Lads enjoy Happy New Year in Cardiff
Cardiff City 0-3 Spurs
Tue 01 January 2019, 19:40|Tottenham Hotspur
Three goals from our first three efforts on target gave us a comfortable win at Cardiff City on New Year's Day.
In a swift response to the setback against Wolves in our last game of 2018, we found ourselves in front with just two minutes and 22 seconds gone in South Wales, Harry Kane diverting Sean Morrison's attempted clearance over the line.
Christian Eriksen added a brilliant second soon afterwards and Heung-Min Son had us out of sight inside 26 minutes, leaving us to manage the rest of the game in comfort - a Happy New Year indeed.
Mauricio Pochettino made one change to the team that collapsed to a 3-1 home defeat to Wolves on Saturday with Danny Rose replacing Ben Davies at left-back - and straight away any lingering feeling of disappointment over that result evaporated as Kane completed a 'full house' in the Premier League. Cardiff had been the only team in the top flight our home-grown striker was yet to score against before kick-off but, within two-and-a-half minutes and after our first foray forward, that had all changed. Kane started the move himself in midfield, but it wasn't his most conventional of finishes. Bursting into the box to meet Kieran Trippier's cross from the right, the England man's presence was too much for Cardiff's defence to handle and as Morrison tried to clear from six yards out, the ball hit Kane and trickled over the line.
Rose was on top of his aerial game at the other end, winning a vital back-post header in front of Cardiff centre-forward Callum Paterson, but it was one-way traffic in truth and one goal quickly became two, Eriksen collecting Son's pass, stepping inside to see the sliding Harry Arter out of the way before chopping the ball back low inside the near post on his right foot from the edge of the area with just 12 minutes on the clock.
Son bagged our third on 26 minutes. It all started with Moussa Sissoko's purposeful run out of the centre circle, his forward pass was touched into Son's path by Kane and the South Korean international controlled before firing home from the right angle inside the box.
Hugo Lloris did have a couple of important saves to make on his line in the second period, but our grip on the contest remained firm. Our captain denied half-time substitute Junior Hoilett from a back-post header on 52 minutes and then claimed well after Morrison's header came off Aron Gunnarsson's back a couple of yards out. That chance came about after Lloris helped Hoilett's cross onto the top of the crossbar and behind for a corner. In between those attempts, Kane lashed wide of the near post and saw two shots blocked in the box in quick succession while Son was denied by goalkeeper Neil Etheridge after we briefly found ourselves with a four-on-one advantage following a quick turnover in possession high up the pitch mid-way through the second half.
In the latter stages, Dele breezed into the box but saw his shot blocked while Etheridge just beat Kane to the ball inside the box as a couple of other chances went begging, but the job was already done.
A fast start was crucial after the defeat to Wolves - and it couldn't have gone much better for us in that regard.
The first time we ventured forward led to a goal, albeit one Cardiff boss Neil Warnock will have been extremely frustrated with. Kane pushed forward from midfield, fed the ball out wide to Trippier on the right and then made a beeline for the six-yard box, causing panic in the Bluebirds' defence.
Morrison tried to clear his lines but Kane was in his way, the ball cannoning back off the striker and creeping over the line, past the despairing dive of Etheridge.
"The first goal is massive against a team like Cardiff because the longer the game goes on, the more they have belief - it settles the crowd. It was what we needed," said midfielder Harry Winks.
That gave us the platform to go on and register another comfortable away victory as we now turn our attentions to the domestic cup competitions over the next week.
Manager Mauricio agreed that our fast start was important to the outcome.
"I think that was key - to start the game in the way we started, with massive energy and high tempo, was the key after 20 minutes to win the game and dominate," he said.
"The control of the game was ours. I’m so pleased, I thought the performance was fantastic.
"I’m so happy to start the New Year with that performance and after the defeat against Wolves it was so important to build another positive run."
Striker Kane added: "We bounced back in the best way possible - 3-0 up at half-time, we started the game really well, got the early goal and really pushed on from there.
"Even in the second half we controlled the game, created a few more chances that we maybe could have taken but we were comfortable in behind as well. We learned our lesson after the weekend and it was important we won this game. Now we look forward to the next one."
Reaction on Spurs TV
Cardiff City 0-3 Spurs
Cardiff City (4-2-3-1): Etheridge, Ecuele Manga, Morrison (c), Bamba, Cunningham, Arter, Gunnarsson, Reid (Mendez-Laing 72), Camarasa (Ralls 59), Murphy (Hoilett 46), Paterson. Substitutes (not used): Smithies, Peltier, Bennett, Madine.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Trippier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Rose, Winks, Sissoko, Eriksen, Dele (Llorente 86), Son (Skipp 76), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Walker-Peters, Foyth, Davies, Lucas.
Goals: Spurs - Kane 3, Eriksen 12, Son 26.
Yellow card: Cardiff - Bamba 53.
Referee: Kevin Friend.
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium, South Wales.
Weather: Light cloud, seven degrees.