Cardiff come from behind yet again to claim victory over Wolves


Cardiff City 2 : 1 Wolves

Junior Hoilett scored a goal of the season contender as Cardiff City bested Wolves 2-1 at the Cardiff City Stadium. On eve of manager Neil Warnock’s 70th birthday, the Bluebirds boss was given an early gift as the Welsh outfit managed to come from behind to earn a vital three points.

Much of the pre-game had been centred around the two managers as eight months ago the two clashed at full-time during a dramatic Championship clash.

A Ruben Neves free-kick ultimately gave the visitors a 1-0 win that day. But two missed Cardiff penalties and post match heated words exchanged between managers dominated proceedings.

Warnock will be extra pleased his side have managed to avenge that defeat and yet again come from behind to claim victory, the method of all three of their wins this season.

The former Sheffield United boss would not have been pleased with how his team fell behind, however. Slack concentration from Bruno Ecuele Manga allowed Raul Jiminez to ghost in from a corner. His header was well saved by Neil Etheridge in the Cardiff goal but defender Matt Doherty pounced to smash home the rebound and give Nuno Espirito Santo’s men a crucial advantage.

The visitors were the better unit in the first half, with Cardiff’s greatest threat being posed from Aron Gunnarsson’s long throw-ins although they did nearly level through a wonderful Harry Arter effort. Wolves failed to clear their lines from a corner and the former Bournemouth midfielder ran onto the ball from the edge of the box and smashed an effort onto the post.

The second half promised more.

The hosts came out invigorated and slowly grew in confidence. They restored parity just after the hour mark. Harry Arter’s hooked a pass into the penalty area where Sean Morrison flicked the ball on with the onrushing goalkeeper Rui Patricio in no mans land,  being softly bumped by Callum Patterson. Gunnarsson chested the ball at an awkward height and slotted home and it was no more than Cardiff deserved.

Still the home side pressed on as they looked to grasp the initiative. Junior Hoilett, Gunnarrson and Arter also caused the Wolves back line problems and their constant pressure was duly rewarded in the most spectacular way.

Bobby Reid found his shot blocked from close range but the ball span out to Hoilett who cut inside from the left wing and send the ball back where it came from with a delightful, curling, first-time effort.

The visitors were starting to struggle dealing with Gunnarsson’s long throw-ins as the hosts grew in aggression, fostering several half chances.

With the game becoming more stretched, space opened up for both sides, who spurned chances to both level and extend the scoreline respectively.

Diogo Jota and academy product Morgan Gibbs-White went close to bringing the away side back into the game. Jota’s chance flamed out due to indecision from Ivan Cavaleiro in the build-up. Gibbs-Morgan found himself free at the far post but his left-footed half-volley from a Cavaleiro cross was high and wide.

The win ensured a happy 70th birthday for Neil Warnock
Photo: Premier League

The Cardiff supporters roared their side on as they willed them to close out the game and lift themselves out of the relegation zone before a vital run of fixtures of Christmas.

Reid could have put the game to bed as another Gunnarsson throw caused mayhem in the Wolverhampton penalty box. Joe Ralls’ shot was deflected and almost into the path of the English forward who just could not make contact to guide it past Patricio.

Warnock conducted his team from the touchline until referee Andre Marriner blew his whistle for the final time much to the pleasure of the Cardiff faithful.


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