Saturday 8 March 2014, 3:00pm at Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
Barclays Premier League
Cardiff City
Cardiff City
Caulker 45'+1, 67'; o.g. Riether 71'
Fulham FC
Holtby 59'

45'+1 Goal

Steven Caulker

67' Goal

Steven Caulker
Assist by Jordon Mutch

71' Own-goal

Sascha Riether

56' Yellow Card

Kim Bo-Kyung Card was given for a foul

72' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Mats Daehli
Off:Fraizer Campbell

81' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Magnus Wolff Eikrem
Off:Gary Medel

90' Substitution

Player was substituted due to an injury
On:Kévin Théophile-Catherine
Off:Ben Turner

59' Goal

Lewis Holtby
Assist by Johnny Heitinga

45' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Alexander Kacaniklic
Off:John Arne Riise

50' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Giorgos Karagounis
Off:Ashkan Dejagah

76' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Darren Bent
Off:Cauley Woodrow

Fulham’s Barclays Premier League survival hopes took a blow after defeat at fellow strugglers Cardiff City.

Fulham’s survival hopes took a blow after defeat at fellow strugglers Cardiff.

In a tense and edgy first 45 minutes, Cardiff went in front on the stroke of half-time when captain Steven Caulker tapped home Craig Noone’s cross-shot from close range.

Lewis Holtby hauled the Whites level in similar fashion just before the hour mark after John Heitinga had flicked on a corner from substitute Giorgos Karagounis.

But Caulker, who scored for the Bluebirds in their 2-1 win at the Cottage earlier this season, nodded Cardiff back in front with his second of the game in the 67th minute.

And four minutes later, the hosts put the game beyond Fulham’s reach as Jordon Mutch’s header was saved by Maarten Stekelenburg but hit Sascha Riether and rolled over the line.

Fulham boss Felix Magath made four changes from the side that lost 3-1 at home to Chelsea last weekend. John Arne Riise and Holtby were recalled to his starting XI, while Kostas Mitroglou was handed his first start alongside another debutant in young Cauley Woodrow as Magath went for a 4-4-2 formation. Riise was deployed on the left wing, with Kieran Richardson behind him at left-back.

In the sunshine of South Wales, both sides made an understandably nervous start, with neither team wanting to make a mistake. Fulham almost caught Cardiff out in the 11th minute when Heitinga's quickly-taken free-kick sent Ashkan Dejagah in down the right. The Iran international went for goal and smashed his effort into the side-netting when a cross looked the better option.

At the other end, Stekelenburg pushed away a curling right-footed effort from Fraizer Campbell in the 16th minute after the Cardiff striker had cut in from the left and let fly from the edge of the box.

Noone dragged a shot wide from 20 yards in the 21st minute after jinking past Brede Hangeland and Steve Sidwell. Noone then blazed well over from a similar position moments later, before Stekelenburg comfortably held a header from Kenwyne Jones.

Riise was crowded out in the six-yard box as he shaped to shoot in the 36th minute after linking well with Holtby. Mutch then fired well over after shaking off the attentions of Holtby.

Cardiff should have gone in front just before the end of the first half. Noone clipped the ball down the right for Mutch whose cross to the far post was met by the unmarked Jones. The towering frontman took a touch but hit his shot at Stekelenburg who beat his effort away.

But it was 1-0 just 30 seconds later. Another cross from the right was flicked on by a Fulham defender and found Noone loitering at the back stick. His drilled shot was deflected into the path of Caulker who couldn’t miss from two yards out. There was barely time for Fulham to restart before Martin Atkinson blew for half-time.

Fulham made a change at the break, with Riise replaced by Alexander Kačaniklić. And the Whites almost made the perfect start to the second half, Woodrow nodding a loose ball into the path of Holtby whose 25-yard effort was pushed around the post by David Marshall.

Jones squandered a glorious opportunity to increase the Bluebirds’ advantage shortly after, meeting the influential Noone’s cross to the far post but heading wide from just a couple of yards out. Fulham made another change in the 49th minute, Karagounis coming on for Dejagah.

The game was suddenly opening up. Sidwell robbed Mutch in midfield and freed Kačaniklić on the halfway line. The winger cut inside from the right but sent a shot four yards wide in the 52nd minute.

Kim Bo-Kyung became the first player to go into the referee’s notebook in the 55th minute for a late lunge on Karagounis before Fulham drew level just before the hour mark.

After Fulham had won a corner, Karagounis delivered the set-piece into the six-yard box. Heitinga flicked it on and Holtby stabbed home from close range to score his first goal for the Whites and haul Magath’s side back into the game.

The Whites were almost caught out in the 67th minute. After Holtby fell asleep at a corner, Mutch took it short to Kim whose driven shot was saved by Stekelenburg. From the resulting corner, it was 2-1 to the hosts as Caulker met Mutch’s corner to head down and over Stekelenburg.

