Article by John Ellis at Wembley Stadium
Mike Dean as referee and a wet pitch what could possibly go wrong!
Pochettino again preferred to leave Lamela on the bench, this time in favour of Sissoko.
Cardiff must have watched the midweek match as immediately from the kick off they choose to test Lloris with a shot on goal from the half way line!
In the 6th minute an exquisite ball from Trippier released Sissoko but his cross was cut out.
A couple of minutes later and a good dribble by Rose earned a corner which was put out for a second corner.
Sanchez flicked on the second corner and on hand was the recently maligned Eric Dier with time to place the ball into the net to give Spurs an early lead – 1-0!
From the kick off Cardiff immediately tested Lloris who made a comfortable save.
Within quick succession, the Cardiff keeper was brought into action by the twinkled toed Son and Moura’s dribble released Sissoko to force another save.
A fine move down the right in the 21st brought another save this time from Moura on the turn.
Two minutes later and it should have been 1-1. Lloris seemingly affected by Wednesday when he came off his line and shouldn’t have this time should have come off his line but didn’t.
Alderweireld spared his blushes with a clearance close to the goal line with Lloris stranded in no man’s land. The corner brought a header over the bar. Spurs continue to struggle to defend set pieces…
In the 28th minute Trippier badly sold himself but luckily the attacker overran the ball and fell over inside the box with lame appeals for a penalty waved away.
Spurs immediately broke and Kane had a good shot from outside of the box saved.
Cardiff came back strongly and began to dominate possession until Son released Moura for Kane’s shot to be blocked.
Son with quick feet passed for Trippier to cross and a great leap by Moura didn’t reap the rewards it deserved as he wasn’t able to direct his header on goal.
In the 41st minute Lloris came off his line to avert what would surely have been a certain goal. Cardiff were causing Spurs unexpected anxious moments.
A minute later and a great jinking run by Son and pull back from the byline looked for the whole world to have laid on a second goal but Moura sidefooted wide.
On half time Son ran left to right across the box and managed to create space but his shot was fired over the bar.
Spurs started on the front foot with a good Kane header from an excellent run and cross by Rose which was followed by Moura’s effort being cleared off the line.
Cardiff responded but Lloris saved.
In the 56th minute Spurs worked the play well down the left for Kane to shoot just wide.
A minute later and suddenly Neil Warnock’s post match conference became an unmissable event as one of his players was shown a straight red for assaulting Moura down the right wing.
Another good move led to a 63rd minute Winks effort surprisingly not being kept down and it sailed high over the bar.
Alderweireld then for a second time cleared danger almost off his own goal line.
Cardiff though were proving to be doughty opponents.
In the 68th minute Rose went on a swashbuckling run into the box but why oh why did he opt to dive rather than continue his run…
In the 74th minute Lamela on for Son was instrumental in the move but his final shot brought an easy save.
Three minutes later and a delightful Spurs move ended with Lamela’s shot being blocked.
The clock slipped round to the 83rd minute and with just 7 minutes to go Spurs worryingly hadn’t put the game to bed. All it would have taken was one set piece for two costly points to have been dropped.
After Burnley’s late sucker punch equaliser last season, Spurs pleasingly learnt and took the sting out of the game by running the clock down by the corner flag.
In added time good interplay between Moura and Kane led to Moura not quite getting on the end of the killer pass.
Mike Dean finally blew his whistle and Spurs went into the international break with three valuable hard earned points.
In many a bygone year, points would have been dropped and so whilst it was by no means a top notch performance, it was good to see the team grind out the win.
Winks and Rose showed an improvement in their form as they hopefully continue on their road back to their pre injury high levels of performance.