REPORT | CARDIFF CITY 0-2 LEEDS UNITED
Despite a promising first half performance, City fell to a home defeat against Leeds United in a Saturday lunch-time kick off.
After the pre-match welcome of City legend Graham Kavanagh, the Bluebirds got straight into their attacking groove, with an early chance for home debutant Rickie Lambert. After a through ball from Matt Connolly, the deadline day signing went past his man, but couldn’t find the finishing touch. A succession of dangerous crosses were dealt with at the last gasp, with Cardiff looking dangerous in front of the home supporters.
From a fifteenth minute corner, Sean Morrison brought a fine save from Rob Green, forcing the ex-England international to claw away the City skipper’s downward header. Five minutes later, the visitors had their first real chance, with Stuart Dallas’ low effort being comfortably held by another debutant, Ben Amos. The ex-Manchester United man was called into action again, palming away Páblo Hernandez’s powerful shot. As the Whites began to grow into the game, the loanee stopper was again called into action, holding Chris Wood’s shot well.
The half ended with a flurry of Cardiff chances, with Joe Ralls and Aron Gunnarsson both having attempts following a Peter Whittingham free kick - with–the latter's effort being nodded onto the post by Lee Peltier.
In the second period, the Bluebirds picked up where they left off, causing problems through Lambert on two early occasions. However, on the hour mark, United were awarded a penalty following a foul on Pontus Jansson. Chris Wood stepped up from 12 yards, cooling slotting the ball into the bottom corner. In response, City went on the attack, with Matt Connolly’s looping cross forcing a corner.
As the game swayed from end to end, a last gasp tackle from Connolly prevented goalscorer Wood from adding a second with twenty minutes left. The lively Kadeem Harris looked to create chances down the right hand side, with dangerous pace making life difficult for Luke Ayling.
At the other end, Amos did well to deny a low effort from Hadi Sacko. From the resulting corner, Kyle Bartley headed over for the Whites. With eight minutes to go, United doubled their lead, thanks to a brilliant strike from Hernandez. The Spaniard picked the ball up in the Cardiff half, eventually unleashing a curling effort into the top corner.
Despite the introduction of Frédéric Gounongbe and Lex Immers, the Bluebirds couldn’t find a way back into the game, and next face Rotherham United on Saturday 24th.
FULL TIME: CARDIFF CITY 0 – 2 LEEDS UNITED (Wood ’62, Hernandez ‘83)
Cardiff City: Amos, Peltier, Morrison, Connolly (Gounongbe ’83), Richards, Whittingham, Gunnarsson, Ralls (Harris ’70), Pilkington (Immers ’88), Lambert.
Subs not used: Wilson, Manga, John, Huws.
Leeds United: Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Taylor, O’Kane, Sacko, Vieira, Hernandez (Phillips ’89), Dallas (Roofe ’71), Wood (Antonsson ‘90+1)
Subs not used: Silvestri, Cooper, Coyle, Mowatt,