Game #5415

Season | 2016-17​ |

Matchday | #26 |
League Game | #25 |
Manager Game | #14 |
Monday, 2 January 2017
Football League | Championship | Away | Cardiff City | Cardiff City Stadium | 21,391 | 

Game Summary

Manager | Steve Bruce | 

KO | 15.00 |
Referee | Andy Davies | 

 HT Score | 0-1 | 
 FT Score | 0-1 | 

 FT Result | Lost | 

Last 5 Games | LWWDL |

 League Position | 12th | -3 | 

Line Up |

GK Mark Bunn |
LB Jordan Amavi |
RB Alan Hutton |
BOOKED | 85' |
CB Nathan Baker |
CB James Chester |
BOOKED | 42' |
M Gary Gardner | SUB OFF | 46' |
M Ashley Westwood | SUB OFF | 46' |
M Jack Grealish | BOOKED | 60' |
M Leandro Bacuna | BOOKED | 78' |
W Albert Adomah |
F Ross McCormack |
SUB OFF | 82' |

Substitutes |

M Aaron Tshibola for M Ashley Westwood | 46’ | 
F Gabriel Agbonlahor for M Gary Gardner | 46’ | 
F Rushian Hepburn-Murphy for F Ross McCormack | 82’ |

 

Unused Substitutes |

GK Pierluigi Gollini
CB Tommy Elphick
F Jordan Ayew
LB Aly Cissokho

Cards |

 Yellow | James Chester | 42’ |

 Yellow | Jack Grealish | 60’ |

 Yellow | Leandro Bacuna | 78’ |

 Yellow | Alan Hutton | 85’ |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 27.12 | 

Oldest Player | GK Mark Bunn | 32.15 |

Youngest Player | M Jack Grealish | 21.33 |

Unavailable | 

Injury |

CB Micah Richards |

M Mile Jedinak |

CF Jonathan Kodjia | 

Loaned Out | 

D Riccardo Calder | Doncaster Rovers | 12 July 2016 - 2 January 2017 |

W Carles Gil | Deportivo La Coruña | 22 July 2016 - 30 June 2018 |

CB Easah Suliman | Cheltenham Town | 4 August 2016 - 2 January 2017 |

D Niall Mason | Doncaster Rovers | 6 August 2016 - 31 May 2017 |

M Carlos Sánchez | ACF Fiorentina | 9 August 2016 - 30 June 2017 |

M Jordan Veretout | AS Saint-Étienne | 24 August 2016 - 30 June 2017 |

F Harry McKirdy | Stevenage FC | 31 August 2016 - 7 January 2017 |

Match Stats |

Possession F | 54
Possession A | 46
Shots F | 9
Shots A | 13
Shots on Target F | 3
Shots on Target A | 5
Corners F | 9
Corners A | 7
Fouls F | 15
Fouls A | 18

Match Report

Sky Sports

Monday, 2 January 2017

Cardiff held on for a 1-0 win over Aston Villa to move clear of the Championship relegation zone.


Joe Ralls scored the game’s only goal, the midfielder putting the Bluebirds ahead in the first half. The home side were full value for their half-time lead and although they had some nervy moments in the second, they stayed tight in defence and goalkeeper Brian Murphy made two excellent saves to seal the three points.

Villa, without Middlesbrough-bound striker Rudy Gestede, felt they should have had an early free-kick when Jack Grealish went down on the edge of the box. Referee Andy Davies waved away those appeals and with the home side looking dangerous from set-pieces, they soon moved ahead.
 

A Joe Bennett corner from the right was not cleared, the loose ball causing havoc in the Villa box. A goalmouth scramble followed, the rebound hitting Ralls and finding the bottom corner without the Cardiff man knowing much about it.
 

The goal seemed to give Neil Warnock’s side belief and Junior Hoilett tested Mark Bunn before Kadeem Harris should have done better from a Lee Peltier pull-back.
 

Ashley Westwood shot over and Leandro Bacuna saw his free-kick deflected for Villa but the home side should have added a second before the break. Kenneth Zohore hit the bar from just a few yards out and just a minute later, the striker was through on goal again though his shot was blocked.


Villa needed to improve in the second half and Steve Bruce’s introduction of Gabriel Agbonlahor and Aaron Tshibola at the break said everything about their display to that point. Their arrival had little impact though as Cardiff got to the hour mark still with a one-goal lead.


Aron Gunnarsson had shot wide for Cardiff, but their advantage nearly disappeared when Ross McCormack’s free-kick beat Murphy but not the crossbar.
 

Almost all of Davies’ decisions were now going against the home side, much to the crowd’s anger. It created a hostile atmosphere for the final 20 minutes, Harris bringing a save from Bunn before Murphy then denied Agbonlahor’s curling effort with an acrobatic dive.
 

Villa, who have designs on a play-off spot, were the ones now dominating the ball and Agbonlahor tested Bunn again and Tshibola fired wide. The chances kept coming and Alan Hutton appealed for a penalty late on but Steve Bruce’s side just could not break through.
 

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock:
 

“That’s the best we’ve played by a mile since I’ve been at the club. I thought we dominated for large periods and all round it was a good performance.
 

“It was a great atmosphere and the game had everything really. It was like a cup tie and I thought that 30 minutes into the first half we were going to regret the missed chances.
 

“But in the Championship you need people to stand up when the chips are down and we did that in the second half.”
 

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce:
 

“It was a slow start - it was that slow that we stopped.
 

“That’s two or three times we’ve done that now and the first half was nowhere near the performance required. The only thing I can put it down to is mentality.
 

“We’re arguably the biggest club in this division and that makes us a scalp but if we don’t find the right mentality, we won’t achieve what we want.”