And just four minutes later it was 3-1. Noone’s cross from the right found Mutch whose close-range header was brilliantly saved by the foot of Stekelenburg only to hit a combination of Rither and Campbell and roll into the net.

Fulham’s final change of the afternoon saw Darren Bent replace Woodrow in the 75th minute. Marshall then made a fine reaction save to push Mitroglou’s half-volley over the bar after Richardson had nodded the ball into his path.

Sidwell thought he’d pulled one back in the 82nd minute, heading home Mitroglou’s flick on from Hangeland’s lofted pass only for the assistant referee to raise his flag for offside.

It proved to be the final action of note as Fulham slipped to a disappointing defeat.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 8 March 2014
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 26,796

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Cardiff City

Line-up: Marshall; Fabio, Caulker, Turner (Théophile-Catherine 90'), John; Medel (Wolff Eikrem 81'); Noone, Mutch, Kim Bo-Kyung, Campbell (Daehli 72'); Jones

Unused substitutes: Lewis, Cala, Zaha, Bellamy

Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjær


Line-up: Stekelenburg; Riether, Heitinga, Hangeland, Richardson; Dejagah (Karagounis 50'), Sidwell, Holtby, John Arne Riise (Kacaniklic 45'); Mitroglou, Woodrow (Bent 76')

Unused substitutes: Stockdale, Zverotic, Burn, Kvist

Manager: Felix Magath

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 28 63
2 Liverpool 28 59
3 Arsenal 28 59
4 Manchester City 26 57
5 Tottenham Hotspur 28 53
6 Manchester United 28 48
7 Everton 27 48
8 Newcastle United 28 43
9 Southampton 29 42
10 West Ham United 28 31
11 Aston Villa 28 31
12 Stoke City 29 31
13 Hull City 28 30
14 Swansea City 28 29
15 Norwich City 29 29
16 Crystal Palace 28 27
17 West Bromwich Albion 28 25
18 Cardiff City 29 25
19 Sunderland 26 24
20 Fulham 29 21
Total Shots
Shots On Target
Passing Accuracy
Sending Offs
Cardiff City (4-1-4-1)
  • 1David Marshall
  • 35Fabio
  • 4Steven Caulker
  • 6Ben Turner
  • 42Declan John
  • 8Gary Medel
  • 16Craig Noone
  • 18Jordon Mutch
  • 13Kim Bo-Kyung
  • 10Fraizer Campbell
  • 9Kenwyne Jones
  • 32Joe Lewis
  • 27Cala
  • 28Kévin Théophile-Catherine
  • 15Magnus Wolff Eikrem
  • 29Mats Daehli
  • 36Wilfried Zaha
  • 39Craig Bellamy
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjær
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Maarten Stekelenburg
  • 27Sascha Riether
  • 4Johnny Heitinga
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 15Kieran Richardson
  • 24Ashkan Dejagah
  • 7Steve Sidwell
  • 10Lewis Holtby
  • 3John Arne Riise
  • 18Kostas Mitroglou
  • 25Cauley Woodrow
  • 13David Stockdale
  • 22Elsad Zverotic
  • 33Dan Burn
  • 6William Kvist
  • 11Alexander Kacaniklic
  • 14Giorgos Karagounis
  • 39Darren Bent
  • Felix Magath
Total shots
Ball played into the final third of the pitch
Minutes played by player
Assists from open play
Successful aerial duels
Duel over the possession of the ball where a player wins the ball
Pass forwards
Successful dribbles
Sum of all a players ball events
Accurate passes
Key passes
Player intercepts a pass
Goalkeeper saves
Goalkeeper catches a cross
  • Holtby's leveller was not enough to get the Whites back in the game as Caulker's double and Riether's own goal won it for Cardiff.
  • 89 Theopile-Catherine comes on for Turner.
  • 83 The Whites have the ball in the net when Sidwell dives onto Mitroglou's headed flick but the flag is up for offside.
  • 80 Medel leaves the pitch to applause and on comes Eikrem.
  • 77 Mitroglou's strike from the edge of the box is blocked by the outstretched arm of Marshall. Agonising for the Whites.
  • 75 Bent comes on to replace Woodrow.
  • 71 Campbell is substituted for Daehli.
  • 70 Cardiff 3-1 Fulham. It's such a cruel goal for the Whites to concede. An own goal off Riether after Stekelenburg saves from Mutch's header.
  • 67 Cardiff 2-1 Fulham. Caulker climbs highest from the corner to head past Stekelenburg from close rang
  • 66 Stekelenburg comes to the Whites' rescue, saving with his legs after Kim's close-range strike. Corner to Cardiff.
  • 63 Cardiff have the pressure back on but a superb block from Mitroglou denied them a clear goalscoring chance.
  • 60 Cardiff 1-1 Fulham. Holtby turns the ball in from close range with style after Heitinga flicks on Karagounis' corner!
  • 59 Smart play from Mitroglou to wriggle free from his marker and fire the ball across goal. He wins a corner.
  • 57 Richardson attacks with intent from the left and drives in a cross. Mitroglou lines up a 12-yard shot but cannot connect cleanly.
  • 54 Karagounis makes his presence felt, skipping past Kim's tackle and winning the free-kick. Kim is shown a yellow card.
