The Bluebirds were beaten 3-1 by Norwich City as they bowed out in the Second Round of the Carabao Cup.
Neil Warnock made nine changes to the side that featured against Huddersfield in the Premier League on Saturday. Greg Cunningham and Alex Smithies came in for their Cardiff City debuts, whilst Kadeem Harris, Jazz Richards, Matthew Connolly and Loïc Damour made their first competitive appearances of the season.
Whilst City looked threatening on the left flank, it was the Canaries who looked the more likely side to open the scoring. Striker Denis Srbeny went close after fourteen minutes, staying onside to go through on goal. The German forward drew a fine save from Smithies, who parried the shot away to safety.
However, the Bluebirds defence could do nothing to prevent Srbeny from breaking the deadlock after twenty-five minutes. New signing Emiliano Buendía fed the striker, who produced some silky skills before firing into the top corner, putting Norwich on the front foot.
City grew into the game, and had two good chances to level before the break. From a free-kick of his own making, Gary Madine stepped up and almost found the bottom corner, but for a smart stop from Michael McGovern in the Norwich goal. Bobby Decordova-Reid also went close as the clock ticked into injury time, though McGovern was equal to it once again.
Norwich then hit City on the counter, to double their lead with Srbeny on target again. A swift attack saw the Bluebirds rushing back to defend, but slick passing from the visitors enabled the striker to head home from close range. The Canaries then added a third goal five minutes later, with Max Aarons turning well and slotting home from inside the area.
Callum Paterson had City’s best chance yet a few minutes later, as he smashed the ball over the bar from inside the Norwich area. The Bluebirds did get back into the game from another set-piece though, taken after seventy-seven minutes. Decordova-Reid’s delivery was met by City skipper for the evening, Bruno Ecuele Manga, whose powerful header flew into the top corner.
As they regained the initiative, Decordova-Reid went closest to grabbing another goal for the Bluebirds. His free-kick deflected against the Norwich wall, sending the ball away from McGovern only to crash against the post. Norwich almost added another from the next phase of play though, but Todd Cantwell fired over from close range. The midfielder had another one-on-one opportunity moments later, but Smithies produced another good stop.
Despite a late chance for Danny Ward, who saw a header creep past McGovern but agonisingly around the post, the Bluebirds were unable to reduce the deficit any further, as the Canaries progressed to the Third Round of the competition.
Neil Warnock’s men will return to Premier League action this Sunday 1st September with a hotly anticipated home clash against Arsenal.
Cardiff City: Smithies, Peltier, Connolly, Ecuele Manga, Cunningham, Richards (Ward 59’), Damour, Camarasa (Zohore 71’), Harris, Decordova-Reid, Madine (Paterson 59’).
Subs not used: B. Murphy, Bennett, Coxe, Brown.
Norwich City: McGovern, Aarons, Passlack, Godfrey, Zimmermann, Steipermann, Trybull (Leitner 67’), Cantwell (Rhodes 90+1), Tettey, Buendía (Marshall 83’), Srbeny.
Subs not used: Krul, Hanley, Hernandez, Pukki.