Tottenham 4-0 Cardiff (report)
Tottenham Hotspur cruised into the FA Cup 4th round and hardly broke a sweat in defeating beleaguered Cardiff City 4-0.
First half goals from Aaron Lennon, Robbie Keane and Steed Malbranque gave Spurs an insurmountable lead at half time while a Jermaine Defoe goal wrapped things up as Spurs stepped down several gears in the second half but were easily able to keep the visiting Bluebirds at bay.
There were early warning signs after an even start when a Berbatov shot flashed narrowly wide but it was dangerman Aaron Lennon who got the breakthrough latching onto a Zokora pass to slot home. The visiting defence was static and claiming offside against a non-interfering Robbie Keane, the Irishman was in a crucial area of the pitch and the decision could have gone either way but Lennon burst through from a clearly onside position and finished neatly.
Robbie Keane doubled the lead just a couple of minutes later after Berbatov waltzed past Loovens in the box and squared to finish high into the net from close range. The game was completely wrapped up on 42 minutes when a powerful low drive curled into Alexander's near post from 20 yards from French midfielder Steed Malbranque.
Tottenham were in complete control and scored their fourth in the final 10 minutes when a Hossam Ghaly shot was parried by Alexander, the rebound falling kindly for substitute Jermaine Defoe to tap in.
An easy victory for Spurs in a game they dominated and Cardiff never really threatened save for a few corners in the 1st half. The Spurs midfield, absent at Ninian Park, were outstanding with Lennon and Malbranque particularly dangerous while Zokora controlled play showing nice touches and Huddlestone broke down Cardiff moves with absurd ease. Cardiff were poor again and Scimeca and McPhail were guilty of gifting possession far too readily. Ledley drifted in and out of the game and Cardiff's most effective player was probably Steve Thompson, the big Scot battling for every ball and giving Michael Dawson a tough time.
Its 'concentrate on the league time' for City, and concentrate they must. Results have dipped alarmingly and it is now almost 500 minutes since a goal. The new signings will help but there is a lot of work to do.
A brief note of praise for the fantastic support shown by the 1800 travelling City fans who conducted themselves brilliantly and made themselves heard.