Eriksen shows his class as Kane ticks all boxes in Tottenham win over Cardiff

first_imgHarry Kane was again on the receiving end of new year’s honours after helping Tottenham Hotspur turn up the heat on their title rivals by snatching back second place in the Premier League. Four days after being awarded an MBE, Kane opened the scoring after 141 seconds and, in doing so, broke his duck against Cardiff City at the fourth time of asking, having netted against every other one of the 27 top-flight teams he has faced.Kane was the catalyst in a game that was over inside half an hour, feeding Son Heung-min for Spurs’ slick third after having a hand in the buildup to a typically classy Christian Eriksen strike from the edge of the box.Jolted back into being the hunter as opposed to the hunted, Spurs seemed to enjoy themselves. Mauricio Pochettino had challenged his players to rise to the role of protagonists here and, while they remain six points off the summit having played an extra game, they issued a timely reminder to Manchester City and Liverpool, who meet on Thursday, that they are determined to make life as interesting as possible.Pochettino will be a keen observer – a neutral, he said, though victory for Pep Guardiola’s side would surely enhance Spurs’ chances in the title race. After slipping up against Wolves, a trip to south Wales had the makings of another difficult evening against a promoted team. It proved anything but as Spurs, impeccably led by Kane, blew away a desperately porous defence with three goals in 26 first-half minutes, feasting on a calamitous Cardiff collapse. Kane got the ball rolling before Eriksen’s assassin-like finish and an arrowed effort by Son sealed the most routine of victories.For Cardiff, this was yet another damning defeat against one of the league’s big-hitters, with Spurs sapping the life out of a side hoping to build on a character-building win at Leicester.Cardiff’s record against the league’s so-called “big six” was naturally a concern, having lost their previous 14 meetings, the latest of which was a 5-1 “battering”, as Neil Warnock put it, against Manchester United last month.He would have been right to fear this would go the same way when Kane struck the opener, with the ball bobbling in off his right shin after Sean Morrison’s failed clearance under pressure from Dele Alli, before Eriksen doubled Spurs’ lead on 12 minutes. Warnock had warned his players “not to breathe” on the opposition but they afforded them too much respect altogether. This was so easy for Spurs. The pained grimace on Warnock’s face said as much.Cardiff passed up their best spell before Spurs’ killer second, the returning Danny Rose leaping highest at the back post to head away Josh Murphy’s high cross with Callum Paterson, the Cardiff forward, for company, a minute after Toby Alderweireld cut out Murphy’s low ball.Kane, who started and finished the opener and had a hand in the second and third too, freed Moussa Sissoko down the right with a spearing, sweeping through-ball. Sissoko centred for Son, who fed Eriksen. Harry Arter went to ground as the Dane composed himself, teasing Bruno Ecuele Manga by dragging the ball back and forth, and giving Neil Etheridge the eyes as he shaped to bend an effort into the far corner before rolling a cunning low strike inside the near post.Any of the feelgood factor that Cardiff had fostered from that last-gasp victory at Leicester last weekend had certainly wilted by the time Son added a simple third. Kane was again involved, effortlessly pushing a first-time pass into the path of his teammate after more good running by the formidable Sissoko down Tottenham’s right. Son dispatched another rising effort over the bar moments later but it did not matter. The game was done and dusted with an hour to play.Kane would have scored a second himself but for a superb block by Morrison, the Cardiff captain, midway through the second half. When Spurs did opt to grind through the gears, with the game already out of sight, Kane was at the heart of everything. Sol Bamba ran into trouble on the halfway line, with Sissoko cutting out his hopeful pass and picking out the striker. Again Cardiff were exposed, Etheridge faced with four Spurs forwards, but back came Bamba to deflect Son’s low effort on to the Cardiff goalkeeper’s shoulder and away.Then Aron Gunnarsson acrobatically denied a probing Alli in the box. Cardiff had failed this test miserably but, with 15 minutes left to play, it was time for Spurs to experiment. Fernando Llorente made a late cameo, in place of Alli, while the 18-year-old Oliver Skipp replaced Son, the academy graduate gaining some more valuable minutes before his likely involvement against Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup on Friday. The League Two side could do with making that match somewhat less of a stroll. 20 Alli Possession 27 Lucas Moura 22 Gazzaniga Corners 6 6 33 Davies 5 3 Share via Email Fouls 10 Kane Cardiff 3 Rose Tottenham Hotspur 19 Mendez-Laing 2 Peltier 22 Bamba 23 Eriksen 12 Smithies Reuse this content 21 Victor Camarasa 7 Arter 11 Murphy Substitutes (s 86′) Share on LinkedIn 17 Gunnarsson (s 72′) Substitutes 4 Morrison 33 Hoilett Goal attempts TOT71CAR29% 6 Sanchez (s 46′) (s 59′) Topics 2 Trippier match reports 18 Cunningham 7 Son (s 76′) 4 Alderweireld 14 Reid TOT CAR 1 Lloris Share on WhatsApp Premier League 71 29 21 Foyth Spurs Lineups 3 Bennett 5 Ecuele Manga 16 Walker-Peters 52 Skipp 8 Winks Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook 13 Paterson 3 Cardiff Off target 9 Spurs 3 Cardiff On target 4 Spurs Match stats 17 Sissoko Share on Twitter 18 Llorente 24 Madine 1 Etheridge 8 Ralls Share on Messenger Cardiff Citylast_img

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