Tottenham vs. Cardiff City: Premier League Live Score, Highlights, Report

Michael CummingsWorld Football Lead WriterMarch 2, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 02:  Roberto Soldado of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring the opening goal with Andros Townsend and Aaron Lennon of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Cardiff City at White Hart Lane on March 2, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Roberto Soldado scored a rare goal from open play as Tottenham Hotspur pulled within four points of fourth place with a 1-0 victory at home to Cardiff City in the Premier League on Sunday at White Hart Lane.

Soldado finished a fine counter-attack midway through the first half to score the game's only goal. Cardiff hit the crossbar moments later, but were unable to find an equaliser.

The result took Spurs onto 53 points, four behind Manchester City in fourth place. City have played two fewer matches.

Cardiff are 19th with 22 points and remain in danger of relegation. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team are three points adrift of safety and have not scored in EPL play since Feb. 1 against Norwich City. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 02:  Emmanuel Adebayor of Tottenham Hotspur, Steven Caulker of Cardiff City and Roberto Soldado of Tottenham Hotspur compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Cardiff City at White
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The game's lone goal came in the 28th minute via a blistering counter-attack by Spurs. Andros Townsend started the move just outside his own box, dribbling into Cardiff's half before passing to Adebayor on the left.

As he entered the box, Adebayor picked out Soldado with an angled pass to the penalty spot. Soldado took a touch before finishing at the far post for a 1-0 lead.

It was Soldado's first goal since Dec. 29, against Stoke, and his first from open play since Oct. 20 against Aston Villa. The Spanish striker now has five league goals this season.

"If I could have picked anyone to score that goal today it would have been him," Spurs manager Tim Sherwood said, per PremierLeague.com. "He's a great lad, he's never a moment's problem, a true professional and he gets on with his training. Whatever anyone asks him to do, he does it."

Cardiff had a big chance to equalise moments later, but Steven Caulker's header from a corner crashed off the woodwork. Three minutes later, Declan John forced a save from Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris with a high shot from the left.

Chances were hard to come by in the second half as both teams struggled to find quality in the final third.

In the 89th minute, substitute Harry Kane had a chance to seal the points for Spurs after being played through by Nacer Chadli. But Kane shot straight at Cardiff keeper David Marshall, who saved with his legs.

Cardiff had a final chance in stoppage time after Kenwyne Jones knocked down the ball for fellow substitute Mats Daehli. But Daehli was unable to direct his shot on target.

“First half I thought we caused them massive problems on the counter-attack at times and I was very pleased with the performance in that respect," Solskjaer said, per PremierLeague.com. "But, of course, you can talk all day long—we need to score goals. If you want to win games, you need to score goals, of course."

  

Grades

Tottenham Hotspur Player Ratings vs. Cardiff
PlayerRating
Hugo Lloris7.15
Kyle Naughton7.83
Jan Vertonghen7.68
Michael Dawson8.71
Ezekiel Fryers6.97
Aaron Lennon7.6
Paulinho6.64
Mousa Dembele6.67
Andros Townsend6.71
Emmanuel Adebayor7.88
Roberto Soldado7.42
SubstitutesRating
Sandro6.45
Harry Kane6.14
Nacer Chadli6.45
WhoScored.com
Cardiff City Player Ratings vs. Spurs
PlayerRating
David Marshall6.74
Fabio6.54
Ben Turner6.5
Cala6.6
Steven Caulker7.01
Declan John6.29
Kim Bo-Kyung6.3
Aron Gunnarsson6.15
Gary Medel7.09
Craig Bellamy6.19
Fraizer Campbell6.28
SubstitutesRating
Jordon Mutch6.23
Kenwyne Jones6.23
Mats Daehli5.97
WhoScored.com

 

Up Next

Spurs play at league leaders Chelsea next Saturday. Cardiff host Fulham the same day.