London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Roberto Soldado ended his goal drought with a first-half strike to carry Tottenham Hotspur to a 1-0 win over Cardiff City Sunday at White Hart Lane.
Soldado found the net for the first time since December 29 when he received the ball from partner Emmanuel Adebayor and fired past David Marshall with the outside of his right boot in the 28th minute.
It proved to be the only goal of the game as 19th-placed Cardiff, without a road league win since September, saw its relegation fears heightened.
The win strengthened Tottenham’s grip on fifth place, boosting its lead over Everton to five points and eight points ahead of Manchester United.
Aaron Lennon, one of two Spurs changes, made an immediate impact, providing a cross after just a minute that Soldado was only able to divert wide.
Craig Bellamy, making his return from a three-match suspension, then whistled a free-kick over the crossbar before laying on an opportunity for Fabio, whose shot was well blocked by Michael Dawson.
Andros Townsend was next to threaten during an open first 15 minutes, forcing Marshall into action with a low, driven effort.
Meanwhile, Christian Benteke’s sensational first-half brace lifted Aston Villa to a 4-1 win over Norwich City at Villa Park.
A spectacular overhead kick from the Belgian midway through the first half cancelled out Wes Hoolahan’s well-worked opener, before the Villa striker powered home a header two minutes later to give his side the lead.
The victory eased the pressure on Villa boss Paul Lambert, ending a run of four matches without a win, while condemning Norwich to its fifth consecutive road defeat.
In other Premier League game, Swansea City and Crystal Palace played to a 1-1 draw.