebayor's effort is comfortably held by Marshall.
Fabio Da Silva
Solskjaer decides to make his final substitution as Kenwyne Jones comes on to replace Fabio. The Trinidad and Tobago striker scored on his debut against Norwich and Cardiff are yet to score a league goal since.
Sandro, sporting a rather spectacular beard, receives a warm reception from the Spurs crowd as he comes on to replace Paulinho.
There is a stoppage in play as Fabio picks up a knock and receives treatment. I'm not sure the Brazilian will be able to continue here.
Tim Sherwood opts to make his first substitution as Nacer Chadli replaces Andros Townsend. It looks as though Sandro may also come on shortly.
Townsend continues to look lively for Spurs but he fails to pick out the run of Soldado at the front post and Turner hoofs his low cross to safety. I think that may be the end of Townsend's afternoon as Chadli is ready to come on.
UPDATE: Cardiff have now gone 377 minutes without a Premier League goal. They have 23 more minutes to find one at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham have been disappointing in this second period and Townsend wastes a good opportunity as he fails to pick out a white shirt with a free kick from the right. Tim Sherwood must be contemplating a change of his own here.
Aron Einar Gunnarsson
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decides to make a double substitution as Mats Moller Daehli and Jordon Mutch replace Craig Bellamy and Aron Gunnarsson. Will that help Cardiff to be more clinical in attack?
Townsend is looking Tottenham's most lively player in attack and he drives through the Cardiff midfield before firing a right-footed effort narrowly over the bar. The visitors then launch an attack of their own but Fabio's low strike from the edge of the box is easily held by Lloris.
Campbell is fortunate to escape a booking when he appears to catch Dawson with a flailing arm when the two contest a header. Tottenham then launch a rare second-half attack when Townsend cuts in from the right but Caulker rises above Adebayor to head the ball clear.
Tottenham may be ahead here but they are certainly not in control. Kim Bo-Kyung bursts his way into the box but he is denied a shot on goal by Paulinho's well-timed challenge. The Tottenham fans are starting to get a little restless here.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer started this game with three centre-backs and you get the feeling that he may need to take an attacking gamble if Cardiff are going to get anything from this match. The Bluebirds have certainly looked more stable at the back than last week but their lack of goals is becoming an increasing concern.
Townsend steps up to take the free kick but his left-footed effort is well anticipated by Marshall who gets himself into a good position to make the save. The next goal is crucial here.
Declan John breathes a huge sigh of relief as the referee awards a free kick right on the edge of the box after the Cardiff full-back had brought down Lennon. The Spurs fans were screaming for a penalty but it does seem that the contact took place outside the box.
Cardiff have been the brighter side since the break and Bellamy gets on the end of Fabio's cutback but he can only fire straight at Vertonghen. Tim Sherwood looks a little concerned on the touchline.
Cardiff enjoy a good spell of possession at the beginning of the second half but they are finding it difficult to get in behind the Spurs back four. Solskjaer's side need to start picking up some points from somewhere.
The teams re-emerge from the tunnel and Cardiff get the second half underway. The Welsh side have not won at Tottenham since 1954. Can they find a route back into this one?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows that his side are still in this contest and they have certainly caused Tottenham problems in the first half. Zeki Fryers, in particular, has looked vulnerable for the hosts and I would not be surprised to see Wilfried Zaha introduced from the bench if things continue.
However, it is not all doom and gloom for Cardiff City at the bottom as fellow relegation strugglers Crystal Palace and Norwich are also losing. Crystal Palace trail Swansea 1-0 at half-time while Aston Villa lead Norwich 4-1 at the break.
HT: Tottenham 1-0 Cardiff City. Roberto Soldado's first goal from open play since October gives Tim Sherwood's side a slender advantage at the break. However, it has not been all one-way traffic for the North Londoners and Steven Caulker almost levelled the scores when his header hit the bar. As things stand, Tottenham will close the gap on fourth-place Manchester City to four points.
