Tottenham emphatically bounced back from their defeat to Wolves by starting 2019 with a 3-0 away win to Cardiff City as they moved back up to second in the Premier League table.
Cardiff got off to a calamitous start when Harry Kane netted in bizarre fashion early on, and from there it never looked like being a fightback, particularly after Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min scored to open up a three-goal lead before half-time.
With victory effectively secured at that point, Spurs eased off after the break, though Cardiff were still unable to muster much of a response. Pochettino’s men cruised to the three points, taking them back above Manchester City – at least until their meeting with leaders Liverpool on Thursday.
Spurs took the lead after just three minutes, though there was more than a hint of fortune about the goal as Sean Morrison saw his attempted clearance strike Kane and ricochet into the net.
There was no hint of calamity about Spurs’ second, though, as Cardiff were caught on the break. Eriksen then dispatched an 18-yard finish into the bottom-left corner after cleverly making space for himself.
Son got in on the act just before the half-hour mark, latching on to Kane’s pass on the right side of the box and finishing across Neil Etheridge.
Cardiff crafted a rare chance at the start of the second half as Junior Hoilett – on for Josh Murphy at the break – saw a header saved by Hugo Lloris.
Etheridge did well to deny Kane a second late on, racing out and palming the ball away as the striker attempted to skip around him, though it had no impact on the result as Spurs eased to victory.
What does it mean? Son will be sorely missed
He looks set to be available for the next three games, but after that Son will jet off to the Asian Cup to represent his country. South Korea’s gain will be Spurs’ huge loss, as the forward showed again on Tuesday why he is so valuable, working tirelessly and effectively, troubling Cardiff with his movement and unpredictability.
Looking for Eriksen
Most of Spurs’ play went through their great Dane in midfield as they constantly looked for Eriksen to dictate the play. He obliged, and Cardiff hardly got near him all match, while he showcased some real class with his goal.
Alli off the pace
While he was by no means terrible, Dele Alli was the most disappointing Spurs player in Wales, as he simply did not look sharp, appearing a second behind everyone else in the final third.
After Friday’s FA Cup trip to Tranmere Rovers and the EFL Cup semi-final first leg against Chelsea the following Tuesday, Spurs are in league action next against Manchester United on 13 January. Cardiff’s next top-flight fixture is against fellow strugglers Huddersfield Town a week on Saturday.
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