Cardiff 4-0 Wolverhampton
For the second home game in succession, Cardiff put 4 goals past the visitors but were helped again by the away side having a deferder dismissed.
Both sides started well and at a fast pace but Wolves were the tightest defence before the game and looked to put pressure on Cardiff players from the off. Wolves doubled up on City players in midfield and made the slick passing game difficult. On 20 minutes Cardiff created their first clear sight of goal when Steve Thompson found space going forward on the edge of the area but opted to lay the ball off rather than shoot and the danger was cleared. It was just after this that the key incident of the match occurred when Gary Breen went up for a header with Cardiff's Steven Thompson and after the ball had gone clearly struck out at Thompson's face. The fans on that side of the ground were instantly calling for a dismissal and, as the linesman flagged, Breen knew he'd been spotted and instantly ran to confront the official. Breen had to go and knew it himself although Mick McCarthy's reaction was to rage up and down the touchline berating anyone he could find when his anger should have been directed at his captain.
Just 5 minutes later, Michael Chopra narrowly failed to connect with a Paul Parry cross and Scimeca's piledriver from 25 yards flew just over.On the half hour came a worrying moment after Kevin McNaughton crashed into the advertising boards in front of the Canton stand and had to be replaced. McNoughton received lengthy treatment before walking off with what was later confirmed as a hamstring injury. Such is the verasatility of Cardiff's squad that Joe Ledley filled the left-back slot, Paul Parry left wing and Malvin Kamara came onto the right wing.
Cardiff should have had a penalty on 38 minutes when a good ball by Purse found Parry on the left who cut inside to be stopped by a sliding defender but as the ball bounced up it clearly hit him on the hand as Parry tried to break though. It was a definate penalty but both the referee and his assistants would have been obscured and even Parry seemed not to notice. It wasnt to matter however as City took the lead just afterwards. A malvin Kamara cross to the near post was poorly dealt with by Murray who needlessly punched behind. Parry's cross was met by RICCY SCIMECA who rose superbly and unchallenged to power a header home with excellent technique. It was a very impostant goal for City and took them into the break ahead.
After the break Chopra went close with a low left-footed shot as City looked to dominate and barely 5 minutes in it was 2-0 as Mulgrew's clearing header from Parry's cross hit Jody Craddock and past Matt Murray. There looked little danger and was a cruel and unfortunate blow for Wolves so early in the second half. To give credit to Wolves they were still trying to get forward and forced an excellent save from Alexander who was alert as Olofinjana broke through and clipped over Alex but Scotland's number 1 was alert to tip into the air with his fingertips and catch as the ball came down. The save was particularly impressive given the police presence behind Alexander dealing with the over-zealous Wolves fans trying to leave the ground.
On 69 minutes it was 3-0. The defence opened up as Gilbert came forward and he played the ball through the right channel where MALVIN KAMARA was clear and composed to slot home into the bottom right corner from 16 yards. It was a neat finish and Kamara's first goal for City. Kamara looked lively all match and not afraid to take on his man.
Cardiff were cruising and duly scored their 4th, and 14th in 4 games, on 79 minutes when Purse released the superb Chopra whose low cross was missed by Craddock and powered home by PAUL PARRY for his 3rd goal this season. Chopra desperately wanted a goal and missed a gilt-edged chance soon after, driving low but wide from 12 yards after a McPhail pass.
There was just time for Neil Alexander to embarass Craig Davies near his by-line with a good piece of skill to impress the the crowd further.
City still had work to do after the sending off but completed it professionally and without fuss. Wolves were a very pacy side and obviously up for the game, they matched City until the sending off which really did turn the game but ill-discipline by the experienced Wolves captain cost them today. The result means City extend their lead at the top to 5 points over the International break.
This was a good team effort and although difficult to single an individual out for praise, Riccy Scimeca was named Man Of The Match and probably rightly so although Chopra was again fantastic and McPhail busy throughout. Another big win for the Bluebirds who continue to look genuine promotion contenders.