Tottenham have no intentions of scoring a second before half-time and they run the clock down with a sustained spell of possession. Another big half-time team-talk ahead for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Dembele has enjoyed a tidy game in the middle of the pitch for Tottenham so far and he receives a pass on the edge of the box and obliges the chants of the crowd to shoot. However, the Belgian cannot direct his effort on target and his shot flashes wide of Marshall's left-hand post.
GREAT SAVE FROM LLORIS! Kim Bo-Kyung splits open the Tottenham defence with a superb ball into John down the left. The full-back manages to escape from Naughton and he drives his way into the box before his fierce shot is parried away from goal by the Tottenham No.1. You certainly would not rule Cardiff out of this one just yet.
Fabio is certainly not afraid to maraud into the Tottenham half but his eagerness to get forward leaves Cardiff exposed at the back. Townsend takes advantage of the Brazilian's vacation to drive towards the byline but he cannot pick out a white shirt with his cross into the middle and a good opportunity breaks down.
Cardiff certainly seem to have identified the Tottenham left as a weakness and they continue to target Fryers. Naughton has been relatively untested at right-back so far.
Emmanuel Adebayor provided the assist for Roberto Soldado's opener and he now has eight goals and three assists since he was recalled to the Tottenham lineup by Tim Sherwood.
Cardiff have responded really well to going behind and the Tottenham defence looks anything but solid. Can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men find the equaliser before half-time. Eleven minutes remaining.
CARDIFF HIT THE BAR! Tottenham's lead is almost short-lived as Caulker rises highest to meet a corner from the left. However, the former Tottenham defender is denied a goal on his return to White Hart Lane as his header crashes against the woodwork.
You could sense the relief around White Hart Lane when Roberto Soldado scored there. Tim Sherwood has been patient with the Spanish striker and he has finally come up with the goods. Will that give him the confidence to go on a goalscoring purple patch?
Assist Emmanuel Adebayor
Goal Roberto Soldado
SOLDADO ENDS HIS GOAL DROUGHT TO GIVE TOTTENHAM THE LEAD! It's a brilliant counter attack from Spurs as Townsend drives from deep before feeding Adebayor on the left. The in-form striker patiently waits for the run of Soldado and picks out the Spaniard with precision, who takes a good first touch before poking the ball beyond Marshall. He looks very relieved to have finally got on the scoresheet.
Bellamy has looked lively for Cardiff but he cannot quite control Gunnarsson's knockdown in the box and Tottenham come forward once again. The Welsh side have struggled to find the net in 15 of their 27 matches this season.
STAT: David Marshall has made 106 saves in the Premier League prior to today, more than any other goalkeeper. The Cardiff shotstopper has already been called into action on a few occasions this afternoon.
Paulinho scored the winner when these two sides met at the Bluebirds' Stadium earlier this season and he collects Adebayor's pass on the edge of the box before his goalbound effort is well blocked by Medel.
STAT: Cardiff have lost their last six away matches in the Premier League while only Crystal Palace have scored fewer than their seven away goals this season.
DAWSON IS GETTING CLOSER! The Tottenham captain is looking a real threat from set-pieces and he rushes to the front post to meet a corner from the left before flicking a header inches past the top corner.
Michael Dawson has been in the thick of the action so far and he goes close to opening the scoring when his left-footed volley slices just wide of the target.
UPDATE: It has now been 328 minutes since Cardiff's last league goal - a Kenwyne Jones strike against Norwich.
GOOD SAVE FROM MARSHALL! Tottenham are upping the tempo a little now and Cardiff have their goalkeeper to thank as he produces a fine stop to deny Dawson's header at the back post. Tottenham defeated Cardiff 1-0 in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
Andros Townsend was called up to the England squad this week for the Denmark friendly and he cuts inside from the left before his fizzing low drive is parried by Marshall.
Yellow Card Craig Bellamy
Craig Bellamy needs to calm down. The Welsh attacker was shown a yellow for dissent moments ago and he nearly picks up a second booking in quick succession when he once again berates Phil Dowd. The referee reached towards his pocket but Caulker sensibly rushed over to tell his teammate to calm down.
