CardiffCardiff City1MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough0

Cardiff City 1-0 Middlesbrough

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Sport Wales at Cardiff City Stadium
Sean Morrison heads Cardiff City into the lead against Middlesbrough
Sean Morrison heads (wearing number four) Cardiff City into the lead

Cardiff City climbed up to second place in the Championship with a gritty win over Middlesbrough.

On the day an earthquake struck south Wales, Cardiff City Stadium was an epicentre of inactivity until Sean Morrison headed the hosts in front.

Chances remained rare, with the best falling to Junior Hoilett, whose shot was saved by keeper Darren Randolph.

Cardiff are now two points clear of third-placed Aston Villa, who lost at Fulham.

A sixth Championship match without defeat for the Bluebirds also means they are now 11 points clear of Preston in seventh outside the play-offs.

Middlesbrough, meanwhile, remain ninth, four points adrift of the top six.

Marco Grujic beats Middlesbrough's Humamed Besic in the air
It was a tough encounter at Cardiff City Stadium

A meeting between teams managed by Neil Warnock and Tony Pulis was always likely to produce a rugged, physical encounter, and so it proved.

Neither side was able to keep possession or attack fluently in a disjointed first half, with efforts on goal largely limited to long-range strikes from Hoilett and Boro's Adama Traore.

Predictably, it was a set-piece which led to the goal.

Hoilett whipped in a deep, in-swinging free-kick towards the back post, where Morrison rose above Ben Gibson to glance in his second headed goal in a week.

Cardiff had beaten Bolton here four days earlier with two goals from set-pieces and this was another functional, professional display.

They had to withstand pressure late on as Boro launched a series of long balls into their penalty area, but Pulis' side were unable to fashion any genuine scoring opportunities against Cardiff's resolute defence.

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock said:

"As good as it gets really. They've got some good players in their team. We restricted them to very few [chances], I think one shot in the whole game.

"We had to defend the long throws, like we knew we would, but I thought we did that ever so well.

"We could have scored more goals but we never do anything simply. We had some good chances and, when you can't take your chances, you've got to defend well and make sure when the other team throw the ball in the box that you can defend."

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis said:

"I thought in the first half we found it difficult to cope with Cardiff. They're very good at what they do, they have an identity and they play to that identity.

"Whether you like it or not, they do it very well.

"Set plays were always going to be important. Looking back at it, we think it was a free-kick [for the goal]. Morrison was all over Gibson but we didn't get that decision and that was the decisive moment."



Formation 4-3-3

  • 25Etheridge
  • 5Ecuele Manga
  • 4Morrison
  • 14Bamba
  • 3Bennett
  • 18PatersonSubstituted forHalfordat 87'minutes
  • 24GrujicSubstituted forDamourat 71'minutes
  • 8Ralls
  • 33Hoilett
  • 10Zohore
  • 32TraoreSubstituted forPeltierat 67'minutes


  • 2Peltier
  • 13Pilkington
  • 15Halford
  • 19Mendez-Laing
  • 20Damour
  • 28Murphy
  • 35Wildschut


Formation 4-3-3

  • 25Randolph
  • 5Shotton
  • 4Ayala
  • 6Gibson
  • 3Friend
  • 16HowsonSubstituted forHarrisonat 83'minutes
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 27BesicBooked at 45minsSubstituted forAssombalongaat 62'minutes
  • 19Downing
  • 39GestedeSubstituted forBamfordat 84'minutes
  • 37Traoré


  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 8Clayton
  • 9Assombalonga
  • 11Bamford
  • 14Cranie
  • 20Fry
  • 23Harrison
Darren Bond

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Cardiff City 1, Middlesbrough 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Cardiff City 1, Middlesbrough 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Joe Ralls (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Joe Ralls (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough).

  6. Post update

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

  7. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Joe Bennett.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) header from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Harrison with a cross.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. George Friend (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Stewart Downing with a cross following a set piece situation.

  11. Post update

    George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Greg Halford (Cardiff City).

  13. Post update

    Foul by Loïc Damour (Cardiff City).

  14. Post update

    Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Ryan Shotton.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Loïc Damour.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Cardiff City. Greg Halford replaces Callum Paterson.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Patrick Bamford replaces Rudy Gestede.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Jack Harrison replaces Jonny Howson.

  20. Post update

    Sol Bamba (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood

3Aston Villa32178748291959
6Bristol City31141074536952
8Sheff Utd31154124437749
16Sheff Wed32813113438-437
17Nottm Forest32113183550-1536
View full Championship table

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