Match Report | Cardiff City 2-0 Bristol City
The Bluebirds earned a deserved victory over Bristol City in the Severnside derby at Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
A second-half header from striker Sory Kaba, along with Jaden Philogene’s fine strike was enough to record an important three points.
Boss Sabri Lamouchi made two changes from the side that fell to defeat at Norwich City last time out, with Sheyi Ojo and Kaba coming into the starting XI.
City started brightly and forced an early chance, as Philogene crossed towards the back post for Joe Ralls. The Bluebirds captain delivered back across goal for striker Connor Wickham, who couldn’t quite direct the ball goalwards. In another positive attack, Ojo turned well in midfield and drove towards goal, before striking a dangerous effort, which forced goalkeeper Max O’Leary into a save.
After a lively opening 20 minutes, the visitors went close to taking the lead on the counter-attack, as midfielder Alex Scott’s header was heroically cleared off the line by Cedric Kipré. From the rebound, goalkeeper Ryan Allsop produced a fantastic save to deny Anis Mehmeti.
Lamouchi’s men responded well to the visitors’ chance, as some great work from Philogene to win the ball back in the box led to Wickham having an effort at goal, which flew just wide of the post. City went close once more, this time through a Ralls set-piece, as the skipper's dangerous delivery was headed goalwards by Mark McGuinness, forcing O’Leary to save.
Just before the break, McGuinness was again posing a threat in the opposition box, heading over from Ryan Wintle’s free-kick, as the half-time whistle blew with the contest goalless.
The visitors had an opportunity early in the second period through midfielder Scott, who struck wide from the edge of the box. City responded excellently and took the lead in the 52nd minute, as a fine cross from Wintle was headed home by Kaba for his second Bluebirds goal.
Nigel Pearson’s side had an opportunity to swiftly level through a free-kick on the edge of the box. With Mehmeti stepping up and striking dangerously towards goal, Allsop produced another fine save to deny the Robins. At the other end, City went close to scoring a second, as a sublime piece of skill from Ojo saw him find space on the left, but the winger couldn’t quite find a teammate in the box.
The Bluebirds weren’t to be denied a second goal however, doubling the advantage in the 70th minute through Philogene, who cut inside from the right and fired brilliantly into the bottom corner. With a two-goal cushion, City played with confidence and created a chance to go further ahead, as Ojo was played through, but was just beaten to the ball by goalkeeper O’Leary.
With just over ten minutes left on the clock, the Robins looked to halve the deficit through Mehmeti, who beat the offside trap, only to fire over the woodwork, as Kipré applied pressure with a recovery challenge. In added-time, goalkeeper Allsop was shown a straight red card for handling the ball outside of the area. After the Bluebirds used all five substitutions, defender Perry Ng stepped up between the sticks, keeping a clean sheet in the final few minutes to ensure a vital derby victory.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 2-0 BRISTOL CITY
Cardiff City: Allsop, Ng, McGuinness, Kipré, Ojo (Colwill 86’), Philogene, Wintle, Ralls © (O’Dowda 67’), Sawyers, Wickham (Etete 86’), Kaba (Rinomhota 61’). Subs not used: Alnwick, Romeo, Davies.
Bristol City: O’Leary, James ©, Scott, Williams (Weimann 25’), Mehmeti, Pring, Sykes, Tanner (Wells 61’), Bell (Cornick 61’), Kalas (Dasilva 68’), Vyner. Subs not used: Haikin, King, Taylor-Clarke.