Cardiff City 0-0 Reading- We are going up!

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Cardiff got promoted to the Premier League with a draw against Reading, as Fulham lost to Birmingham 3-1.

It’s an incredible achievement from a team who were second from bottom when Neil Warnock came in to the club in October 2016. He has transformed the club and now we are a Premier League team.

It helped a lot that Fulham lost as that took the pressure off us. It was a frustrating game, as Reading’s stubborn defence kept us at bay and restricted us from any clear chances.

Junior Hoilett had a decent effort in the first half, as he fired a curling effort narrowly wide from the edge of the box. Kenneth Zohore also came close, but his effort was blocked inside the box.

In the second half, Zohore had another effort, this time firing over. Craig Bryson forced Vito Mannone into a save with a effort which lacked any power.

In the end, we didn’t need to score and at the final whistle the fans ran onto the pitch, with everyone ecstatic. What an achievement!

Warnock fully deserves to be manager of the season. He has made this happen and he has done an incredible. He deserves all the praise he gets. He says this is his greatest ever achievement and it is no wonder.

In the end we finish two points above Fulham. Reading on the other hand escape relegation, finishing 20th.

Now the focus is on next season with the target to stay up in the Premier League.

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Hull City 0-2 Cardiff City

28 April 2018

Two goals from Sean Morrison earned Cardiff a massive win to keep our automatic promotion hopes in our hands.

The game didn’t start too well for Cardiff, with Aron Gunnarsson having to go off inside 10 minutes. His season has been affected a lot by injury.

Hull created a couple of decent chances early on. One of them was a Fraizer Campbell effort which Sol Bamba excellently blocked.

In the 32nd minute, Morrison gave us a lead with a header from Joe Ralls’ corner. He’s now scored six headers this season and this one was one of the biggest. Hull were arguing that their goalkeeper Allan McGregor was fouled.

Junior Hoilett came close to doubling our lead, as he forced McGregor into a double save in stoppage time at the end of the first half.

In the second half, Callum Paterson nearly scored with a header from Hoilett’s cross, with McGregor making another save to deny Paterson.

The important second goal, which all but sealed the win, came in the 80th minute through Morrison again. After Nathaniel Mendez-Laing had broken away and carried the ball a long way, he found Morrison inside the box, who cut inside on his left foot before firing into the far corner.

This is one of the biggest victories of the season. It was a must-win game and we got the victory through two goals from our skipper. Hull had been doing quite well recently, so it was always going to be a tough game.

The victory takes us back above Fulham into second after Fulham had beaten Sunderland 2-1 on Friday. Next up for us is the least game of the season at home to Reading next Sunday, the 6 May. Reading are still in danger of being relegated and so are Birmingham, who Fulham travel to. If we win, we will be a Premier League team next season.

Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham

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21 April 2018

Ander Herrera’s winner sent Man United into a record-equalling 20th FA Cup final and condemned Tottenham to their eighth successive defeat at this stage of the competition.

Spurs started a lot stronger and took the lead in the 11th minute through Dele Alli. After Davinson Sanchez’s long ball to Christian Eriksen caught Ashley Young out of position, Eriksen crossed in to find Alli who had made a late run into the box.

United managed to get through the pressure and got a foothold on the game. In the 24th minute, United equalised through Alexis Sanchez. Paul Pogba dispossessed Moussa Dembele before crossing brilliantly into Sanchez, who headed in. It was his eighth goal in eight games at Wembley.

Pogba came close to scoring towards the end of the first half with an effort from outside the box, which Michel Vorm managed to save in the corner.

Eric Dier came very close to score in stoppage time with a deflected shot which hit the post. David de Gea was stranded and had no chance.

In the second half, in the 62nd minute United took the lead through Ander Herrera. Sanchez passed the ball to Romelu Lukaku, whose poor touch ended up going right into the path of Herrera, who ran onto the ball and fired a low strike into the back of the net.

There wasn’t many clear chances for either team during the second half. Eriksen had an effort which went narrowly wide and Pogba had an effort saved. In the end United held on to make the final.

This loss means that Spurs have once again gone trophyless in a season and the question will still be when are they going to win a trophy.

For United, it sets up a chance to win our only trophy of the season. The final will be against Chelsea on Saturday, the 19 May, after Chelsea beat Southampton 2-0 in their semi-final.

This was Sanchez’s best performance for United. He has struggled to do the things that he will get judged on so far for United. But, in this game he stepped it up and showed the quality, which lead to us signing him.

Next up for United are Arsenal at home next Sunday, the 29 April. Hopefully we can seal our place in the top four with a victory.

