Match Report | Cardiff City 4-0 Derby County
The Bluebirds made it ten matches unbeaten with a resounding victory over the Rams on Tuesday evening.
Leandro Bacuna netted a brace for Mick McCarthy’s men, with Welsh duo Kieffer Moore and Will Vaulks also on the scoresheet at Cardiff City Stadium.
Mick McCarthy made two changes to the side which drew with Middlesbrough at the weekend, with Leandro Bacuna and Sheyi Ojo replacing Josh Murphy and Harry Wilson in the starting eleven.
After a cagey opening ten minutes, it was the Bluebirds who enjoyed the first clear-cut chance of the evening. Will Vaulks’ long throw-in was met by Derby defender George Edmundson, who headed the ball in the direction of Kieffer Moore. The striker reacted well to fire on goal, but his close-range effort cleared the crossbar.
Moore went close again six minutes later, but not before City had a strong penalty shout waved away. Sheyi Ojo did well to break away and cut past Matt Clarke, who appeared to block the ball with his arm as he slid in to prevent Ojo’s shot. With appeals waved away by the referee, the next phase of play saw Moore head narrowly wide from Perry Ng’s cross.
McCarthy’s men deservedly found the opener after 22 minutes, with Bacuna netting his first goal of the season. Welsh international Moore found Joe Bennett on the left flank, who delivered a pinpoint ball to Bacuna inside the penalty area. The midfielder, who had made an excellent forward run, applied a composed finish to give City the advantage.
The Bluebirds continued to dominate the opening period, but were forced into an early change when Bennett picked up an unfortunate injury just after the half hour mark. Derby stopper Kelle Roos was forced into a double save from Moore and Bacuna just before the half-time whistle, which kept City’s advantage to a single goal at the interval.
However, the County goalkeeper was unable to prevent the Bluebirds from doubling their lead minutes after the break, with Moore recording his 16th goal of the season. Will Vaulks delivered a dangerous corner towards the front post, and the striker was able to beat his man before powerfully heading home.
The result was put beyond doubt a few minutes later, with Bacuna firing home his second goal of the evening. Sheyi Ojo drove at the Derby defence, attracting three men before laying the ball off towards the Curaçao international. From the edge of the area, Bacuna struck an excellent curling drive, which left Roos stranded and put the Bluebirds firmly in the driving seat.
Displaying their ruthless attacking intent, McCarthy’s side had the ball in the back of the net once again soon afterwards, with Ojo prodding home from Aden Flint’s knock-down. However, the Liverpool loanee was correctly adjudged to be in an offside position, with City’s advantage remaining at three goals. Rubin Colwill was introduced for Moore with fifteen minutes remaining, whilst Jonny Williams also came on for his City debut.
In the dying moments of the match, Will Vaulks rounded off an impressive display with a thunderous final goal; January recruit Ng did well to win the ball in an advanced position, allowing Vaulks to strike a fierce effort, which powered past Roos and into the roof of the net.
The final whistle confirmed another superb victory for the Bluebirds, who will travel to the John Smith’s Stadium to face Huddersfield Town in their next fixture on Friday, 5th March.
Cardiff City: Phillips, Ng, Flint, Nelson, Morrison, Bennett (Bagan 39), Vaulks, Pack (Ralls 87), Bacuna, Ojo (Williams 87), Moore (Colwill 77).
Subs not used: Smithies, Murphy, Wilson, Hoilett, Harris.
Derby County: Roos, Wisdom (MacDonald 69), Edmundson, Clarke, Buchanan, Shinnie (Bird 69), Baningime, Mengi, Sibley (Waghorn 69), Jóźwiak (Watson 69), Gregory.
Subs not used: Idem, Byrne, Forsyth, Knight, Kazim-Richards.