Championship
Cardiff4Sunderland0

Cardiff City 4-0 Sunderland

Joe Ralls celebrates his goal, Cardiff's second against Sunderland
Joe Ralls celebrates his goal, Cardiff's second against Sunderland

Cardiff City ended a four-match Championship losing run as they thrashed bottom side Sunderland.

A dire first half ended goalless but the first 10 minutes of the second half transformed the encounter.

Callum Paterson headed Cardiff in front before Sunderland's Didier Ndong was sent off for fouling Junior Hoilett.

Joe Ralls added the second goal, Paterson struck again and Anthony Pilkington got the fourth.

That gave Cardiff their biggest winning margin since a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa in August and briefly lifted Neil Warnock's men back up to second in the table.

Chris Coleman watches Sunderland lose at Cardiff City
Chris Coleman watches Sunderland lose at Cardiff City

By contrast, defeat marred what was something of a homecoming for Sunderland manager Chris Coleman, his first game back at Cardiff City Stadium since leaving his post as Wales boss in November.

And although the 47-year-old had overseen some of Welsh football's finest moments at this ground - such as their 2015 win against Belgium and the celebration of qualifying for Euro 2016 - his Swansea roots meant the Cardiff fans greeted him with playful mockery rather than reverence.

Sunderland were faced with an early barrage of free-kicks and long throws launched into their penalty area, but showed some threat when they counter-attacked at pace.

There were few chances in an even first half, the best of which fell to Cardiff as Ralls had an effort from the edge of the box brilliantly saved by Robbin Ruiter, before Hoilett curled a free-kick narrowly wide.

If Sunderland felt relatively comfortable at the break, they soon unravelled.

Their resistance was broken when Ralls' corner found an unmarked Paterson, who headed in via the underside of the crossbar to bring relief to the home side.

Red for Ndong

Didier Ndong of Sunderland (2nd left) is shown a red card
Sunderland's Didier Ndong (second left) is shown a red card at Cardiff

Matters got worse for Sunderland when midfielder Ndong was shown a straight red card for a tackle that appeared to catch Hoilett high on his shin.

The result was settled five minutes later as Kenneth Zohore shrugged off Jake Clarke-Salter, raced clear on the left wing and squared the ball to Ralls, who swept in a stylish first-time finish.

Zohore also had a hand in the third goal, as his shot was saved by Ruiter only for the ball to fall into the path of Paterson, who finished smartly with his weaker left foot.

Sunderland's misery was compounded in injury time as Cardiff's Yanic Wildschut - making his debut for the Bluebirds - set up fellow substitute Pilkington for a simple tap-in.

Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock said: "We're bound to be a bit low on confidence. You could see we were apprehensive in front of goal. We just had to work hard to get that goal and fortunately we got that early in the second half.

"You could see that relief. Then we were free to play. We stepped up a gear then, it was great. They looked sharp again.

"It's been like that all week. They've looked sharp… It was good. We played some good stuff, some good goals. The energy was back."

Sunderland manager Chris Coleman said: "It was painful. I can't accept conceding 45 seconds into the second half. We can't make those sorts of mistakes where we are.

"With the sending-off, sometimes I've seen them given, sometimes not. But that wasn't why we lost.

"To give them a goal like that, you can't do that, well you can, but we're going to stay where we are. It's bitterly disappointing.

"Soft mentality, simple as that. No toughness. Toughness is not just physical, it's not just about nailing someone.

"Toughness is mental, staying strong, making consistent decisions. It's no coincidence where we are."

Line-ups

Cardiff

  • 25Etheridge
  • 5Ecuele Manga
  • 4MorrisonBooked at 85mins
  • 14Bamba
  • 6Richards
  • 19Mendez-LaingSubstituted forWildschutat 59'minutes
  • 18Paterson
  • 8Ralls
  • 3Bennett
  • 33HoilettSubstituted forFeeneyat 81'minutes
  • 10ZohoreSubstituted forPilkingtonat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Tomlin
  • 12Feeney
  • 13Pilkington
  • 15Halford
  • 20Damour
  • 28Murphy
  • 35Wildschut

Sunderland

  • 25Ruiter
  • 2Jones
  • 18Browning
  • 16O'Shea
  • 35Clarke-Salter
  • 3OviedoBooked at 41mins
  • 27GoochBooked at 45minsSubstituted forAsoroat 60'minutes
  • 17NdongBooked at 49mins
  • 36WilsonSubstituted forCattermoleat 45'minutes
  • 26Honeyman
  • 20MajaSubstituted forMcManamanat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Steele
  • 6Cattermole
  • 13McManaman
  • 21Matthews
  • 22Love
  • 28Robson
  • 29Asoro
Referee:
Andy Madley
Attendance:
17,703

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamSunderland
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home21
Away3
Shots on Target
Home9
Away0
Corners
Home8
Away1
Fouls
Home23
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Cardiff City 4, Sunderland 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Cardiff City 4, Sunderland 0.

Goal!

Goal! Cardiff City 4, Sunderland 0. Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Yanic Wildschut with a cross.

Lee Cattermole (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Callum Paterson (Cardiff City).

Callum McManaman (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Joe Bennett (Cardiff City).

Booking

Sean Morrison (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card.

Jake Clarke-Salter (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Sean Morrison (Cardiff City).

Jake Clarke-Salter (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City).

Joel Asoro (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Joe Bennett (Cardiff City).

George Honeyman (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Callum Paterson (Cardiff City).

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Anthony Pilkington replaces Kenneth Zohore.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Liam Feeney replaces David Junior Hoilett.

Goal!

Goal! Cardiff City 3, Sunderland 0. Callum Paterson (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner following a set piece situation.

Attempt blocked. Kenneth Zohore (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by John O'Shea (Sunderland).

David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Sunderland. Callum McManaman replaces Josh Maja.

Attempt blocked. Joe Ralls (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kenneth Zohore.

Joel Asoro (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Sol Bamba (Cardiff City).

Jake Clarke-Salter (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kenneth Zohore (Cardiff City).

Foul by Billy Jones (Sunderland).

Joe Bennett (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Joel Asoro (Sunderland).

Jazz Richards (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Sean Morrison (Cardiff City) header from the left side of the six yard box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Joe Ralls following a corner.

Attempt missed. Joe Ralls (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by David Junior Hoilett following a corner.

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Tyias Browning.

Attempt blocked. Lee Cattermole (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Joel Asoro.

Attempt missed. Sol Bamba (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Sean Morrison following a corner.

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Bryan Oviedo.

George Honeyman (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Joe Ralls (Cardiff City).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wolves27195350203062
2Derby27157544232152
3Cardiff27155740251550
4Aston Villa27138639241547
5Bristol City2713864032847
6Sheff Utd27134104031943
7Leeds27134103729843
8Fulham2711974034642
9Middlesbrough27125103527841
10Preston27101163127441
11Brentford27101074135640
12Ipswich27123124039139
13Norwich27107102731-437
14QPR2789103137-633
15Nottm Forest27102153343-1032
16Millwall27710102930-131
17Sheff Wed27710103034-431
18Reading2778123035-529
19Barnsley2769122737-1027
20Hull27510123944-525
21Bolton2767142545-2025
22Burton2766152146-2524
23Birmingham2765161538-2323
24Sunderland27410132947-1822
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