Cardiff City 2-1 Nottingham Forest

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21 April 2018

Aron Gunnarsson scored a massive goal to beat Nottingham Forest to take a big step towards promotion to the Premier League.

Forest had a couple of decent chances in the first half. Joe Lolley fired over after the ball came to him inside the box early on. Liam Bridcutt also had a chance, with his effort being saved by Neil Etheridge.

City were always threatening from set-pieces. Gunnarsson had an effort from a corner which was saved, before the deadlock was broken through a Sean Morrison header from a corner in the 35th minute. He’s now scored five goals this season, all of them headers.

Morrison had another header soon after that, but didn’t get the right direction and it went wide. As long as it was only 1-0, Forest had a chance.

In the second half, Kenneth Zohore had a great chance to double the lead after Gunnarsson had played him through, but his chipped effort hit the inside of the post before Danny Fox cleared the ball.

Zohore was made to pay for that miss two minutes later, as poor defending from City lead to Ben Osborn crossing in for Bridcutt to slot in.

It looked as if Cardiff were going to drop to third as there wasn’t any clear sign of us getting a winner. But, in the 74th minute, Junior Hoilett’s free-kick went to the back post, with Sol Bamba heading the ball across to Gunnarsson to acrobatically fire in to spark wild celebrations amongst the players and fans.

Bamba nearly handed Forest a chance for an equaliser as he passed straight to Osborn, who passed it into the box leading to a scramble, with City managing to clear. In the end we held on for a win to remain second, one point above Fulham with a game in hand.

This is another massive win and we now need to win two wins out of our last three games to clinch promotion.

Next up for the Bluebirds is a trip to Derby next Tuesday, the 24 April for the rearranged game. Hopefully we can take another step towards promotion to the Premier League.

Norwich 0-2 Cardiff City

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14 April 2018

Late goals from Kenneth Zohore and Junior Hoilett against Norwich regained Cardiff second place in the league.

Norwich started the brighter in the first half, with Cardiff trying to use their pace on the counter-attack. Dennis Srbeny had an effort which Neil Etheridge saved early on.

Craig Bryson had a couple of efforts in the first half. He fired the first effort over after being set up by Nathaniel Mendez-Laing. The second effort was on target after Gary Madine had layed it off to him. Angus Gunn saved the effort.

Norwich came closest in the first half. Srbeny hit the post from Moritz Leitner’s near-post corner. Srbeny had another effort in stoppage time, which was excellently blocked by Sean Morrison after Bruno Manga had been dispossessed. Manga had started on the bench, but he had to come on for Sol Bamba who was injured.

After the break, the Bluebirds had the first key chance, with Junior Hoilett’s cross finding Manga, who headed across goal and wide.

Zohore came on for Madine in the 73rd minute and he had an effort soon after that, as he fired wide after being found by Hoilett in the box.

Zohore did score in the 86th minute to put us ahead. Following a Aron Gunnarsson long throw, the ball came out to Morrison, who headed over the defence to Zohore whose header was saved, before he slotted inside the near post from the rebound.

In stoppage time at the end of the game, Hoilett sealed the win with a superb volley from outside the box. This was a fantastic response to the last two results against Wolves and Aston Villa.

With Brentford scoring right at the death two draw 1-1 with Fulham, we are back in second place, with a game in hand over Fulham. With Fulham drawing, Wolves are officially promoted to the Premier League.

This was a good performance, especially defensively and we showed our clinical side with the goals late on.

Next up is a home game against Nottingham Forest next Saturday, the 21 April. It is another huge game and hopefully we can go one step closer to promotion to the Premier League.

Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United

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7 April 2018

A remarkable second-half fightback from Man United to come from two goals down to win the Manchester derby means that Man City must wait to secure the Premier League title.

City were by far the better team in the first half. Bernardo Silva came close to scoring, but he couldn’t poke the ball past David de Gea.

City took the lead in the 25th minute through captain Vincent Kompany with a header from a corner. Leroy Sané took the corner, with Kompany getting ahead of Chris Smalling to head in. Smalling was pulling Kompany’s shirt but, Kompany still managed to score.

City doubled their lead in the 30th minute through Ilkay Gündogan. Raheem Sterling passed the ball to Gündogan, who turned past the defender before finishing into the corner.

Sterling should’ve added more goals in the first half. He twice fired over the bar from very good positions. Gündogan also had a good chance with a header straight at de Gea after being set up by Fernandinho.

In the second half, Gündogan came close again, this time striking against the outside of the right-hand post. United were starting to improve since the break.

