Premier League - Cardiff seal huge win over wretched Fulham

Premier League, Cardiff City Stadium - Cardiff City (Jones 45’ 67’ Reither (o.g.) 71’) Fulham 1 (Holtby 59’)

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Premier League - Cardiff seal huge win over wretched Fulham
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Steven Caulker celebrates scoring for Cardiff against Fulham (Reuters)

Cardiff City kept their survival hopes alive with a 3-1 win against Fulham.

In the first half, Ashkan Dejagah rattled the side-netting with an early chance from a Johnny Heitinga pass. Cardiff had the best of the half, with Fraizer Campbell’s shot saved well. Kenwyne Jones also brought a smart save from Maarten Stekelenburg.

Then, just before half-time, Fabio crossed to Jones, who glanced a header behind for Noone to blast across goal. The ball deflected off Sascha Riether into the path of Stephen Caulker to tap in.

Jones missed a great chance at the start of the half, heading wide a cross at the back post, and on 59 minutes Fulham equalised. A Giorgos Karagounis corner was flicked on by Heitinga, giving Lewis Holtby an easy tap in.

Minutes later, Caulker had his second, heading straight at Stekelenburg, who dived under it; a huge error. On 72 minutes, Reither scored an own goal as the ball hit him after Mutch’s header bounced off Stekelenburg and onto the defender, the ball rolling into the net.

KEY EVENTS

10’ - DEJAGAH SHOT - From a tight angle, Dejagah has Fulham’s best chance of the half, hitting the side-netting from an acute angle.

16’ - STEKELENBURG SAVE - Frazier Campbell cuts in from the left, and has a curling shot athletically palmed away.

45’ - JONES CHANCE - Mutch pulls a low cross to the back post for Jones. His shot is straight at the middle of the goal but Stekelenburg gets across quickly to save well.

45+1’ - CAULKER GOAL - Noone’s deflected shot is straight into Caulker’s path, and he has an empty net to aim for.

59’ - HOLTBY EQUALISER - Karagounis sends in a corner, Heitinga flicks it on to present Holtby with an open goal.

67’ - CAULKER’S SECOND - Mutch curls in a corner, and Caulker’s header is straight at Stekelenburg but he dives underneath it and Cardiff are back in front.

71’ - REITHER OWN GOAL - Noone curls in a great cross, Mutch heads against Stekelenburg and the ball bounces off him, and then Reither, and the ball is in the net.

KEY STATS

Cardiff have the best disciplinary record in the top-flight picking up just 35 yellow cards and no reds.

Fulham have gone 14 Barclays Premier League away matches without a clean sheet.

Fulham have won one and lost eight of their last 11 Barclays Premier League away games.

Cardiff are the only team in the Premier League that are yet to give away or win a penalty kick this season.

Fulham are four points from safety.

MATCHCAST: FULL MATCH STATS AND COMMENTARY

TALKING POINT

Is Magath already on borrowed time? It appears to be the Fulham way. Given the results are no better than under Rene Meulensteen or Martin Jol, the owners are probably planning yet another change to see if that makes a difference. It won't - the problem is the risible quality of the squad.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City): While Caulker scored two for Cardiff, and Mutch and Noone also contributed, Kim constantly kept Fulham on the back foot with his ability to start counter-attacks and get forward quickly.

PLAYER RATINGS

Cardiff: Marshall 7, John 6, Caulker 7, Turner 6, Fabio 6, Medel 6, Kim 7, Mutch 7, Noone 7, Jones 6, Campbell 6. Subs: Eikrem 6,Theophile-Catherine 6, Daehli 6.

Fulham: Stekelenburg 5, Riether 5, Heitinga 6, Hangeland 5, Riise 5, Dejagah 6, Sidwell 6, Holtby 6, Richardson 5, Mitroglou 6, Woodrow 5. Subs: Kaçaniklic 5, Karagounis 6, Bent 6.

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