Cardiff 3 – 1 Huddersfield Town. The Past, and the Future
There have been a few changes in the Cardiff City squad of late. Fraiser Campbell has headed off to Crystal Palace, Jordon Mutch has recently completed his transfer to QPR, who also bagged Steven Caulker for an undisclosed fee. The Pitbull, Chilean international Gary Medel has also moved on to pastures new after being tempted over to Inter Milan after a super performance last season and during the Brazilian World Cup
And with all of the departures, we have had some promising arrivals. Among others, Le Fondre, Macheda and Guerra have come in as target men up front, Dikgacoi (Dik-ash-wee) and Burgstaller in the midfield, along with the most recent signing of Anthony Pilkington on the wing
Central defense has come as a slight problem, Ben Turned and Mark Hudson have both been out of action with injuries, and with Cala out for the first matches but available for selection today. Chairman Mehet Dalman is still working to bring extra players in to bolster the central defensive role.
Craig Noone was still out for the today’s game, and for the near future with his groin injury being worse than originally though, but the Bluebirds headed out onto the field with confidence after a draw with Blackburn recently and a win against Coventry in the cup on Tuesday…
The last meeting between these two sides was in February of 2013 and ended as a fairly tame goalless draw, that was not to be the case today
It was a slow start to the first league game at the Cardiff City Stadium. some good connections and shared vision between Fabio, Daehli and Le Fondre dangled possibilities but a good Huddersfield defense kept the first half hour (almost) goalless.
The terrier’s diamond midfield caused some difficulty for the Bluebird’s rather flat four, with their neat and tidy play denying room and the important finishing touch. However after some tactical changes and with Cardiff employing the same diamond formation, the game really opened up for them.
Some lovely play from Adeyemi saw long term Bluebird Peter Whittingham open up the scoring with a left footed 35 yard stunner. The ball flew straight and true, never moving more than 6 inches above the ground, and the stadium erupted as the net bulged.
Not more than 6 minutes later, Kenwyne Jones got a place on the score-sheet, with a cool and calm follow up from a previous attempt.
The Cardiff defense was looking more robust than usual, with Fabio and Brayford both putting in a great performance, until in the dying moments of extra time Huddersfield’s Murray Wallace brought one back for the visitors after a slip in concentration from the Cardiff backs.
It was a much tougher second half for both sides, though Huddersfield played well, looking to add more to their first half tally. Burgstaller played ten minutes of the second half before making way for Gunnarsson, adding some more strength to midfield.
After starting slowly, and with a little patience, the play opened up for Daehli once more, and this time he managed to get the ball through to Kenwyne Jones, who netted his second for the match.
Huddersfield upped their game after this and though both teams had some good chances and some great play for the rest of the second half, there was only one more moment of excitement in the last of the five minutes of extra time, with a burst of energy from Cardiff leading to a free kick, though Whitts was unable to find the back of the net
A great performance on the whole, from the Bluebirds, with a momentary lapse of concentration from the defense allowing the Terriers to get in a good goal. Great shape from the team, great desire, and a promising start to the season so far.
To finish, a look forward. The next game is another home game, this time against Wigan who finished last year in the Championship’s number 5 spot, narrowly losing to QPR after extra time in the playoff first round. Wigan have recently lost against Burton Albion, 2-1 in the League cup, and today narrowly losing 2-1 away against Charlton Athletic, in the last minute of extra time. It might end up being a tough one for us, but as ever, the team and the fans, are all full of confidence. The hash tag for this season remains.