Yellow Card Bo-Kyung Kim
Kim Bo-Kyung picks up the first booking of the game after he catches Fryers with a late challenge. He can have no complaints about that one.
Zeki Fryers has made a slightly nervous start at left-back and he nearly gifts Campbell the chance to run towards goal. The visitors then launch another attack which sees Dawson make a crucial interception to prevent Campbell latching onto Bellamy's cutback. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be relatively pleased with how his side have started here.
Adebayor looks to continue his good goalscoring form as he steps up to take a free kick on the left corner of the box after Townsend was tripped by Fabio. However, the Togolese striker can only send his effort straight into the wall.
DAWSON TO THE RESCUE! This is a decent spell for Cardiff as Bellamy nips the ball away from Fryers to launch a counter attack down the right. The Welshman looks up and picks out Fabio inside the box but the Brazilian's angled drive is expertly blocked by the Tottenham centre-back. Cardiff then win a corner which Dembele heads to safety.
OVER THE BAR! It's not one of the Welshman's better efforts as he curls the free kick over the wall but high over Lloris' goal. You feel that Cardiff will need to make the most of those set-piece opportunities if they are to get anything from this game.
Cardiff win a free kick in a good position outside the box when Dawson brings down Campbell. Bellamy looks like he fancies this one...
The Tottenham fans are in good voice here and they nearly celebrate the opener as Townsend drags a shot narrowly wide of the post. Tottenham are yet to score in the opening 15 minutes of a Premier League match this season.
CHANCE FOR TOTTENHAM! The Cardiff defence are split open too easily down the right as Lennon gets in behind John. The England winger sends a cross towards the front post, but Soldado can only divert it the wrong side of the post under pressure from former Spurs defender Caulker.
Tottenham, in their traditional white shirts, get the game underway. Can they close the gap on Manchester City, in the final Champions League spot, to four points?
A John Duncan double earned Tottenham a 2-1 win against Cardiff the last time White Hart Lane staged this league fixture in January 1978. Paul Went netted Cardiff's consolation.
Cardiff subs: Lewis, Jones, Mutch, Cowie, Theophile, Daehli, Zaha.
CARDIFF (5-3-1-1): Marshall; Fabio, Caulker, Turner, Cala, John; Medel, Kim, Gunnarsson; Bellamy; Campbell.
Tottenham subs: Friedel, Veljkovic, Bentaleb, Chadli, Sandro, Sigurdsson, Kane.
TOTTENHAM (4-4-2): Lloris; Naughton, Dawson, Vertonghen, Fryers; Lennon, Dembele, Paulinho, Townsend; Adebayor, Soldado.
TEAM NEWS: Tim Sherwood makes two changes to the side which beat Dnipro 3-1 on Thursday with Aaron Lennon and Paulinho replacing Christian Eriksen - who has picked up a back injury - and Sandro. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer unsurprisingly makes a host of changes for Cardiff, with Ben Turner, Declan John, Craig Bellamy, Gary Medel, Aron Gunnarsson and Kim Bo-Kyung coming into the starting lineup.
As for Cardiff, they lay 19th in the Premier League table but a win this afternoon would take them level on points with West Brom, who sit just above the bottom three. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken just four points from a possible 21 since taking over from Malky Mackay and last week's 4-0 loss to Hull City was their heaviest home defeat for almost 14 years.
Tottenham kept their Europa League dream alive in midweek when they fought back from two goals down on aggregate to beat Ukrainian side Dnipro. Emmanuel Adebayor, who scored twice in that game, has been a revelation under Tim Sherwood and Cardiff will need to keep the Togolese striker quiet today as he has 11 goals in his last 14 appearances in all competitions.
It's a tale of two teams with contrasting agendas in the Premier League this afternoon as Champions League-chasing Tottenham take on relegation-scrapping Cardiff at White Hart Lane. Tim Sherwood's side are hoping to revive their top-four push after a 1-0 defeat at Norwich last weekend while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has just 11 games remaining to keep the Bluebirds flying in the English top flight.
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