Championship
Aston Villa1Cardiff0

Aston Villa 1-0 Cardiff City

Grealish scores
Jack Grealish scored for the second game in a row for the first time this season

Aston Villa boosted their hopes of promotion from the Championship with a narrow win as Cardiff City dropped out of the top two.

Villa dominated a hotly-contested encounter, but it was Neil Warnock's side who squandered the best chances.

Cardiff lived to regret their wastefulness as Jack Grealish's second-half volley from 20 yards secured a massive win for Steve Bruce's side.

Aston Villa stay fourth while Cardiff drop to third following Fulham's win.

Bruce's team remain five points behind Fulham, who beat Reading 1-0 at Craven Cottage.

For Warnock's men it is two defeats on the bounce, after losing to leaders Wolves on Friday, as they drop out of the top two for the first time since 17 February.

Prince William and John Carew
Aston Villa fan Prince William was at Villa Park and watched the match alongside former Villa striker John Carew

Cardiff still have a game in hand over Fulham, meaning a top-two finish is still in their hands, but they will have to bounce back after picking up just one point from the last nine available.

Villa had the first chance of the game, Lewis Grabban finding space in the 18-yard box but he could only manage to hit the side-netting under pressure from a closing Joe Bennett.

However it was Cardiff who had the first clear-cut opportunity, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing winning the ball on the halfway line before he was released by Kenneth Zohore. The former Rochdale winger beat Axel Tuanzebe to the ball before slotting the ball past Sam Johnstone only to see it bounce back off the post.

Cardiff continued to push forward and a combination of good fortune and superb goalkeeping from Johnstone stopped three goal-bound chances to keep the game goalless.

Tempers fly between Jack Grealish of Aston Villa with Jamie Ward and Lee Peltier of Cardiff City
Referee Jeremy Simpson had a busy evening in a feisty encounter, dishing out nine yellow cards

The home side started the second half brightly as Cardiff struggled and they had a penalty appeal turned down after Robert Snodgrass was bundled over by Sean Morrison.

Cardiff pushed forward again when Junior Hoilett's cross from the left was passed back to Zohore, but the Danish striker could not convert from 10 yards at the second attempt.

Villa continued to grow into the game as Cardiff's goalkeeper Neil Etheridge become increasingly busy, but it took a moment of magic from Grealish to break the deadlock.

A deep free-kick was only cleared as far as Grealish, who took it out of the air with a first-time volley that sailed past a helpless Etheridge to secure the points.

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce told BBC WM:

"Near half-time, our goalkeeper pulled off a couple of remarkable saves. Cardiff will always ask you that question and Neil's been doing it for years.

"That bit of quality could win any game. It was a wonderful strike and we're pleased it was our night."

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock:

"I think it's nice to be the hunter not the hunted all the time.

"[Fulham] are a good side but they don't just have simple games and I think we have an opportunity.

"I know the lads will be disappointed tonight but I thought they put in a great shift."

Line-ups

Aston Villa

  • 1JohnstoneBooked at 90mins
  • 27El Mohamady
  • 5Chester
  • 15Jedinak
  • 28TuanzebeSubstituted forBreeat 26'minutes
  • 6Whelan
  • 7SnodgrassBooked at 45mins
  • 14HourihaneBooked at 20minsSubstituted forSambaat 88'minutes
  • 10Grealish
  • 37AdomahSubstituted forKodjiaat 60'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 45Grabban

Substitutes

  • 4Samba
  • 8Lansbury
  • 9Hogan
  • 16Bree
  • 18Onomah
  • 22Kodjia
  • 31Bunn

Cardiff

  • 25Etheridge
  • 2PeltierBooked at 90mins
  • 4Morrison
  • 14Bamba
  • 3BennettBooked at 81mins
  • 17GunnarssonBooked at 78mins
  • 24Grujic
  • 18PatersonBooked at 37mins
  • 19Mendez-LaingSubstituted forPilkingtonat 90'minutes
  • 10ZohoreSubstituted forMadineat 68'minutes
  • 33HoilettSubstituted forWardat 88'minutesBooked at 89mins

Substitutes

  • 5Ecuele Manga
  • 13Pilkington
  • 21Bryson
  • 28Murphy
  • 29Ward
  • 32Traore
  • 44Madine
Referee:
Jeremy Simpson
Attendance:
32,560

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamCardiff
Possession
Home60%
Away40%
Shots
Home13
Away11
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home8
Away3
Fouls
Home13
Away19

Live Text

Match ends, Aston Villa 1, Cardiff City 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aston Villa 1, Cardiff City 0.

Booking

Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Lee Peltier (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lee Peltier (Cardiff City).

Booking

Sam Johnstone (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. Callum Paterson (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Jamie Ward with a cross.

Attempt blocked. Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lewis Grabban.

Attempt missed. Lewis Grabban (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jack Grealish following a fast break.

Foul by Jack Grealish (Aston Villa).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Anthony Pilkington replaces Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Joe Bennett (Cardiff City).

Booking

Jamie Ward (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jamie Ward (Cardiff City).

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by James Chester.

Attempt blocked. Callum Paterson (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

Attempt saved. Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Jamie Ward replaces David Junior Hoilett.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Christopher Samba replaces Conor Hourihane.

Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Sol Bamba (Cardiff City).

Goal!

Goal! Aston Villa 1, Cardiff City 0. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner following a set piece situation.

Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Sean Morrison (Cardiff City).

Foul by Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa).

Gary Madine (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by David Junior Hoilett with a headed pass.

Attempt blocked. Sean Morrison (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Marko Grujic.

Booking

Joe Bennett (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Joe Bennett (Cardiff City).

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Neil Etheridge.

Attempt saved. Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Jack Grealish.

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Callum Paterson.

Booking

Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wolves41278674363889
2Fulham422312772413181
3Cardiff41248962352780
4Aston Villa4222101066402676
5Derby401814860382268
6Millwall4218141054391568
7Middlesbrough421991459411866
8Bristol City4217141159481165
9Sheff Utd42198155749865
10Brentford4217131258471164
11Preston421615115244863
12Ipswich42168185052-256
13Norwich421414144652-656
14Leeds42159185460-654
15QPR421411175363-1053
16Hull421114176461347
17Sheff Wed421114175059-947
18Nottm Forest41137214359-1646
19Reading421012204661-1542
20Birmingham42117243261-2940
21Bolton42912213464-3039
22Barnsley41813204261-1937
23Sunderland42615214574-2933
24Burton42711243077-4732
View full Championship table

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