Premier League - Everton denied blatant penalty in Cardiff draw

Premier League, Cardiff City Stadium – Cardiff City 0 Everton 0

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Premier League - Everton denied blatant penalty in Cardiff draw
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Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard grabs the ball (Reuters)

Everton were denied a clear penalty and Cardiff’s Craig Bellamy was fortunate to escape a red card in a mildly contentious but rather boring 0-0 draw at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Bellamy went unpunished when flinging an elbow at Leighton Baines in the opening minutes but the curious incident was not the most glaring officiating mistake in a first half that saw referee Anthony Taylor somehow fail to award a penalty when Gary Medel clearly tripped Baines in the box.

Though Peter Whittingham almost scored directly from a corner for Cardiff, Tim Howard clawing his effort out, Everton had the greater weight of chances and only a brilliant reflex save from David Marshall prevented a deflected Nikica Jelavic header from sneaking over the line in first-half injury time.

Cardiff had a rare chance when Kim Bo-Kyung opened up the defence with a glorious through-ball for Bellamy in the second half but the forward’s first touch was far too heavy as he went well wide of Howard.

The draw means a healthy return of four points from three games for promoted Cardiff; Everton, meanwhile, have been held to a point in all three of their league games under Roberto Martinez.

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KEY MOMENTS

PRE-MATCH: United targets both start. Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini were both included in the Everton line-up despite being the subject of multiple offers from Manchester United. Cardiff, unsurprisingly, were unchanged after a 3-2 win over Manchester City.

17’ – CHANCE: It’s Whittingham with the corner and his wicked delivery threatens to sneak in for a goal before Howard claws at the ball to keep it out. Kim then fires off target.

29’ - BIG CHANCE FOR EVERTON: Neat work from the visiting side leads to a Jelavic cross from the left and though he picks out Mirallas arriving from deep, the Belgian is again guilty of a wasteful header as he puts the ball wide. That’s the second he has missed now.

41’ – CLEAR PENALTY DENIED: Baines gets to the ball ahead of Medel after first nicking it away from Gunnarsson and is brought to ground by a clumsy challenge from the Chilean. Had to be a spot-kick, but somehow the ref plays on.

45+2’ - WHAT A SAVE: A tremendous stop from Marshall to deny Jelavic. The ball took a deflection off Turner but the keeper stuck out his hand to somehow keep the ball out.

62’ - CHANCE FOR CARDIFF: Bellamy gets in behind the defence to collect a lovely through-ball from Kim but his touch is far too heavy as he rounds Howard and he can’t get a shot away from a tight, tight angle!

TALKING POINT: Will Bellamy find himself in trouble? The Cardiff forward clearly threw an elbow at Baines – an act that somehow went unpunished. After the ridiculous failure to punish Callum McManaman for his reckless tackle on Massadio Haidara last season the FA has changed the rule on retrospective punishment and the governing body can now take action if the match officials are not in a position to “fully assess” the incident, rather than if they missed it entirely. This could be an early test of the new guidelines.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

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KEY STATS

Infostrada: The last time the two teams met in the league, Everton won 8-3 at home in the old Division One in April 1962.

Infostrada: Everton have not won in their last 10 Premier League away matches, since a 2-1 victory at Newcastle United in January.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff): Brought some rare imagination to proceedings with a sparky performance, popping up wide and through the centre and delivering a killer ball for Bellamy that should have brought a goal.

PLAYER RATINGS

Cardiff: Marshall 7, Connolly 5, Taylor 5, Caulker 6, Turner 6, Whittingham 6, Medel 7, Kim 7, Gunnarsson 6, Bellamy 6, Campbell 6. Subs: Cowie 6, Maynard 7, Mutch N/A

Everton: Howard 7, Coleman 6, Jagielka 7, Distin 6, Baines 6, Mirallas 5, Osman 6, Fellaini 6, Pienaar 5, Barkley 6, Jelavic 5. Subs: Kone 6, Deulofeu 7.

MATCH IN A TWEET

#CCFC 0-0 #EFC - The tedious yang to last weekend's thrilling yin in Cardiff; Baines's obvious penalty (not given) aside, a snoozefest.

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