Premier League
Cardiff3Fulham1

Cardiff City 3-1 Fulham

Sascha Riether of Fulham (27) scores an own goal for Cardiff City's third as he is challenged by Jordon Mutch (18) and Fraizer Campbell
Sascha Riether of Fulham (27) scores an own goal for Cardiff City's third as he is challenged by Jordon Mutch (18) and Fraizer Campbell

Cardiff City boosted their hopes of Premier League survival with a victory that plunged bottom club Fulham deeper into trouble.

At the end of a nervy opening half, defender Steven Caulker fired Cardiff in front from close range.

Lewis Holtby levelled just before the hour, blasting home following a corner.

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Cardiff can avoid relegation - Solskjaer

But Caulker's header and Sascha Riether's own goal within four second-half minutes moved the Bluebirds up to 18th, four points ahead of Fulham.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are level on points with 17th-placed West Brom and now only in the relegation zone on goal difference.

With so much riding on the game, there was a nervous tension in the air throughout the game at the Cardiff City Stadium.

And the relief was tangible at full-time, with the home side leaving the field to rapturous applause, before controversial owner Vincent Tan was booed when he walked onto the pitch to celebrate a vital victory.

Cardiff boss Solskjaer employed a 4-5-1 formation more akin to Malky Mackay's reign than his own for a match he described as "must win" for both sides.

Cardiff owner Vincent Tan prays head of the game against Fulham
Cardiff owner Vincent Tan prays ahead of the game

The Bluebirds pressed high up the pitch when Fulham were in possession and were full of attacking intent, but failed to carve out any clear-cut opportunities early on.

And it was the visitors who had the first chance, Johnny Heitinga's quickly-taken free-kick finding Ashkan Dejagah in space inside the area, but his shot hit the side-netting.

Cardiff's first opportunity fell to Fraizer Campbell, who was full of running throughout despite spending the night with his wife after she went into labour, but the striker was unable to find a way past Maarten Stekelenburg.

With Fulham attempting to deny Cardiff any space down the flanks, winger Craig Noone was forced to cut inside more than usual, and after one such run he shot narrowly wide from just outside the box.

Cardiff continued to press, and Kenwyne Jones had a powerful shot from Jordon Mutch's low cross turned behind before Caulker broke the deadlock.

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Players not fighting enough - Magath

The England defender finished powerfully from inside the six-yard box after Noone's cross was deflected into his path.

Fulham were more positive after the break, but Cardiff should have extended their lead when Jones headed wide from point-blank range at the far post.

And just two minutes later, the Cottagers were level as Heitinga headed a corner into the path of Holtby, who slid the ball into the empty net.

But they were level for just eight minutes, with Caulker heading home his second from a Mutch corner, the ball bouncing into the net over Stekelenburg.

And when Riether diverted the ball into his own net after Stekelenburg had saved Campbell's header, Cardiff's first top-flight double since 1961 was complete.

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Line-ups

Cardiff

  • 1Marshall
  • 35Fabio
  • 42John
  • 8MedelSubstituted forWolff Eikremat 81'minutes
  • 4Caulker
  • 6TurnerSubstituted forThéophile-Catherineat 90'minutes
  • 16Noone
  • 18Mutch
  • 9Jones
  • 13Kim Bo-kyungBooked at 56mins
  • 10CampbellSubstituted forDaehliat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 15Wolff Eikrem
  • 27Torres Ruiz
  • 28Théophile-Catherine
  • 29Daehli
  • 32Lewis
  • 36Zaha
  • 39Bellamy

Fulham

  • 1Stekelenburg
  • 27Riether
  • 15Richardson
  • 7Sidwell
  • 4Heitinga
  • 5Hangeland
  • 24DejagahSubstituted forKaragounisat 50'minutes
  • 10Holtby
  • 25WoodrowSubstituted forBentat 76'minutes
  • 18Mitroglou
  • 3RiiseSubstituted forKacaniklicat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Kvist
  • 11Kacaniklic
  • 13Stockdale
  • 14Karagounis
  • 22Zverotic
  • 33Burn
  • 39Bent
Referee:
Martin Atkinson
Attendance:
26,796

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamFulham
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home19
Away14
Shots on Target
Home9
Away6
Corners
Home7
Away6
Fouls
Home9
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Cardiff City 3, Fulham 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Cardiff City 3, Fulham 1.

Alexander Kacaniklic (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Magnus Wolff Eikrem (Cardiff City).

Attempt missed. Mats Daehli (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Kim Bo-Kyung following a fast break.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Kévin Théophile-Catherine replaces Ben Turner because of an injury.

Delay in match Ben Turner (Cardiff City) because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Darren Bent (Fulham) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Giorgos Karagounis.

Attempt saved. Kostas Mitroglou (Fulham) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Giorgos Karagounis.

Attempt saved. Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Kenwyne Jones.

Attempt blocked. Steve Sidwell (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sascha Riether.

Offside, Fulham. Kostas Mitroglou tries a through ball, but Steve Sidwell is caught offside.

Steven Caulker (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kostas Mitroglou (Fulham).

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Magnus Wolff Eikrem replaces Gary Medel.

Foul by Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City).

Lewis Holtby (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by David Marshall.

Attempt saved. Kostas Mitroglou (Fulham) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Kieran Richardson with a headed pass.

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Steven Caulker.

Attempt missed. Kostas Mitroglou (Fulham) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left following a corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Darren Bent replaces Cauley Woodrow.

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Gary Medel.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Mats Daehli replaces Fraizer Campbell.

Goal!

Own Goal by Sascha Riether, Fulham. Cardiff City 3, Fulham 1.

Attempt saved. Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City) header from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Craig Noone with a cross.

Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Cauley Woodrow (Fulham).

Offside, Fulham. Alexander Kacaniklic tries a through ball, but Kostas Mitroglou is caught offside.

Goal!

Goal! Cardiff City 2, Fulham 1. Steven Caulker (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordon Mutch with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Sascha Riether.

Attempt blocked. Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordon Mutch with a cross.

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Maarten Stekelenburg.

Attempt saved. Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jordon Mutch.

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Brede Hangeland.

Craig Noone (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Kieran Richardson (Fulham).

Attempt blocked. Steven Caulker (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Chelsea2920633466
2Liverpool2818553859
3Arsenal2818552459
4Man City2618354257
5Tottenham291658053
6Man Utd2814681548
7Everton2713951148
8Newcastle2813411-243
9Southampton291199442
10West Ham288713-431
11Aston Villa288713-731
12Stoke2971012-1431
13Hull288614-530
14Swansea287813-429
15Norwich297814-2229
16Crystal Palace288317-1927
17West Brom2841311-1125
18Cardiff296716-2825
19Sunderland266614-1624
20Fulham296320-3621
View full Premier League table

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