The Bluebirds fell to a 2-0 defeat at the iPro Stadium, with hosts Derby County continuing their impressive run of form.
After an impeccably observed minute’s silence to remember those who lost their lives in Paris last weekend, it was the Rams who made an early impact on the match. City keeper David Marshall picked up where he left off before the international break, with a number of saves to deny Derby an opening. Tom Ince, Jacob Butterfield and Andreas Weimann all saw their efforts denied by the Scot, as the Bluebirds looked to weather Derby’s lively start.
Cardiff had their own chances to take the lead; with the pick of the bunch falling to returning midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi. After a neat cross from Kenwyne Jones, the South African was unlucky not to find the target from a tight angle. Winger Craig Noone forced a good save from Rams’ stopper Scott Carson, after Jones had stolen the ball from Richard Keogh. Nevertheless, neither side could find an opening before the break, as the sides went in goalless at half-time.
The Rams stepped up their attacking intensity after the break, and nearly took the lead with a corner shortly after the interval; as Bradley Johnson’s header was cleared off the line by Lee Peltier. Derby didn’t have to wait long to take the lead, scoring 10 minutes into the second period. Chris Martin teed up midfielder George Thorne, whose shot nestled into the bottom left hand corner of the net, putting the Rams 1-0 up. Martin was again involved shortly afterwards, drawing another fine save from Marshall in the Cardiff goal.
With the introduction of Sammy Ameobi and Stuart O’Keefe, Cardiff looked to push for an equaliser. A clever back-heel from the on-loan forward nearly found the onrushing Peter Whittingham, but the ball was intercepted by Derby skipper Richard Keogh.
Despite the Bluebirds’ best efforts, it was Derby who scored again to seal the victory. After Joe Ralls had seemingly been fouled at the other end, play continued and Ex-Aston Villa forward Andreas Weimann tapped home from inside the six yard box, to all but confirm three points for his team.
Kenwyne Jones had a late chance to get a goal back for Cardiff, but could only head Scott Malone’s cross over the bar from 10 yards out. Despite a late bombardment of Cardiff City corners, Derby held out for victory, claiming a 7th win in their last 9 games. The Bluebirds remain in 9th position, with a home fixture against Burnley up next.
FINAL SCORE: DERBY COUNTY 2-0 CARDIFF CITY
Cardiff City: Marshall, Peltier, Malone, Morrison, Connolly, Dikgacoi (O‘ Keefe 72’), Whittingham (Kennedy ’78), Noone, Ralls, Jones, Mason (Ameobi 63’). Subs not used: Moore, Tamas, Ecuele Manga, John.
Derby County: Carson, Christie (Baird ’82), Warnock, Keogh, Shackell, Butterfield (Bryson 71’), Thorne, Ince (Russell ’71), Johnson, Weimann, Martin. Subs not used: Grant, Pearce, Hendrick, Bent.