Cardiff City 1 – 0 Wigan Athletic
Some may have expected little change from the Cardiff side which took the field against Huddersfield town on Saturday. In fact there were three shuffles for Ole Gunnar’s side today, with Hudson, Burgstaller and Le Fondre being replaced with Morisson, Gunnarsson and Maynard. A little odd perhaps, even without scoring Le Fondre had a good game and a great work rate against the Terriers, and Burgstaller also had a good showing with plenty of action and some great play leading to the three goals.
This was always going to be a tough game for the Bluebirds and the first half certainly lived up to that expectation. It was a good fast start, for both sides, from the opening whistle. Cardiff were breaking well on the attack, and the Latics countered well. Both defenses, however, remained solid, and it was rare for either team to get a shooting opportunity. In fact neither goalkeeper was called into action more than two or three times in the first half.
Morrisson, on his Cardiff debut played his part well, and set up an early chance for Gunnarsson which was tuned off the line. unfortunately, even with the solid defense and some good chances, Wigan still looked the better side throughout the first half.
After the break, only one change to the two teams which was Daehli making way for another Cardiff City debut, this time in the form of last week’s signing, Anthony Pilkington. A great start from the Bluebirds, breaking fast and well and putting some real pressure on the Wigan midfield and defence.
The Latics played the defensive game very well, but a corner kick early in the second half saw Maynard find the back of the net after a great flick on from Kenwyn Jones. Cardiff continued to press on during the second half, with renewed vigour but, as seems to be the way at the moment, started to flag late in the second half and suddenly it was Wigan on the front foot once more.
A scrappy finish, from the Welsh side, and after a tight game the whistle blew with the final score Cardiff 1 – 0 Wigan, a win for the first time in the last twelve matches with the last being in the League 3 season of 96/97. This leaves Cardiff in second place in the championship, just behind Nottingham Forrest. with the two teams not even being separated by goal difference, it could well be an exciting few weeks ahead.
The next fixture sees the team heading away to Molineux to face Wolves. The midlands side finished top of League One last season, gaining promotion to the Championship by a clear 9 points, and they are eager, promising a challenge to at least stay in the league. It’ll be interesting to see what the make of the current 23rd placed Fulham tomorrow night.
We’ll be back again later in the week and then again on match day with a full review and roundup, so until then, let’s keep our fingers crossed and, importantly.