Championship
CardiffCardiff City1IpswichIpswich Town0

Cardiff City 1-0 Ipswich Town

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport at Cardiff City Stadium
Bruno Ecuele Manga
Bruno Ecuele Manga of Cardiff City heads to score the opening goal

Cardiff City kept apace with the race for the Championship play-offs as they overcame fellow top-six hopefuls Ipswich.

The hosts edged an even first half as Bruno Ecuele Manga's firm header put them 1-0 ahead at the break.

There were half-chances for both sides in the second half, though Cardiff held on for a comfortable victory.

Despite a third win from four matches, the Bluebirds stay seventh in the table and a point behind the play-off places.

Sheffield Wednesday's victory at Nottingham Forest means the Yorkshire club retain sixth spot, though Cardiff's win against Ipswich does open up a three-point gap between Russell Slade's men and their rivals in eighth.

Both sides pushing hard

Both teams started the day a point outside the play-off places having slipped up in midweek, Cardiff losing to Leeds and Ipswich conceding a late equaliser at Bolton.

There was a sense that something had to give as, while Cardiff boasted the second best home record in the Championship, Ipswich's tally of 28 points on the road was bettered only by Burnley's 29.

Stuart O'Keefe
Stuart O'Keefe fires at goal for Cardiff

The two sides looked well matched in the early exchanges before Cardiff took an 18th-minute lead as Ecuele Manga met Peter Whittingham's fine outswinging corner with a powerful header which flew past Bartosz Bialkowski.

Although Whittingham continued to pepper Ipswich's penalty area with inviting crosses, genuine scoring opportunities were at a premium for the rest of the first half.

Ipswich enjoyed more possession after the restart, though Cardiff could have doubled their advantage as Scott Malone's left-footed strike fizzed narrowly over and Whittingham had a free-kick comfortably saved.

Freddie Sears seemed Ipswich's likeliest source of a goal as one of his low shots blocked by Matt Connolly, though Cardiff were seldom under serious pressure.

The home side missed another chance to put the result beyond doubt when Anthony Pilkington's header was tipped over by Bialkowski, but it mattered not as Cardiff stayed in touch with the Championship's promotion contenders.

Cardiff City boss Russell Slade: "It was a big win for us. I'm not a great believer in six-pointers because you can never do that, but the three points are huge for us at this moment in time.

"It's about the results at this time. We had a fantastic game against Leeds and collected nothing for our efforts but, here, it was a different type of game, that asked different questions, against a really direct, efficient side who asked real questions of us.

"Ipswich are probably the best at grinding out a result in this league and we have done it to them.

"I'm proud, we've done that, that we've been ugly. It was not pretty, we were fighting."

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy: "I feel frustration because there's nothing in the game except for one corner kick.

"It's a great cross and great header for the goal, but he (Manga) should not get a free header in our box.

"We've not done enough to win it, but we should have defended better and got a 0-0 draw. I was settling for a horrible, turgid game and I thought we might nick it from a corner, but it's ended up the other way.

"We've got two home games and we really need to win them to get back in the mix. But there are no mugs in this league and they will be difficult games."

Line-ups

Cardiff

  • 21Moore
  • 2Peltier
  • 5Ecuele Manga
  • 16Connolly
  • 28Malone
  • 11Noone
  • 22O'Keefe
  • 8Ralls
  • 7WhittinghamSubstituted forGunnarssonat 73'minutes
  • 13PilkingtonSubstituted forDikgacoiat 83'minutes
  • 27Immers

Substitutes

  • 4Morrison
  • 15Dikgacoi
  • 17Gunnarsson
  • 26Zohore
  • 30Wilson
  • 37Lawrence
  • 38Ameobi

Ipswich

  • 33Bialkowski
  • 4Chambers
  • 5SmithSubstituted forMaitland-Nilesat 88'minutes
  • 6Berra
  • 3Knudsen
  • 17BruSubstituted forPitmanat 45'minutes
  • 8Skuse
  • 19Hyam
  • 15PringleSubstituted forVarneyat 72'minutes
  • 20Sears
  • 9Murphy

Substitutes

  • 7Maitland-Niles
  • 11Pitman
  • 18Tabb
  • 22Douglas
  • 37Digby
  • 38Crowe
  • 42Varney
Referee:
Andy Madley
Attendance:
15,175

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamIpswich
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home8
Away11
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away9
Fouls
Home10
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Cardiff City 1, Ipswich Town 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Cardiff City 1, Ipswich Town 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Cole Skuse (Ipswich Town).

  4. Post update

    Lex Immers (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Ipswich Town. Ainsley Maitland-Niles replaces Tommy Smith.

  6. Post update

    Cole Skuse (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Lex Immers (Cardiff City).

  8. Post update

    Luke Chambers (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Lex Immers (Cardiff City).

  10. Post update

    Foul by Luke Hyam (Ipswich Town).

  11. Post update

    Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Luke Varney with a headed pass.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Cardiff City. Kagisho Dikgacoi replaces Anthony Pilkington.

  14. Post update

    Offside, Cardiff City. Joe Ralls tries a through ball, but Anthony Pilkington is caught offside.

  15. Post update

    Hand ball by Joe Ralls (Cardiff City).

  16. Post update

    Corner, Ipswich Town. Conceded by Simon Moore.

  17. Post update

    Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Lex Immers (Cardiff City).

  19. Post update

    Foul by Tommy Smith (Ipswich Town).

  20. Post update

    Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Burnley372111560303074
2Middlesbrough35207847212667
3Hull35198849212865
4Brighton361714549341565
5Derby371613850351561
6Sheff Wed371514853361759
7Cardiff37151394840858
8Ipswich361510114443155
9Birmingham35159114034654
10Preston371313113534152
11QPR371214114642450
12Leeds361114113641-547
13Wolves361210144550-546
14Nottm Forest361112133334-145
15Reading351111134141044
16Blackburn361013133634243
17Brentford36127174858-1043
18Huddersfield37119174852-442
19Bristol City371010173458-2440
20Fulham37813165663-737
21MK Dons37910183149-1837
22Rotherham37106214362-1936
23Charlton36611193266-3429
24Bolton37414193662-2626
View full Championship table

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