Monday, April 01, 2013

Big win - and in style

Cardiff City moved a step nearer to promotion today with a fine 3-0 win over struggling Blackburn Rovers.

Despite sitting top of the table since November, City have at times ground out results, and only the most blind of supporters could argue that the Bluebirds football of later has been of any real quality. But, at the end of the day it's results that count, and city started the day four points clear of Hull who play Watford tomorrow.

Today though, City combined the result - a massive three points after a disappointing loss two days ago away at Peterbrough, with as good a performance as we've seen in months.

Malky made a couple of big selection decisions, including dropping Whitts to the bench and putting the arguably under-used Kimbo & the patchy Mutch into midfield. Those decisions though proved perfect (which is why Malky is a manager and I'm not) with both players stepping right up to the plate, and Kimbo deservedly getting man of the match.

That though doesn't do justice the the rest of the Bluebirds on the pitch. Every player turned up today. It's also the first time I'd seen loan defender Leon Barnett in the flesh, and I thought he too was outstanding.

For me there was greater movement off the ball, a willingness to run into the channels and just greater speed of thought. Blackburn are a good team on paper, but a 15 minute spell in the second half apart, City controlled the game and closed the visitors down quickly to a point where David Marshall's goal was rarely threatened.

Frazier Campbell's first half opener from 2 yards was well deserved after persistent pressure, and some frantic defending and ropey goalkeeping from Kean in the Blackburn goal.

So 1-0 at half time, and though Rovers rarely threatened, the comfort of a second didn't come until substitute Jo Mason's sublime finish on 86 minutes, and the cream topping came with a stoppage time Whitt's penalty (which will make him feel a lot better). City should have had a penalty earlier when Turner was kicked in the face two yards inside the area only for ref and linesman to bottle the decision and give a free kick a foot outside he box. Still, in the end it didn't matter.

All in all then a highly satisfactory performance. there's a big match tomorrow when 2nd placed Hull play 3rd placed Watford - a Hull win please - and then Another crunch game on Saturday with City away to Watford.

As you were. City top of the league. Mind the gap!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad Mini

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