Match Report | Blackburn Rovers 5-2 Cardiff City
City bowed out of the Carabao Cup after being defeated by Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.
Goals from Jake Garrett, Arnor Sigurdsson, Dilan Markanday and Andrew Moran’s brace gave the hosts the victory, with Callum Robinson and Kion Etete on the scoresheet for the Bluebirds.
Boss Erol Bulut gave summer recruit Jonathan Panzo his first City start, while the substitutes bench was full of exciting City Academy prospects, who gained valuable First Team experience.
The Bluebirds started brightly and forced the first chance of the game, as Ollie Tanner and Rubin Colwill combined well. Operating as a right wing-back, Tanner broke into space and cut the ball back to Colwill, whose dangerous effort at goal was blocked out for a corner. In another chance for City, playmaker Colwill’s brilliant delivery into the box found Etete, who directed the ball towards goal, but goalkeeper Leo Wahlstedt made the save.
Despite a positive start from Bulut’s men, the hosts took the lead in the 13th minute, as Garrett broke the offside trap and found the net. City reacted brilliantly and equalised five minutes later, as Colwill showed some quick feet to find space, before playing the ball to Robinson. On his return to the starting XI, the Bluebirds’ no. 47 fired into the bottom corner with a fine finish.
The hosts had a spell of sustained pressure following City’s equaliser, as Moran fired wide of the mark. Rovers did find a breakthrough however, regaining the lead in the 36th minute, as Sigurdsson struck home from close-range. The Bluebirds responded well once more, finding a leveller just before the interval. Captain Romaine Sawyers found Etete in the box, who turned well and fired brilliantly into the bottom corner.
Rovers began the second half on the attack and regained the lead in the 49th minute through Moran, who calmly finished into the bottom corner. The hosts were then awarded a penalty and with Sigurdsson stepping up, City goalkeeper Alex Rúnarsson made a fine save. Jon Dahl Tomasson's side netted two minutes later however, as Moran struck into the bottom corner.
Bulut then introduced City Academy players James Crole and Josh Beecher, who made their competitive First Team debuts. Crole went close to making an instant impact, as he cut inside from the left and fired just over the woodwork. Rovers were clinical and added a fifth in the 70th minute, as Markanday found the bottom corner to ensure victory for the hosts.
FINAL SCORE: BLACKBURN ROVERS 5-2 CARDIFF CITY
Blackburn Rovers: Wahlstedt, Pickering (Brittain 46’), Hill, Tronstad, Sigurdsson (Szmodics 60’), Rankin-Costello, Wharton ©, Markanday (Carter 79’), Moran, Garrett (Travis 73’), Telalovic (Gilsenan 73’). Subs not used: Pears, Hyam, Wharton, Bloxham.
Cardiff City: Rúnarsson, Romeo, Panzo, Adams, Rinomhota, Sawyers ©, Evans (Beecher 60’), Tanner (Crole 72’), R Colwill, Robinson (J Colwill 72’), Etete (Crole 60’). Subs not used: Turner, Fagan-Walcott, Campbell, Giles, Twose.