In the 53rd minute, Paul Pogba pulled a goal back. Alexis Sanchez made some space for himself before finding Ander Herrera, who chested the ball to Pogba, who fired past Ederson.

Two minutes later the score was level due to another goal by Pogba. Sanchez was involved again, this time finding Pogba with a delightful pass over top, with Pogba heading in.

In the 69th minute the comeback was complete due to Smalling scoring. From a Sanchez free-kick he crossed it over the top to Smalling who volleyed past de Gea. It was very poor defending from City.

City had an appeal for a penalty when Ashley Young went high with a challenge on Sergio Aguero. But, the referee waved their appeal away.

Aguero thought he had scored with a header, but de Gea pulled off another spectacular save to deny him. Sterling once again came close in the last few minutes with the ball deflecting off him against the post, with de Gea reacting to kick the ball away.

In the end United held on to postpone City’s title celebrations. They still remain 13 points clear at the top with six games remaining.

It wasn’t just the scoreline which changed in the second half, it was Pogba’s performance. In the first half he struggled to have any effect and his hair was the only thing getting noticed.

But, in the second half he was much improved scoring two goals and having a much bigger effect on the game. He helped United get back into the game.

Next up for United is a home game against West Brom. Hopefully we can continue our winning form and make City wait another week to win the title.

Cardiff City 0-1 Wolves

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6 April 2018

Cardiff missed two stoppage-time penalties as we lost to Championship leaders Wolves in a dramatic finale.

Wolves had most of the possession for most of the game but failed to create many chances. Ruben Neves had a swerving long-range effort saved by Neil Etheridge. Diogo Jota also had an effort which Etheridge saved well.

We had some decent chances as well. Sol Bamba had a decent chance with a header from a corner, but failed to get a good connection on it. Joe Bennett had a very good chance after being played through by Junior Hoilett but, he fired wide. Yanic Wildschut nearly scored a brilliant goal, but his free-kick was saved in the top corner by John Ruddy.

Early on in the second half, after rounding Etheridge, Léo Bonatini struck the post from a very tight angle. That was one of their best chances.

In the 67th minute, Wolves took the lead with a brilliant free-kick by Neves. After a debatable free-kick was given against Sean Morrison, Neves stepped up to fire into the top corner from 25 yards.

But, city didn’t stop trying. Aron Gunnarsson came very close with a long-range effort. As long as the score was still only 1-0 there was a chance.

Wolves should’ve doubled the lead in the 86th minute through Helder Costa. After Neves had played the ball over the top, Costa managed to get around Lee Peltier, only to put his effort wide with only Etheridge to beat.

Then the big action came. In stoppage time at the end of the game, we were awarded a penalty for a foul by Conor Coady on Anthony Pilkington. But, Gary Madine’s poor penalty was saved in the bottom corner by Ruddy.

But, just when Wolves thought that was it, another penalty as awarded with virtually the last kick of the game for a foul on Gunnarsson. But, this time it was Hoilett who failed to score, firing against the crossbar.

The referee blew the whistle straight after that, with Wolves holding on to extend their lead at the top of the table to nine points. The now only need five points from their final five games to secure promotion back to the Premier League.

There was confrontation after the game between Neil Warnock and Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo after Nuno had run onto the pitch celebrating before shaking Warnock’s hand.

We remain second in the league, but the gap to Fulham has been cut down to two points after Fulham beat Sheffield Wednesday. We do have a game in hand though.

Next up for us is a massive game at Aston Villa next Tuesday, the 10 April. Hopefully we can get back to winning ways.

Manchester United 2-0 Swansea

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31 March 2018

Romelu Lukaku scored his 100th Premier League goal as Man United comfortable beat Swansea and strengthened the grip on second place, whilst denting Swansea’s survival hopes.

United opened the scoring in the fifth minute through Lukaku. Jesse Lingard passed the ball to Alexis Sanchez, who played it to Lukaku, who took one touch before firing into the top left corner to finish for his 100th Premier League goal.

Lukaku came close to scoring soon after that, as he had a shot pushed away by Lukasz Fabianski. Lingard also had an effort saved by Fabianski.

In the 20th minute, United did double the lead through Sanchez. Lingard played the ball through to Sanchez who fired into the corner for his second goal for the club since joining in January.

In the second half, Juan Mata came close to adding to the lead, as he volleyed over after being set up by Paul Pogba.

Swansea were second best by far during the first half, but they improved after the break. Tammy Abraham forced David de Gea into a save after being fed by Tom Carroll and turning inside in the box.