  • 52 Kačaniklić wins a challenge inside his own half and sprints forward. The space opens up and he shoots at goal. The keeper is beaten but it flies just wide.
  • 49 That will be all for Dejagah, he is replaced by Karagounis.
  • 48 Almost an instant reply for Cardiff, Noone swinging in a dangerous ball for Jones, who heads wide from two yards.
  • 46 A good early opening for the Whites, with Holtby unleashing an effort from the edge of the area. Marshall dives left to parry it wide.
  • One change for the Whites, Kačaniklić on for Riise.
  • Cardiff get the second half started.
  • The Whites have it all to do in the second half. Stekelenburg had kept us level with some superb saves but Caulker scored on the stroke of half-tim
  • 45+1 Cardiff 1-0 Fulham. The home side make the break-through as Caulker attacks Noone's deflected drive across the penalty box.
  • 45 An outstanding full-length save from Stekelenburg denies Jones as the forward strikes the ball firmly from ten yards.
  • 44 The Whites are soaking up some pressure as Cardiff look for the break-through. Heitinga and Hangeland have been faultless so far.
  • 39 Riise wins a good header to find Holtby in space. Mitroglou peels away the far post but can't get enough purchase on the header.
  • 35 An excellent touch from Mitroglou releases Holtby, who in turn finds Riise in full sprint. The Norweigan bears down on goal but he's crowded out as he tries to pull the trigger.
  • 31 The Whites mount an attack but Cardiff break away quickly. Kim works space to shoot but Heitinga closes down quickly and takes the sting out of the shot.
  • 30 A vital interception from Sidwell denies Kim the one-two with Jones on the edge of the box. The Whites midfielder is doing a fine job breaking up play so far.
  • 28 Dejagah feeds Riether on the overlap and the German drives in the cross. Mitroglou attacks it, Turner gets there first and slips as he clears but Cardiff escape.
  • 27 More space for Cardiff now, and it's Noone weaving his way towards our goal. He shoots from distance and it balloons well over.
  • 26 The home side are enjoying the larger share of possession at the moment, and Mutch crosses towards Jones. The target man wins the header but Stekelenburg holds well.
  • 24 A superb burst from Richardson takes him past two challenges, and allows Riise to cross towards Dejagah, but the Iranian cannot control at the far post.
  • 22 Cardiff are struggling to break the Whites down until Noone drives forward, shakes off Hangeland's challenge and slams a shot just wide of the post.
  • 17 Mitroglou gets his first sight of the Cardiff goal. He's at least 30 yards out but he tries his luck. It's struck well but straight at Marshall.
  • 16 The Whites' backline is sitting fairly deep and Campbell finds space to strike. Stekelenburg pulls off a fine save and Sidwell clears the danger.
  • 12 Sidwell goes in hard on Kim and the referee gives a free-kick. Mutch swings it over but it's over-hit and Stekelenburg is untroubled.
  • 10 Richardson uses his pace to power away from Noone with the Whites making good progress. The ball finds its way right to Dejagah, who drives a shot into the side-netting.
  • 7 Cardiff come forward with a sweeping move and Campbell tries to slip the ball through, but Heitinga stands strong and Stekelenburg collects.
  • 5 The Whites foray forward with a nice back-heel from Mitroglou. Riise is playing higher up than Richardson so far, with the Norweigan lining up in midfield.
  • 3 Hangeland is forced back early on but the Whites get out of trouble. Woodrow is showing his enthusiasm at the other end, but concedes a free-kick.
  • Sidwell and Woodrow get us kicked off. Game on!
  • Here come the Whites, led by Brede Hangeland, with the players applauding the supporters on their way out. Moments from kick-off.
  • Starting for the Whites: Stekelenburg; Riether, Heitinga, Hangeland, Riise; Dejagah, Sidwell, Holtby, Richardson; Mitroglou, Woodrow.
  • The Whites bench today is: Kvist, Kačaniklić, Stockdale, Karagounis, Zverotić, Burn and Bent.
  • Lewis Holtby also comes back into the Whites starting line-up, and is expected to start in central midfield alongside Steve Sidwell, and John Arne Riise is recalled at left-back.
  • The 19-year-old striker, Woodrow, made his professional debut for Southend while on loan in September and steps up to the Whites first team after captaining our U18s to last year's Premier League title.
  • There are two full debuts with the Whites, with Greece forward Kostas Mitroglou making his first start alongside Cauley Woodrow, who plays in his first senior game for Fulham.
  • It's been described as the Whites' biggest game of the season, Fulham have arrived in Wales for our basement battle with Cardiff.