By 90Min
October 06, 2018

Eric Dier's first goal of the season was enough for Tottenham to earn a 1-0 win over Cardiff at Wembley. 

It took Tottenham just eight minutes to find the breakthrough, when Eric Dier pounced on the loose ball to fire home, after Davinson Sanchez's header was deflected into the midfielder's path following Kieran Trippier's initial cross. 


Tottenham had numerous chances to extend their lead before half time that came and went, while Cardiff went close to an equaliser when Josh Murphy dinked his effort over Hugo Lloris, but Toby Alderwerield did brilliantly to clear off the line - under pressure from Junior Hoillet - to preserve the lead. 

Spurs started the second half brightly, and could've doubled their lead a minute after the restart through Lucas Moura, but Sean Morrison did well to block his effort on the line and clear. 


Cardiff however had the play the final third of the game with ten man, as Joe Ralls received a red card for a cynical challenge on Lucas Moura as the Brazilian looked to break, sparking some unsavoury scenes between the two side. 


Despite the man disadvantage, Morrison almost put the Welsh side level with a header that was tipped onto the post well by Lloris, as Spurs managed to hold on for the win. 


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR


Key Talking Point

Although Tottenham came away from the game with all three points, they were fortunate that their wastefulness in front of goal didn't come back to haunt them.

Harry Kane, Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min were all guilty of missing chances that should've been taken, either through poor finishing or some last-ditch defending from Cardiff, which would've made their afternoon a far more comfortable one. 

James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Spurs still managed to create chances without the attacking talents of Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen which would please Mauricio Pochettino, although his side's inability to finish those chances clearly wouldn't have. 


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Lloris (7); Trippier (7), Alderweireld (8*), Sanchez (6), Rose (5); Dier (6), Winks (6); Sissoko (5), Lucas Moura (6), Son (6); Kane (6). 


Substitutes: Lamela (6), Wanyama (N/A), Davies (N/A)


STAR MAN


In a close game, the defence capabilities of Toby Alderweireld were pivotal for Spurs to hold on for the win. His clearance off the line in the first half proved vital come full time, while he always looked calm both in possession and when he called upon to defend.

With Jan Vertonghen facing a spell on the sidelines, having Alderweireld in this form will be important for Spurs. 




WORST PLAYER


Selected ahead of Ben Davies at left back, Danny Rose was fortunate not to be punished for lapses in concentration in the first half.

Josh Murphy ran off him twice after initial flick-ons from Callum Paterson, and was bailed out twice, when against better opposition he might not be so lucky. 



CARDIFF CITY


Key Talking Point


While the scoreline wasn't one that would delight Neil Warnock, his side certainly had chances in the game through their approach. 

Callum Paterson was dangerous as a lone front man, winning his fair share of flick on's that the pace of Josh Murphy almost profited from had Toby Alderweireld not been alert to clear off the line.

Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Although Cardiff are still in search of their first Premier League win of the season, they've perhaps stumbled across an approach that could at least give them a chance at survival. 


Player Ratings 


Starting XI: Etheridge (6); Manga (4), Morrison (6), Bamba (6), Bennett (5); Ralls (5); Hoilett (5), Arter (6), Camarasa (6), Murphy (6); Paterson (6).


Substitutes: Ward (N/A), Harris (6), Reid (N/A)


STAR MAN


Despite falling away somewhat in the second half, Josh Murphy caught the eye for Cardiff, making a number of good runs off the lone striker Callum Paterson. 

His pace and inside runs caused Danny Rose a number of problems, and was denied a goal by some brilliant defending from Toby Alderwerield. 



WORST PLAYER 


Not a right back by trade, Bruno Manga looked uncomfortable for large spells in the game, coming up against a tricky opponent in Son Heung-Min. 

Cumbersome in possession and out of position too many times, it'll be a concern for Neil Warnock, while Joe Ralls' challenge also deserves a dishonourable mention. 


Looking Ahead


Following the international break, Tottenham face the prospect of a London derby when they travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham.

For Cardiff, they host fellow promoted side Fulham as their search for their first league win of the season continues. 

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