Cardiff City 1-0 Swansea City

Steven Caulker scores in the second half

Steven Caulker's towering header gave Cardiff victory over Swansea in the first Premier League meeting between these fierce south Wales rivals.

Cardiff captain Caulker rose above visiting defender Chico Flores after 62 minutes to direct Craig Bellamy's corner past goalkeeper Michel Vorm.

Cardiff boss Malky Mackay

Media playback is not supported on this device

Mackay delights in 'special' derby win

It was the moment that finally ignited the passions surrounding the 106th meeting of these two old rivals and gave Bluebirds manager Malky Mackay the win he will have craved as uncertainty continues to surround his future.

Swansea's misery was complete when Vorm was sent off by referee Mike Dean in stoppage time for flattening Cardiff substitute Fraizer Campbell as he went around him - leaving defender Angel Rangel to take the gloves because Michael Laudrup had used up all of his substitutions.

The three points will be especially sweet for Mackay as speculation mounts about his relationship with Cardiff owner Vincent Tan, but days like this will send his stock soaring even higher as his name echoed around the stadium in the closing moments.

And it was a performance of organisation that must surely suggest to Tan he would find it difficult to find anyone who could currently better the job being done by the 41-year-old Scot.

Swansea dominated possession for spells without hurting the fiercely-committed Cardiff defence, apart from one early opportunity squandered with uncharacteristic wastefulness by Michu.

Indeed, until Caulker broke the deadlock, there was a decidedly low-key feel to a fixture noted for the hostility between supporters separated by 40 miles and proud allegiances to their respective clubs.

Swansea manager Laudrup, who stayed in his seat throughout as opposite number Mackay spent 90 minutes cajoling his players from the technical area, will be bitterly disappointed at his team's failure to transform spells of superiority into anything resembling serious pressure.

Around 60 coaches travelled from Swansea into Cardiff under tight security for this derby, but the opening 45 minutes bordered on the civilised on the pitch - a couple of thunderous challenges from Jonjo Shelvey apart.

Swansea were more at ease in possession early on and should have taken the lead when Michu demonstrated superb technique to bring Shelvey's right wing cross under control to create space, only to shoot over the top.

Cardiff, in contrast, struggled to impose themselves but improved markedly as the half went on. They raised the hopes of their supporters when Bellamy's free-kick glanced off Leon Britton but was just off target.

Michael Laudrup

Media playback is not supported on this device

Laudrup 'disappointed' by derby defeat

Swansea were not adding any serious end product to their pretty passing patterns and paid the price as Cardiff went ahead just after the hour, Caulker causing an eruption of noise inside the stadium as he headed home.

It forced Laudrup into action. Michu had been hobbling and was waiting to be replaced by Alvaro Vazquez - but it was £12m striker Wilfried Bony who replaced the injured Spaniard.

Cardiff keeper David Marshall had been well protected but needed to produce the goods as the clock ticked down, pushing away Jonathan De Guzman's free-kick before showing great athleticism to keep out substitute Alejandro Pozuelo's shot.

The final indignity for Swansea came with Vorm's dismissal - and how Cardiff and their supporters celebrated at the final whistle.

You can check out the best action photos from today's Premier League games on the BBC Sport Facebook Page

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Arsenal108111325
2Chelsea10622820
3Liverpool10622720
4Tottenham10622420
5Man City106131719
6Southampton10541719
7Everton10541419
8Man Utd10523417
9Newcastle10424-214
10Hull10424-214
11West Brom10343013
12Cardiff10334-412
13Swansea10325011
14Aston Villa10325-311
15West Ham10244010
16Fulham10316-510
17Stoke10235-49
18Norwich10226-148
19Sunderland10118-154
20Crystal Palace10109-153
View full Premier League table

Top Stories