28 January 2018
Cardiff failed to cause a shock by beating Premier League leaders Manchester City, as Man City comfortably won to progress into the FA Cup fifth round.
There was a record attendance of 32,339 watching at the Cardiff City Stadium but, the excitement that there was before the game was muted eight minutes in through Kevin De Bruyne. After Bernardo Silva had a shot saved and then Ilkay Gündogan was fouled, De Bruyne stepped up and fired under a jumping Cardiff wall.
Junior Hoilett was inches away from levelling the game as his long-range volley was spilt by Claudio Bravo, but he managed to get back before the ball did go over the line.
In the 25th minute, Bernardo Silva thought he had doubled the lead with a thunderous effort but, the assistant referee disallowed it as he thought that Leroy Sané was interfering from an offside position. He was interfering but it was hard to see whether he was offside or not. VAR probably would’ve sorted the decision.
In the 37th minute, Man City did double their lead. It was Raheem Sterling who scored it after a wonderful cross from Bernardo Silva found him and he headed in. There was some static defending by the Cardiff defence, which gave Sterling so much space.
Right at the end of the half, Leroy Sane was on the end of a challenge by Joe Bennett which injured him badly. There was no intention from Bennett of injuring Sane, he was just trying to stop him from getting into the box to create an opportunity to score. But, it was a poor studs-up challenge which means that Sane could be out for a month.
The second half was pretty comfortable for Man City, but Cardiff did have a couple of efforts. Hoilett had a brilliant effort which skimmed the top of the goal and Kenneth Zohore fired high and wide with a decent chance.
Man City also had more chances, with Sterling only being stopped from scoring by a well-timed tackle from Sean Morrison. Silva also had a good chance but, he didn’t place it right and Neil Etheridge was able to save.
Etheridge had to make another save, this time to deny Danilo. Cardiff ended the game with 10 men after a silly foul by Bennett got him a second yellow card and he is now suspended for the game against Leeds next Saturday.
This was a fixture which produced a memorable upset in 1994, as Nathan Blake’s spectacular curling effort gave Cardiff, who were then struggling in the third tier, a 1-0 win at Ninian Park. But, there was never really the prospect of a repeat of that upset as Man City eased to victory, despite Cardiff’s best efforts. Cardiff couldn’t deal with the quick movement and passing of Man City.
Cardiff’s attentions will turn back to the Championship, with a big game away at Leeds next Saturday, the 3 February. Hopefully we can keep our promotion push up.