Cardiff City 2:1 Leicester City
City suffered their third consecutive defeat at Cardiff on Tuesday night, despite a battling second half performance.
Nigel Pearson made five changes to his side for this wintry midweek trip to South Wales with Brown, Powell, Kermorgant, Dyer and Oakley out and Neilson, Solano, Spearing, Gallagher and N’Guessan in.
This re-jigged line-up went a goal down after just nine minutes however. Whitingham fed th eball to Atuthu who made room for himself to fire in a shot. Weale could only parry it into the path of McCormack who fired it home.
This was not a good start for a side on a poor run and for a while Cardiff threatened to run riot.
Burke went close with a shot and then King cleared a McCormack effort on the line.
Substitue Matthews then went on a long run beating five black shirt before firing over.
Just when it looked as though City had limited Cardiff’s first half lead to a single goal, there was late drama.
McCormack had a shot saved by Weale, Rae latched on to the rebound and squared for Whittingham to make it 2-0.
Seconds later Waghorn appeared to have got the ball at least a yard over the goal line directly from a corner, but the linesman didn’t give it and Cardiff charged down the other end, Burke crossing for Etuhu who wasted a golden opportunity with a poor header.
City started the second half in determined fashion, with Howard on for N’Guessan, and it took him only seven minutes to score. Waghorn swung another good corner over, Bluebirds’ keeper Marshall flapped at it and it fell for Howard to pull a goal back with a low drive from close in.
City looked a different team in this half and piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser.
It looked as though the breakthrough had come in the 70th minute when Vaughan (just on for Waghorn) was sent clean through by Solano, but Gyepes dragged him down with a crude challenge just outside the area, sacrficing himself to save the points. Gyepes did indeed see red and Gallagher made nothing of the free-kick.
The last 20 minutes were all Leicester, but they couldn’t find a way through against a dogged Cardiff rearguard action, with one man off and another injured.
Wellens, Spearing and Vaughan all went close but the Bluebirds held out through 5 minutes time added on to make it three defeats in a row for Nigel Pearson’s side. The City boss refused to be downhearted however: “There are a lot of positives from tonight’s performance. We have worked very hard to get ourselves in this position and I am not feeling downbeat about it. I have seen enough encouraging signs from the second-half performance to suggest that we can finish the season very strongly.”
Cardiff: Marshall, Quinn, Gyepes, Kennedy (Capaldi 60), Burke, Whittingham, Rae, Blake (Matthews 35), McPhail, McCormack, Etuhu (Feeney 65). Subs Not Used: Chopra, Enckelman, Taiwo, Wildig.
Leicester: Weale, Hobbs, Neilson (Adams 83), Morrison, King, Solano, Wellens, Spearing, Gallagher, N’Guessan (Howard 46), Waghorn (Vaughan 69). Subs Not Used: Powell, Logan, Oakley, Kermorgant.
Referee: F Graham (Essex). Attendance: 20,438.