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Paulinho's dramatic added-time winner took Tottenham Hotspur joint top of the Barclays Premier League with a 1-0 victory at Cardiff City on Sunday.
Substitute Erik Lamela broke down the right-hand side in the 93rd minute and played a low cross into the Brazil international, who impudently flicked the ball into the net.
The win was a just reward for the visitors after they dominated large parts of the game, but Paulinho's strike was harsh on Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall, who had made superb stops from Roberto Soldado and Christian Eriksen in the first-half, before repeating the trick after the break to deny Paulinho and Soldado again.
Hugo Lloris was rarely tested at the other end as the hosts concentrated on preserving a point, although substitute Peter Odemwingie did come close to a debut goal.
Malky Mackay made two changes to his Cardiff side, with experienced pair Craig Bellamy and Marshall both returning to the starting line-up. Bellamy took the captain’s armband as he replaced Don Cowie, while Marshall came in for Joe Lewis in goal.
There was just the one change for the visitors from their win over Norwich, meanwhile, as Andre Villas-Boas brought in Kyle Naughton for the injured Danny Rose at left-back.
Cardiff started at a ferocious pace and might have seen their opponents reduced to 10 men in the opening five minutes after Lloris challenged Fraizer Campbell on the edge of the area. The hosts felt the Frenchman had touched the ball outside the area with his hand, but the referee waved play on.
When Tottenham did get their attacking game going, they found Marshall in fine form, the 28-year-old making good saves to deny Soldado and Eriksen.
The first came as the former Valencia striker met a low Kyle Walker cross only for the keeper to get down well to deny him, while the second saw Marshall react superbly after Eriksen latched onto the loose ball after another Soldado effort had been blocked.
Marshall maintained his performance in the second half with another wonderful save from Soldado. The Spain international looked set to break the deadlock after reacting quickest to the loose ball following a Gylfi Sigurdsson strike that crashed onto the crossbar, but Marshall made a superb reaction stop with his legs to continue to frustrate the striker.
Mackay then introduced Odemwingie just after the hour, and the Nigerian nearly capped his debut with a goal. The 32-year-old's opportunity arrived three minutes after coming on for Campbell, but he sent his shot just wide of Lloris' goal after beating Jan Vertonghen.
Aron Gunnarsson had the hosts' best chance of the game with 10 minutes to play as Odemwingie pulled a perfect ball back from the byline. The midfielder hit his effort first time but sent the ball over the crossbar.
And Villas-Boas' charges finally broke the deadlock in stoppage time as Lamela played a one-two with Soldado before finding Paulinho, who got in front of his marker to finish smartly from close range.
Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay: "The boys put in a magnificent effort against a very good team. We matched a very good team toe-to-toe again. It's the harsh realities, they were clinical in the last minute and we weren't. In the last 10 minutes, Gunnar [Aron Gunnarsson] has got to do better, it's about being clinical."
"That's [David Marshall’s] job. He's a top goalkeeper. I've seen him step up [this season]. He's come into the Premier League and gone from strength to strength."
Spurs head coach Andre Villas-Boas: "Today it was different from normal in that there was justice in football. We created so many chances that there could only be one winner. It's a great win. But I suffered a lot… like everyone else.
“Bearing in mind the win they got against Man City there won't be many teams getting points here, so I'm happy. It's persistence, the more they come [late goals], the more the players believe they can do it.
"We kept the ball moving well, [but] they kept on resisting - the sense of frustration was building in the team
"It was a great contribution from Erik [Lamela] in that goal, all of them made the right impact and that's the spirit you need."
|28 Sep 2013||v Fulham (A)|
|05 Oct 2013||v Newcastle (H)|
|19 Oct 2013||v Chelsea (A)|
|26 Oct 2013||v Norwich (A)|
|03 Nov 2013||v Swansea (H)|
|09 Nov 2013||v Aston Villa (A)|