Maybe the stuttering poor reception that I had with Setanta gave me a false impression of the game, maybe not, but I really don't think it was a poor performance yesterday. There was definitely a lack of sharpness and quality in the final third, while Cardiff certainly came close in the first quarter of the game as the adrenaline pushed them on, however as the game went on there was only one team that looked like winning, it was not Cardiff, and with a little more precision a one nil victory should have been taken as Cardiff flagged, never mind though, we can take them home and teach them a lesson in footballing terms.
Cardiff were quick out the blocks, biting into the challenges, and they did put together a couple of decent moves, however they did mainly create half chances that looked a bit more dangerous than they actually were. In the first half we looked dangerous on the break, one Nasri effort and a Bendtner break just before half time gave Cardiff a reminder that they had to be careful. I though Gibbs did well at left back, Ramsey was caught in possession too frequently, while Song looked a little rusty even though he did reasonably well overall. Of note Eboue received a ridiculous booking for diving when he was clipped twice in the box, it was too soft for a penalty, but to book him for a dive was really pretty poor refereeing.
Cardiff appeared to wilt and wither as the game went on, we kept coming back at them with wave after wave of attack, a combination of poor crossing, sloppy touches around the box and poor finishing meant that the scoreline remained nil nil, really the game was there for the taking as Cardiff died on their feet after their first half's efforts. Adebayor missed a great chance, however it would not be fair to blame just him, several other great openings were wasted with sloppy passes or loose bits of control around and about the penalty box.
Being a strange kind of optimist I was strangely encouraged by yesterday's game, this was because despite the sloppiness and missed openings, the heart and the effort was there, if not the quality. Even Nic Bendtner was rushing around closing down the opposition and getting stuck in, we might not have been at our best, but we looked like a team that played and battled together, we did not look like the apathetic collection of individuals that we have done at earlier points this season, and for that reason I am encouraged. I don't expect everyone to agree with me on this but when does that happen?