A revitalised Cardiff City defeated Bristol City at the Cardiff City stadium by two goals to one thanks to goals from Peter Whittingham and new signing Sol Bamba.
Warnock decided to opt with a 4-2-3-1, a formation he is familiar with and the formation he used to get Queens Park Rangers into the Premier league in the 2010/2011 season, as a result of this Cardiff started much better than in previous weeks under Trollope. Many fans must have been scratching their heads wondering if they were watching the same team? But this is Neil Warnock we are talking about- his record of getting mediocre teams to play outstanding football speaks for itself, Having guided Rotherham to safety last season going eleven games unbeaten he was hoping for the same kind of fate at Cardiff but his expectations are a lot more ‘highly regarded’ following the Bluebirds’ recent stint in the Premier league.
Due to Cardiff being the much better of the two sides, they got exactly what they deserved when Joe Bryan Brought Craig Noone down in the penalty area. Peter Whittingham’s penalty never looked in doubt, as he sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to send the City faithful into absolute scenes of delirium. Cardiff continued to press Bristol City high up the pitch with Aron Gunnarsson’s aggression and determination to win every loose ball. Any lost cause and he would be on the scene, A Warnock type of player in which he will cherish. Half time came to a close and this was the first time a Cardiff City player had scored a goal at home. A quite astonishing statistic. The only other previous time Cardiff had scored at home was against Blackburn Rovers when Shane Duffy scored two own goals.
Into the second half and there were still no real signs of a threat from Bristol City or top goalscorer Tammy Abraham, who new signing Sol Bamba kept quiet all night. Bristol City did appear to have more energy about them, however they were lacking that cutting edge in the final third and this was a credit to the way Neil Warnock had set Cardiff up. They looked like a team who had a desire to win a game at last.
Cardiff extended their lead on the 67th minute when Sol Bamba scrambled home from a corner. How fitting was that? Best player on the night scoring the second and what would surely turn out to be the goal which sealed all three points for Cardiff City.
Bristol City responded immediately through a controversial Lee Tomlin goal- as it appeared Cardiff’s Lex Immers was brought down in the build up to the goal. Substitute Bobby Reid Should of equalised late on but his effort from just three yards was bundled over the bar as Cardiff held onto what could turn out to be a momentous three points to kick start their fluttering start to the season. The win was enough to remove Cardiff out of the bottom three up to 19th in the league table.
Man of the Match Award:
Unbelievable debut from the Ivory Coast International, won almost every duel with free scoring Tammy Abraham and was there when Cardiff needed him the most. Led the back line excellently, which Cardiff hadn’t seen in previous weeks and provided the telling goal. A great asset to the team and could be the best bit of business Warnock has done out of the four players he has brought in over the past few days.