FAC: Cardiff City 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur
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Posted: 2 days ago
Cardiff battled to earn a replay against Tottenham as their goalless FA Cup third-round tie was marred by crowd trouble at Ninian Park.

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Riot police were needed at the away end with 12 minutes left of the goalless draw in the Welsh capital.

Michael Chopra had missed the target with the Championship's side best chance, while Jermain Defoe came closest for the visitors.

It was the first time this season Spurs had not won a cup tie they played in, and the replay adds to their congested schedule following success in the UEFA Cup and Carling Cup.

The two teams last played in the FA Cup 30 years ago and, aside from roofing, not much had changed at Ninian Park, including the hostile atmosphere.

Dimitar Berbatov almost latched onto a Defoe back-heel for an early chance to silence the boisterous home fans but goalkeeper Neil Alexander rushed out to clear the danger.

After the early threat from Spurs, Cardiff then looked threatening with Chopra leading their attack and almost grabbing an early lead.

The former Newcastle striker dropped deep early on to collect the ball, with only Teemu Tainio's tackle preventing him having a sight of goal on the edge of the area.

He then latched on to a terrible header back to goalkeeper Paul Robinson from Young-Pyo Lee, but his finish drifted wide after slotting under Tottenham's stand-in captain.

Robinson, skipper as Ledley King was still suffering from a bruised foot, looked nervous with his kicking and handling as Cardiff applied pressure, mostly stemming from Chopra's tireless chasing.

Chopra had another chance in the 17th minute but could not direct his header from a Stephen McPhail cross, then he crossed to the far post and forced Calum Davenport into a desperate clearance.

Chopra crossed again from the right flank in the 32nd minute after making the most of indecision in the Spurs midfield, but strike partner Steve Thompson was inches from connecting with a finish.

Berbatov, making his FA Cup debut, had been Spurs' main source of attacking threat in the opening half. The Bulgarian had a fierce shot blocked by Cardiff skipper Darren Purse early on, and forced Alexander to save midway through the first half when Pascal Chimbonda's free-kick broke to him on the edge of the area.

Defoe, however, had Spurs' best opportunity of the opening period when he flashed wide after chasing Robinson's free-kick, then missed an equally clear chance four minutes after the restart.

Steed Malbranque fed the ball to the England striker, who raced through but drilled wide with his finish when behind the Cardiff defence.

Defoe then got on the end of a lofted through-ball from Tom Huddlestone, who was trying to control matters from centre midfield, but the Spurs striker could not get an effort on goal. Alexander had to punch clear in the 63rd minute when Defoe charged in on goal to chase a Berbatov flick, and the England marksman could not break the deadlock.

Despite the threat of Defoe, Cardiff continued to attack and Thompson had a long-range effort fly over.

Joe Ledley stabbed over for the hosts after another cross from Chopra, while Riccardo Scimeca fired wide on the hour mark.

Spurs brought on Aaron Lennon after 67 minutes for Danny Murphy, the England youngster having recovered from an inflammation to the knee.

Malbranque saw an effort creep wide with 17 minutes remaining.

With 12 minutes left riot police were needed to control a disturbance at the away end, while home fans lit a flare in the same stand.

The disturbance had calmed with five minutes left in the match and Cardiff held on despite Spurs sending on Robbie Keane for his first appearance since recovering from a knee injury.


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