An underwhelming performance that served a purpose in allowing a very relieved Roberto Soldado the chance to nick only his second league goal from open play but didn’t throw up much more in the positive column apart from a clean sheet and three points of course. Heading up the minus column will be the fact that this display from Fryers and the presence of Veljkovic as the only defender on the bench confirmed that we are really down to the bare bones at the back. Walker, Rose, Chiriches, Kaboul, Capoue, where are you when we need you? If Chelski had scouts watching they wouldn’t have gone away feeling there was much to be concerned about, in fact the prospect of Hazard, Oscar et al probing away against a naive Fryers might well have put a skip in their step.
Still, given the lack of personnel all we can do is protect him as best we can, which probably means no place for Townsend whose form in this game continued at the same level of iffiness it’s been at since he came back from injury. Hope he hasn’t got Brazil on his mind. And talking of the home of the Beast, it was great to see Sandro back both on Thursday and for the denouement of this game.
There’s not much to comment on with regard to the match itself. Cardiff relied on big blokes at the back and some whippets in attack with some support from some niggly blokes in the middle and at full back. Their plans for containment and hitting us on the break were nearly scuppered very early doors with Kim arguably luck to stay on with a blatant dive and wrestle of a Spurs player to the ground bookending a justifiable yellow card from Dowd. Bellamy’s attempt to ‘help’ the situation nearly ended in disaster when the ref first booked him for dissent after Kim’s yellow before seconds later appearing to change his mind (bottle out?) when about to flash the cards again at Bellamy and send him on his way early.
We scored with a good goal on the break but in general there was very little spark with Eriksen badly missed. Kane could’ve wrapped the game up near the end with a very presentable chance but Marshall blocked easily. If that’s the best Cardiff are capable of then I’d guess that they’re probably gone. If that’s the best we can do then we’ll be lucky to still be where we are at the end of the season.
Very unusually there were empty seats in the away end as Cardiff failed to fill their allocation. Their fans were noisy early on but soon quietened down, they were though never as quiet as ours, a big contrast to Thursday night.
Chelsea next. We’ll need to up our game quite considerably to stand any chance of bringing anything back from Fulham Broadway. COYS.
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