Cardiff City

Review – Cardiff City 3-1 Norwich City: Warnock given birthday to remember following Bluebirds fightback

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Goals: Stiepermann (43′), Ralls (pen 49′), Bogle (80′)

Attendance: 17,033

Cardiff City gave Neil Warnock a birthday to remember as they made it four consecutive wins with victory over Norwich City on Friday night.

The Bluebirds came from behind with three second-half goals to ensure they moved six points clear of Sheffield United, who play on Saturday.

Norwich took a first-half lead through Marco Stiepermann, but goals from Joe Ralls, Junior Hoilett and Omar Bogle ensured Cardiff remained unbeaten at home this season.

The result sees Norwich City go eight games without a win, piling more pressure on manager Daniel Farke.

Match Report

Norwich started particularly poorly in this one, giving the ball away with just their second pass of the game and then inviting pressure on themselves with poor decisions in around their own box.

Cardiff looked to capitalise on the visitor’s slow start by delivering plenty of crosses into the opposition box, but Norwich dealt with the danger well.

Danny Ward was unlucky to find the net when he took a shot on first-time from the far side of the box, but the angle was too tight for the former Rotherham forward.

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And it was actually Norwich – despite Cardiff’s dominance – who had the best chance of the first 15 minutes.

Wes Hoolahan delivered an inch-perfect free-kick to find an unmarked Timm Klose in the centre of the box, but the centre back wasted the opportunity, heading straight into the arms of Neil Etheridge.

Then begun a long period of midfield battling between the two teams with neither keeping possession for prolonged periods with lots of strong challenges in midfield.

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Experienced midfielders Craig Bryson and Wes Hoolohan offered the key battle of the first half and neither really came out on top,perhaps summing up the first half.

Norwich ended the first half strongly with attacking threats Josh Murphy and Neilson Oliveira looking lively, and they would get their reward just before the break.

Cardiff cleared the initial corner, but Marco Stiepermann was waiting at the edge of the box to return a beautifully struck low drive into the back of Neil Etheridge’s net.

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Neil Warnock made a double change after going in behind at the break with Lee Tomlin and Omar Bogle replacing Craig Bryson and Danny Ward.

And the changes sparked Cardiff into life – the Bluebirds winning a corner almost immediately.

The initial corner forced two good saves from Angus Gunn, but the second corner would do a lot more damage.

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Sol Bamba headed the cross into the back of the Norwich net only for the referee to rule it out and give a penalty for a pull on Sean Morrison.

After plenty of confusion, Joe Ralls stepped up to take the spot kick and he made no mistake, finding the bottom corner excellently.

Ralls almost got another just moments after when struck a loose ball from close range, only to hit the underside of the bar.

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Cardiff didn’t have to wait long to complete the comeback, though, taking the lead just after the hour-mark through Junior Hoilett.

Half-time substitute lee Tomlin and Junior Hoilett worked the ball excellently between them before the latter set up Loic Damour for a shot on the edge of the box.

Damour’s effort was deflected back into the path of Hoilett, who took a touch and volleyed the ball into the top right corner. It wasn’t the sweetest of strikes, but it left Angus Gunn hopelessly back-peddling.

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Cardiff had a chance to put the game to bed shortly after when Lee Tomlin was brought down in the box by Angus Gunn.

Joe Ralls again stepped up, only to see his effort saved – Angus Gunn stood his ground the save the penalty which Ralls put straight down the middle.

A big chance missed, but Ralls could breath a sigh of relief shortly after when Cardiff did manage to put the game to bed.

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Lee Tomlin set a move in motion with an outrageous piece of skill to take two of his opponents out of the play, and the move would end with Omar Bogle turning home Callum Paterson’s low cross.

Another brilliant move for the Bluebirds who opened up Norwich City far too easily, especially from Daniel Farke’s view.

Norwich remained lively late on but they didn’t have enough to breach an excellent Cardiff defence and the final whistle ensured eight without a win for the canaries, while Cardiff now have four consecutive wins.

Man of the Match – Sol Bamba

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Another performance to saviour for the Cardiff City centre back who stood out once again with a number of heroic last-ditch challenges.

Sean Morrison was also very good next to Bamba, but the Ivorian just had the edge on him with those sensational challenges.

Notable mentions elsewhere for Junior Hoilett and Lee Tomlin when he came on at the break, changing the game for the Bluebirds.

Final Word

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Another fantastic win for the Bluebirds who are now 10 unbeaten at home and yet to lose at the Cardiff City Stadium this season.

It simply wasn’t working in the first-half and Neil Warnock was brave to make two changes at the break, and it certainly paid off.

Cardiff showed yet another side to their game with even more character and they can now enjoy an extending break before taking on Reading on December 11th, knowing they are safe in second place.