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Inside Lane: A Spurs fan’s view of the victory over Cardiff

Tottenham's matchwinner Roberto Soldado (right) battles with Cardiff's Ben Turner at White Hart Lane Tottenham's matchwinner Roberto Soldado (right) battles with Cardiff's Ben Turner at White Hart Lane

Monday, March 3, 2014
11:58 AM

Tottenham blogger George Lacey gives his verdict on yesterday’s 1-0 home win over struggling Cardiff City at White Hart Lane.

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After securing our path into the last 16 of the Europa League against Dnipro on Thursday night at White Hart Lane, Spurs’ struggle with balancing European and domestic football continued at home to Cardiff City yesterday.

A 1-0 win at home against relegation favourites Cardiff City secured the three points for Tim Sherwood’s side, but our apparent slump in form was evident again as we failed to put on an entertaining display after a Europa League game.

Considering the opposition, the expectation levels were high yesterday, but we lacked that cutting edge in the final third to finish the Bluebirds off.

The biggest positive was that our £26million summer signing Roberto Soldado bagged his first goal from open play at the Lane on 28 minutes, and it proved to be the crucial winner.

The Spaniard has endured a frustrating campaign to date up front for Spurs, and many had written the Spaniard off. However, he got that all-important goal and the ever- increasing weight has now left his shoulders for the time being.

Maybe now we’ll witness the frontman’s real value after the pressure was seemingly lifted.

The only goal of the game was met with deafening adulation from the home crowd and Soldado seemed a little bashful as the home fans sang his name loudly to the tune of ‘Volare’.

Soldado’s first-half goal should have set us up nicely for a comfortable home win, and I expected us to come out on the front foot after the break.

Nevertheless, a flat performance left the fans on edge and the three points did little to raise the expectations as we prepare to face our London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal in our next two league games.

The poor performances of full-backs Kyle Naughton and Zeki Fryers left a lot to be desired and I’m hopeful we can turn to more familiar personnel in Kyle Walker and Danny Rose for the visit to Stamford Bridge next weekend.

On the other hand, you can only beat what is in front of you and if “winning ugly”, as Sherwood put it, gives you the win then so be it.

We have two massive games coming up domestically, not to mention our Europa League first-leg tie with Benfica in between the London derbies.

These four games may well decide our fate this season, although the loss at Norwich last weekend has done us no favours.

With 30 points still to play for, we find ourselves just six points away from arch-rivals Arsenal and they visit White Hart Lane in two weeks time.

In all honesty, recent displays do not suggest that Spurs will finish in the top four but, given our league position and pending fixtures, we could still have a big say in who secures Champions League qualification for next season.

Follow me @GeorgeLacey_

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