Five of the best: Away Days 2017/18
Neil Warnock’s troops impressively picked up 11 wins on the road last campaign - a tally that bettered the 10 away triumphs the Bluebirds totalled in their title winning 2012/13 season.
Andrew Wright takes a look at five of the best away games, and moments, from the last campaign.
Cardiff City kick-started last campaign with a 115 mile trip to Pirelli Stadium on Saturday, 5th August 2017. Supported by 1,700 loud travelling fans on the day, the visitors dominated large periods of the match without much luck in-front of Stephen Bywater’s goal.
With the game tightly poised, striker Kenneth Zohore stepped into the spotlight to give the Bluebirds an 87th minute winner. The Dane unleashed a powerful curling effort from 20 yards to give Warnock a perfect start to his 50th year in football.
Both Cardiff City and Wolves aimed to keep their 100% record intact ahead of an early top of the table clash at Molineux Stadium, on Saturday, 19th August 2017. It was a goalless first half but the visitors took a deserved lead through club stalwart Joe Ralls. The midfielder applied a clinical first time finish to break the deadlock.
The hosts struck back halfway through the second period as Léo Bonatini levelled the game. However the travelling side kept their heads up and found a late winner through the impressive Nathaniel Mendez-Laing. It was a delightful driven effort from the winger who certainly savoured the strike against his former employers, to take his side top of the table.
On Saturday, 3rd February 2018, our highest scoring away day of last campaign occurred at Elland Road. By half time, Warnock’s men had taken in a healthy 3-0 lead. Headers from Callum Paterson and captain Sean Morrison occurred either side of a close range finish from Junior Hoilett. The skipper had also scored a headed effort in a 2-0 win at the same ground during the 2016/17 season.
Shortly after the interval, the Whites reduced the deficit following an unfortunate own goal from former player Sol Bamba. The Bluebirds held on though and even added to the score-line – Anthony Pilkington slotting him in stoppage time to secure a 4-1 victory.
On Saturday, 14th April 2018, the Bluebirds headed to Carrow Road knowing that only a win would do to place them back in the top two. While City dominated in terms of chances, the hosts were dangerous when controlling possession with James Maddison & new Bluebird Josh Murphy pulling the strings for Daniel Farke’s Canaries.
The deadlock was finally broken with just three minutes remaining – and what an important goal it was! With a knack of scoring vital goals, Kenneth Zohore expertly squeezed home from a tight angle. Angus Gunn saved the Dane’s initial effort at close range, but Zohore’s smart finish into the near post gave Neil Warnock’s side a crucial advantage. In stoppage time, Canadian international Hoilett doubled the lead with a sensational first time volley from range. Patience certainly paid off for the Bluebirds faithful that day, who also witnessed our first success at the East Anglian ground since September 2007.
Arguably our most memorable and important trip of last campaign occurred with our penultimate fixture of 2017/18 at the KCOM Stadium, on Saturday, 28th April 2018. The Bluebirds went into this match one point ahead of Fulham in the automatic promotion race, with two games remaining. Three points were essential – and our captain marvel made sure that is what we got! City skipper Sean Morrison met Joe Ralls’ corner kick after 32 minutes to give Warnock’s men a one-goal advantage going in a the break.
The hosts added pressure in the second half and the near 2,400 Bluebirds stood nervous in the stand. Despite the troubling Tigers attack, it was a perfect counter-attacking move with ten minutes remaining that sealed the win for the travelling side. NML broke down the left, evading the challenge of a number of Hull defenders before crossing into the box towards the arriving Morrison. Despite being in unusual territory, our No.4 showed incredible composure to turn inside his marker and unleash a delicate left footed finish beyond the reach of former loanee Allan McGregor.
This exceptional result set up a very special final day at Cardiff City Stadium – and we all remember how that went… we are Premier League!
Tickets for our first away fixture of the 2018/19 campaign – against AFC Bournemouth – are on sale now. Click here for full details!