Cardiff City suffered a one-nil defeat to Everton at Goodison Park following a competitive match on Saturday, November 24th.
Neil Warnock made one change to the side that beat Brighton & Hove Albion last time out at CCS. Harry Arter replaced Josh Murphy in the starting XI, with the winger taking up a spot on the substitutes bench.
Before the trip to Merseyside, the City boss spoke of the need to be resolute at Goodison Park - and that was taken to heart by the Bluebirds throughout a battling first half. It was apparent that City set out to frustrate their hosts, while attempting to catch them on the counter attack and when pressing.
It was tight throughout the opening forty minutes, with just half chances for both sides. Callum Paterson threatened for City while Barcelona loanee André Gomes and Iceland international Gylfi Sigurðsson dominated in midfield for the hosts. Summer signing Richarlison had the best chance of the first half, on 40 minutes, with the Brazilian heading towards goal from Seamus Coleman's cross, but straight at City No.1 Neil Etheridge.
The hosts continued to show their quality in possession, and almost opened the scoring 10 minutes into the second half. Bernard's neat through ball found Sigurðsson inside the penalty box. The midfielder rounded Etheridge, but Sol Bamba was perfectly positioned on the line to clear his attempted shot.
The next real attacking move brought about the only goal of the match, but the situation could've been very different. Former Wycombe Wanderers winger Harris had his heels clipped by his marker just outside the Everton penalty box, but no free kick was given. In the next flow just seconds later, the hosts went immediately up the other end and opened the scoring. A throw in was incorrectly given against City and they were immediately punished for this decision. Sigurðsson slotting the ball into an empty net on the rebound, after Etheridge had initially denied Theo Walcott, who had broken in from the right side.
Víctor Camarasa tried his luck from distance on 72 minutes, as the Bluebirds looked to find a way back into the match. The Spanish midfielder was denied by Pickford at full stretch. Another decision went against City with a little over ten minutes remaining. Greg Cunningham met the ball, overlapping down the left side, and while bursting into the box, he was brought down by fellow Irishman Seamus Coleman. The referee, however, sided with the Everton captain saying he touched the ball, and awarded the hosts a goal kick.
City attempted to break forward and find a leveller despite the circumstances falling against them time-after-time. Callum Paterson, at the end of another heart-filled performance, met Joe Ralls' free kick on 90 minutes but he was unable to divert it goalwards. Five minutes were added on and the Bluebirds continued to pressure. Substitute Josh Murphy saw his effort blocked on 90+4, and Marco Silva's side cleared Ralls' following corner kick to ensure that all three points remained on Merseyside.
FINAL SCORE: EVERTON 1-0 CARDIFF CITY
Everton: Pickford, Keane, Gomes, Sigurðsson (Zouma 90'), Walcott (Lookman 73'), Digne, Mina, Gueye, Bernard (Tosun 77'), Coleman, Richarlison. Subs Not Used: Stekelenburg, Baines, Zouma, Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman.
Cardiff City: Etheridge, Manga, Bamba, Morrison, Cunningham, Arter (Hoilett 74'), Ralls, Gunnarsson, Camarasa (Ward 85'), Harris (Murphy 67'), Paterson. Subs Not Used: Smithies, Peltier, Bennett, Decordova-Reid.