Saints 1-0 Cardiff (Match Report)
Cardiff City entered the game against Southampton with just one change, Stephen McPhail returning to central midfield with Whittingham the man to miss out. This meant that Dave Jones kept faith with his under-fire centre-back pairing of Johnson and Loovens despite growing support for a vocal leader in the shape of Darren Purse.
The game started brightly for Cardiff, Parry skipped down the wing and won an early corner, knocked over the bar by an unbalanced Robbie Fowler. The incident could easily have been a penalty in the second minute for City with Saints defender Ostlund grappling with Fowler and falling over as the striker made contact.
Cardiff were enjoying much of the possession, but with little to show and no real attempts on Kelvin Davis' goal. As could have been predicted by most Cardiff fans however, it was with the Saints first meaningful attack that they scored. Idiakez was given too much space in between our defence and midfield and showed superb awareness to draw Loovens before cleverly playing through for Stern John to rifle home left-footed. Far too much space was afforded to both players and Cardiff paid the price.
Too often the final ball was poor for the Bluebirds and a scruffy period ensued where neither team could put their foot on the ball. Hasselbaink wis-directed a low drive after Fowler put him through while a good move saw JFH knock back across goal only to find that all three attackers had launched into the six yard box.
The second half saw more of the same. Some neat build up play, but a reluctance to shoot and poor final balls saw moves break down frustratingly. Ledley was withdrawn for the returning Sinclair but Cardiff still lacked ideas against a well-organised Saints side.
McPhail and Fowler both shot over from the edge of the area but Cardiff's best chance fell to substitute Peter Whittingham late on. Some short iunterchanges in the box saw Whitts clear on the right but he snatched at his shot and scuffed it well wide.
Southampton had one glorious chance to make the game safe but Jason Euell inexplicably fired over from a rebound with the goal gaping.
A day best forgotten for Cardiff City, it was all too familiar for the fans after good possession, decent build-up but no end result with a defensive lapse being punished. Memories of Coventry City and Stoke City were back and the International break has broken our momentum. We lack the cutting edge and need to find that winning mentality.
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