Soon after, Abraham was thwarted again by de Gea, who brilliantly saved Abraham’s effort. He is the best goalkeeper in the world.

In the end it was a comfortable afternoon for United. The first half was more like the way we should be playing every game and hopefully it continues.

Lukaku has received so much criticism this season, yet he has scored 26 goals in all competitions and his link-up play has improved with each game.

We remain second in the league, 16 points off leaders Man City. City will have the chance to win the league next Saturday in the Manchester derby. Swansea are 15th, three points above the relegation zone.

Next up for United is the Manchester derby next Saturday, the 7 April at the Etihad. Hopefully we can stop City from winning the league next week and continue our winning form.

Cardiff City 3-1 Burton Albion

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30 March 2018

Cardiff made it eight wins in a row and took another step towards automatic promotion with victory over struggling Burton Albion.

In the 16th minute Cardiff took the lead through Kenneth Zohore. Junior Hoilett was the supplier, with a cross to the near post, where Zohore was to finish for his fourth goal in his last six games.

But, the lead didn’t last long, as Burton equalised in the 21st minute through Darren Bent. Lloyd Dyer crossed the ball low across the face of goal, giving Bent a tap in at the back post.

Craig Bryson should’ve put City back in front, as he fired wide after Nathaniel Mendez-Laing had beaten the keeper to the ball on the wing and crossing it in for him.

In stoppage time at the end of the first half, City did go back in front through Mendez-Laing, who fired into the roof of the net after Zohore had headed the ball on.

Burton had played quite well in the first half, but City were by far the better team in the second half. Sol Bamba and Sean Morrison both had goals disallowed so it could’ve been even more comfortable. In the 64th minute, Callum Paterson doubled the lead. Hoilett crossed the ball in to Bryson, who chested the ball down to Paterson to fire home.

It was a solid performance from the Bluebirds. One big encouragement will be that Aron Gunnarsson was able to return to the team after a lengthy injury, as he came on as a substitute in the second half.

This victory makes it eight wins in a row and it is the best winning run of Neil Warnock’s managerial career. It also makes it twelve games unbeaten.

The Bluebirds remain second in the league, seven points above third-placed Fulham and nine points above fourth-placed Aston Villa, who drew 0-0 at Hill. We also have a game in hand over both teams. Burton drop to the foot of the table, six points adrift of safety.

Next up for the Bluebirds is a trip to Sheffield United next Monday, the 2 April. Hopefully we can continue our winning form or at least get something out of the game.

Cardiff City 3-2 Birmingham

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10 March 2018

Cardiff held on against Birmingham to win a sixth successive Championship match and remain in a strong position in an automatic promotion spot.

Cardiff were positive from the off. Junior Hoilett had an early effort which was saved in the top corner. Cardiff did take the lead in the 12th minute through Nathaniel Mendez-Laing. He received the ball on the left, before cutting inside and firing into the bottom corner from outside the box for his first goal since August.

The Bluebirds scored again in the 23rd minute through Craig Bryson. Following a corner, the ball fell to Joe Bennett who fired the ball along the floor, with Bryson flicking in. Bryson had to go off in the 37th minute because of an injury and was replaced by Loïc Damour.

In stoppage time at the end of the half, Cardiff scored another through Callum Paterson. Bennett crossed the ball in, with Paterson on the end of it to score.

Birmingham came out with more fight in the second half and got back into the game. In the 54th minute, the referee gave a penalty for a foul by Marko Grujic on Harlee Dean. It didn’t look like anything had happened. Craig Gardner converted the penalty.

We should’ve had a penalty of our own when Hoilett was clearly fouled from behind, but for some reason the referee didn’t give it. Sol Bamba was shown a yellow card for his protests.

Michael Morrison could’ve made the game very interesting if he had scored in the 65th minute. From Jota’s corner, he managed to get free, but from point-blank range he fired straight at Neil Etheridge, who managed to keep it out.

Substitute Che Adams also came close, dragging a left-footed strike wide. Hoilett should’ve finished the game when he was one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but he fired wide when he should’ve squared for Kenneth Zohore to tap in.

Maxime Colin’s brilliant finish deep into injury-time into the top corner gave Birmingham slight hope but, in the end we held on.

We remain second in the league, four points ahead of third-placed Aston Villa and only three points behind Wolves, who lost 4-1 to Villa. Birmingham remain 22nd, two points adrift of safety. They have now lost eight Championship games in a row.

Next up for the Bluebirds is a trip to Brentford next Tuesday, the 13 March. Hopefully we continue our winning form and our six match winning run.