REPORT | CITY ROMP TO 5-0 VICTORY OVER ROTHERHAM
Cardiff City switched on the style at CCS with a spectacular 5-0 victory over Rotherham United.
Kadeem Harris, Junior Hoilett, Craig Noone and Kenneth Zohore (2) were all on the score-sheet as City secured their third win on the spin in hugely impressive fashion.
The magnificent performance was the Bluebirds’ biggest home winning margin since their 6-1 win over Derby County in September 2009.
A SPEEDY START
Neil Warnock’s men hit the ground running in the opening minutes, pinning the opposition back in their own half. Just before the ten-minute mark, Kadeem Harris went on a surging run down the left flank, forcing the opposition to clear.
Aron Gunnarsson then launched a trademark long throw into the box which landed at the feet of Harris. The winger effortlessly curled the ball past Richard O’Donnell in the Millers goal to score his third goal of the week and put his side into the lead.
Soon after, Cardiff came agonisingly close to making it 2-0. Rhys Healey cut the ball back to Craig Noone, who sent in a dangerous low cross that was cleverly dummied by Zohore. The ball fell to Harris who saw his shot squirm under the keeper but get cleared off the line.
With the game approaching half time, City had another excellent chance when Joe Ralls picked up the ball after Healey went down in the box. The midfielder drilled the ball goal-wards and it was skillfully trapped by Zohore who turned sharply before firing a shot that was well saved by O’Donnell from close range.
Healey, who had gone down at the start of the move, was sadly forced to leave the pitch on a stretcher, to a standing ovation from the CCS crowd.
TURNING ON THE STYLE
City did not let the lengthy stoppage disrupt their dominance and grabbed a second deep into injury time. The Millers’ Ben Purrington didn’t get enough on his sloppy back pass and substitute Junior Hoilett was onto it in a flash. The Canadian international steadied himself before calmly slotting the ball under O’Donnell to double the Bluebirds’ advantage.
Inside the opening five minutes of the second period, Ralls played a measured ball over the top to Harris. The winger, who had been testing the Millers defence all afternoon, drove into the box and expertly picked out Noone at the back post. Noone followed the flight of the ball before producing a sensational scissor kick that flew into the net, making it three in spectacular fashion.
The Bluebirds were enjoying themselves, creating chances at will, and were soon even further in front. Zohore headed the ball down to Hoilett who played it straight back to him. The Dane then fired a sublime shot from a tight angle that flashed across O’Donnell and squeezed into the far corner of the net, as City began to run away with it.
FIVE FOR THE BLUEBIRDS!
With the game entering the closing stages the Bluebirds were still looking for more. Matt Connolly found Hoilett with a brilliant cross-field pass and the winger set off towards the box. He got the better of two defenders before sliding the ball past the ‘keeper, but defender Purrington was on hand to clear the ball off the line.
The Bluebirds sealed the rout inside the final ten minutes. Connolly pulled off another measured ball to set Zohore free. O’Donnell rushed out, but the striker lofted the bouncing ball over him superbly, dropping it under the bar for City’s fifth of the afternoon.
The clearly delighted crowd stayed behind to salute Neil Warnock’s team at the final whistle, showing their appreciation for a tremendous performance.
FULL TIME: CARDIFF CITY 5-0 ROTHERHAM UNITED