Report: Cardiff City 0-0 Huddersfield Town: The Bluebirds held to draw against fellow Premier League strugglers

Former Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock. Image Matt Lofthouse
Callum Ellis

by Callum Ellis

CARDIFF City were held to a goalless draw with a lacklustre performance against fellow Premier League strugglers Huddersfield Town.

David Wagner’s side ended their run of eight consecutive defeats with a positive performance at the Cardiff City Stadium.

The Bluebirds started the brighter of the two sides in an entertaining opening period as Harry Arter and Callum Paterson brought the away side’s defence into action early on.

Crystal Palace loanee Jason Puncheon mustered the first real chance of the afternoon. He was afforded too much space and dragged an effort narrowly wide of Neil Etheridge’s goal.

Christopher Schindler picked up the first yellow card of the afternoon following a cynical challenge on Nathaniel Mendez-Laing. Junior Hoilett took the resulting free-kick and the home side appealed for handball in the penalty area but their appeals for a spot-kick were waved away by referee Lee Mason.

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The home side had another penalty shout minutes later. Mendez-Laing escaped the challenge of Erik Durm and delivered an inviting low ball across goal which found Hoilett, who was unable to connect well with the delivery. The Bluebirds appealed for a penalty following a challenge from Florent Hadergjonaj but referee Mason again allowed play to continue.

The Terriers paved open a great opportunity to take the lead mid-way through the first half as Elias Kachunga found space in the area before Joe Bennett came to the home side’s rescue with a crucial block to keep the scoreline goalless.

Durm again went close for the visitors only to be denied by Mendez-Laing, who recovered well to guide the ball to safety.

Cardiff created two chances of their own with minutes remaining of the first half. Sean Morrison’s downward header found Bamba and his effort was cleared off the line before the linesman raised his flag for offside to pull the game to a halt.

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Hoilett’s corner sailed agonisingly wide of the far post with Morrison, again lurking at the back post, not able to do enough to connect with the ball after receiving pressure from Mounie.

The away side started the second period positively but could not do enough to break the dead-lock following a series of corners. Bamba was also on hand to deny Puncheon from firing the visitors ahead.

Warnock sent on striker Rhys Healey, who featured for the first time since January last year, and he almost made an immediate impact.

The substitute raced onto a long ball forward and looked to put himself through on goal before goalkeeper Lossl raced off his line to clear the danger.

The real talking point of the afternoon came with 14 minutes remaining. Huddersfield were awarded a penalty after Bennett was adjudged to have fouled Hadergjonaj inside the area. But after speaking with his assistant Stuart Burt, the decision was overturned by referee Mason, leaving the visitors furious.

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Cardiff went close in stoppage time as Healey’s long throw fell kindly for Gunnarsson, who saw his effort blocked on the edge of the area to conclude a disappointing afternoon for Warnock’s men.

Cardiff City: Etheridge, Bennett, Morrison (C), Manga, Arter, Paterson, Gunnarsson, Mendez-Laing (Healey 73′), Camarasa (Ralls 64′), Hoilett, Bamba, Hoilett.

Subs not used: Smithies, Peltier, Murphy, Decordova-Reid, Cunningham.

Huddersfield Town: Lossl, Hogg (C), Billing, Kachunga, Pritchard (Mbenza 73′), Mounie (Depoitre 87′), Zanka, Schindler, Hadergjonaj, Dum, Puncheon.

Subs not used: Hamer, Smith, Kongolo, Lowe, Stankovic.

(Featured image: Matthew Lofthouse)