Rare Eric Dier strike lifts Tottenham to victory over 10-man Cardiff
It was Dier’s first club goal in 18 months.
A rare Eric Dier goal earned Tottenham a 1-0 victory over 10-man Cardiff, extending their winning run to three Premier League matches.
Spurs should have led by more than just Dier’s first club goal in 18 months before Cardiff had midfielder Joe Ralls sent off after 58 minutes at Wembley.
Ralls was dismissed for tripping Lucas Moura with the ball way out of reach.
Sean Morrison hit the post as Cardiff came close to an equaliser despite their numerical disadvantage, but the Bluebirds could not find a leveller and remain winless after eight games.
Mauricio Pochettino made three changes from the side which lost 4-2 to Barcelona on Wednesday night, with Dier included along with Danny Rose and Moussa Sissoko.
Pochettino had warned against complacency, urging his players to show the same level as they had against Lionel Messi and co when faced with the newly-promoted Bluebirds.
Spurs led after eight minutes. Kieran Trippier took a corner short, the ball was played back to him and he crossed.
Davinson Sanchez won the header and the ball became stuck under the feet of Joe Bennett as Dier showed a striker’s instinct to thrash the ball in.
It was the England midfielder’s first Tottenham goal since April 2017, when he scored twice in eight days.
Lucas was causing Cardiff frequent concern and set up Sanchez for a shot, only for Neil Etheridge to save.
The visitors threatened when Sanchez’s back header was met by Josh Murphy, whose pace was Cardiff’s most potent weapon.
Murphy’s goal-bound effort might have been a shot or cross and Junior Hoilett’s bid to push the ball over the line was thwarted by a last-ditch challenge from Toby Alderweireld.
Sol Bamba headed wide from the resulting corner as Spurs were reprieved.
Son Heung-min, Lucas and Harry Kane broke, but Kane was pushed wide.
Lucas headed over Trippier’s cross and passed wide when presented with a straightforward scoring opportunity by Son’s neat footwork on the left.
Son then skied an effort after being played in by Sissoko as Spurs had to settle for a one-goal interval lead.
Within moments of the restart, Spurs had two chances to double their lead.
Rose’s cross from the left was met by Kane and Etheridge saved only as far as Lucas. The Brazilian’s shot was blocked brilliantly by Morrison.
Lucas continued to torment the visitors. Lucas, on Spurs’ right, played the ball by Ralls to chase himself and the Blues midfielder made a cynical trip, earning a straight red card. There was no doubt from referee Mike Dean, who booked Kane for his reaction to the challenge.
Cardiff almost levelled when Dier allowed Morrison to find space and the Cardiff captain hit the post with a header from Victor Camarasa’s free-kick.
Erik Lamela, on for Son, had a couple of shots blocked for Spurs, who might have had a penalty when Rose went down under the attention of Bruno Ecuele Manga.
Dean was unmoved and Spurs had to settle for a 1-0 win.