Bluebirds Strike Lucky To Down Eagles
Cardiff City did exactly what was necessary this weekend by travelling to Selhurst Palace, taking the physical encounter on, and emerging with all three points - although its fair to say, we didn't deserve them.
City took the lead just minutes in when Steve McPhail cleverly flicked on what appeared to be a poor Whittingham corner. Gabor Gyepes reacted well to steer a low left-footer just inside the post and claimed it was a pre-meditated move from the training ground and not just a rubbish corner! Either way, the early goal was crucial to our win.
Crystal Palace completely dominated and with Jay Bothroyd absent, the ball just wouldn't stick up-front and there was nothing going through McPhail and co. in the Bluebirds midfield. Palace hit the bar with a looping header while Darren Ambrose was everywhere and caused numerous problems for a patched-up City defence.
Despite all the pressure, it was Cardiff City who created the best chance when Chopra's clever flick sent Etuhu through on goal but he could quite control it and Speroni managed to deflect the shot wide.
After the break, the game continued in the same manner - worryingly so for Cardiff. Etuhu missed a low shot when well placed but it was Palace who pressed harder and continued to look dangerous - especially at the set piece. It was from an Ambrose corner that Palace equalised as Clint Hill found too much space and headed home.
At that point there only looked like being one winner with the Eagles well on top and buoyed by a noisy home crowd. Palace thought they'd won a penalty when Stern John and Capaldi fell to the floor, but there was little in it and the ref had given a foul for something else - no-one seemed sure what!
Sean Scannell caused no end of problems for Capaldi at left-back so Mark Kennedy was sent on to shore up that side. It worked and Palace were forced into playing more long balls - John and Andrew were dangerous but well marshalled by Blake and Gyepes.
It took a moment of magic from Cardiff City to take the points and it was Chris Burke who collected Quinn's knock-down on his chest, found a yard of space and volleyed home emphatically from 18 yards for an excellent goal.
The Bluebirds hung on for an important win, we defended well but won't win many games with so little possession and under pressure. Better attacking teams than Palace would have had a field day....