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Cardiff City 2-1 West Bromwich Albion: Tomlin free-kick downs Baggies

Charlie Austin
West Brom striker Charlie Austin scored for the first time in eight games by converting a 61st-minute penalty

West Bromwich Albion's promotion bid took another hit as they lost at Cardiff City to surrender their place at the top of the Championship to Leeds United.

Callum Paterson pounced on a rebound to put Cardiff in front early in the second half.

The Baggies equalised as Charlie Austin - on as a substitute for less than two minutes - converted a penalty after Jazz Richards had fouled Felipe Krovinovic.

But another substitute, Lee Tomlin, won the game for Cardiff with a beautiful free-kick.

With 15 minutes left on the clock and the ball placed on the edge of the penalty area, Tomlin clipped it delicately into the top corner to seal a victory which lifts Cardiff to 12th in the table, five points adrift of the play-off places.

West Brom's defeat, coupled with Leeds' comeback win over Millwall, means the Baggies drop to second place, two points behind the new leaders.

Slaven Bilic's side had travelled to Wales with the hope of injecting fresh impetus into what had already become a stuttering bid for promotion - but this loss leaves them with only one win from eight league games.

Cardiff's form had also been uninspiring of late, but there were early suggestions they might topple their opponents, Will Vaulks playing a through ball to Robert Glatzel, whose shot was saved by Sam Johnstone.

But clear scoring opportunities or any real moments of attacking quality were rare in a mediocre first half.

That changed less than a minute after the break.

The visitors failed to clear a long throw from Vaulks and, after Sean Morrison's shot was blocked, Paterson was on hand to score from close range.

Goalscorer Callum Paterson holds up a shirt in tribute to non-league footballer Jordan Sinnott, who died last Saturday
Goalscorer Callum Paterson holds up a shirt in tribute to non-league footballer Jordan Sinnott, who died last Saturday

Just as momentum seemed to be with Cardiff, however, Richards brought Krovinovic down with a needless sliding challenge. It was a daft penalty to concede, and Richards' aberration was punished by Austin, who calmly sent Alex Smithies the wrong way from the spot.

The game was beginning to open up at this point, with both sides sensing a win was in the offing - but a storm was brewing for West Brom.

Just as Leeds were fighting back against Millwall, the Baggies presented Cardiff with an opportunity to snatch victory in the form of a free-kick in a promising position.

Tomlin gladly accepted the invitation, curling the ball perfectly beyond Johnstone's grasp into the top corner.

West Brom had a chance to salvage a point but another of their substitutes, former Cardiff striker Kenneth Zohore, was denied by a brilliant Smithies save.

Cardiff City boss Neil Harris told BBC Sport Wales:

"I'm delighted with the character of the players, the determination to want to succeed and do well. It wasn't pretty at times against a really good footballing side and to limit them to what we did was an outstanding effort by the players.

"We showed there are different ways of winning games. We used set plays, the first one we worked the ball into a good area for Will Vaulks to use his long throw. Paterson's used his goal scoring instincts which I'm really pleased about.

"And then the second one is a moment of magic. To be able to bring a player of Lee's quality off the bench is brilliant for me and he showed his real class.

"It was a workmanlike performance that epitomises us as a club and a group and I'm really proud of the players because we played against a really good West Brom side who have shown their qualities over the season. They might not be on the greatest run but still very difficult to play against."

West Bromwich Albion boss Slaven Bilic said:

"We knew it wasn't going to be a pretty game, they are very direct and very aggressive team. We wanted to stop them creating anything, even from throw-ins. We were pretty solid on paper at least.

"We expected a game of very few chances and knew it wasn't going to be easy to score against them. You can't concede goals like that.

"It's simply not good enough at the moment. Told the guys we need to look at each other, not as soon as possible - but now, to what get back what we had. We don't have it in the moment. We can't say we were unlucky for seven games, can't blame anybody but us. We have to get it back. Simple as that. We weren't good enough.

"I can't be any harder, I spoke quite long in the dressing room. We need it back, we need the team back. We have to get back on winning track, first of all stop conceding goals."

Line-ups

Cardiff

  • 12Smithies
  • 21Richards
  • 4Morrison
  • 16NelsonBooked at 65mins
  • 3Bennett
  • 15Pack
  • 6Vaulks
  • 20WhyteSubstituted forBacunaat 82'minutes
  • 13Paterson
  • 33HoilettSubstituted forBambaat 90+4'minutes
  • 9GlatzelSubstituted forTomlinat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Etheridge
  • 5Flint
  • 7Bacuna
  • 11Murphy
  • 17Tomlin
  • 22Bamba
  • 42Mayembe

West Brom

  • 1Johnstone
  • 27O'Shea
  • 5BartleySubstituted forFurlongat 77'minutes
  • 26Hegazi
  • 36Ferguson
  • 8Livermore
  • 19Sawyers
  • 10Phillips
  • 7Krovinovic
  • 21EdwardsSubstituted forAustinat 59'minutes
  • 4Robson-KanuSubstituted forZohoreat 59'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Furlong
  • 9Zohore
  • 11Brunt
  • 14Townsend
  • 15Austin
  • 18Barry
  • 23Bond
Referee:
Robert Jones
Attendance:
22,516

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamWest Brom
Possession
Home31%
Away69%
Shots
Home10
Away16
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home1
Away7
Fouls
Home16
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Cardiff City 2, West Bromwich Albion 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Cardiff City 2, West Bromwich Albion 1.

Foul by Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion).

Callum Paterson (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Sol Bamba replaces David Junior Hoilett.

Attempt saved. Kenneth Zohore (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Matt Phillips.

Attempt blocked. Charlie Austin (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jake Livermore.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Sean Morrison.

Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Callum Paterson (Cardiff City).

Romaine Sawyers (West Bromwich Albion).

Curtis Nelson (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Darnell Furlong.

Offside, Cardiff City. Alex Smithies tries a through ball, but Callum Paterson is caught offside.

Foul by Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion).

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

Dara O'Shea (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lee Tomlin (Cardiff City).

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Leandro Bacuna replaces Gavin Whyte.

Attempt missed. Lee Tomlin (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Callum Paterson.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Gavin Whyte.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Jazz Richards.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Darnell Furlong replaces Kyle Bartley.

Goal!

Goal! Cardiff City 2, West Bromwich Albion 1. Lee Tomlin (Cardiff City) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

Foul by Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion).

Lee Tomlin (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Dara O'Shea (West Bromwich Albion) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Matt Phillips with a cross following a corner.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Jazz Richards.

Attempt blocked. Charlie Austin (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matt Phillips with a cross.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Curtis Nelson.

Offside, Cardiff City. Marlon Pack tries a through ball, but Callum Paterson is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Marlon Pack (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Attempt missed. David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Joe Bennett.

Foul by Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion).

Will Vaulks (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Dara O'Shea tries a through ball, but Charlie Austin is caught offside.

Booking

Curtis Nelson (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Kenneth Zohore (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Curtis Nelson (Cardiff City).

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Lee Tomlin replaces Robert Glatzel.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leeds29167646262055
2West Brom291411451331853
3Nottm Forest29149640281251
4Fulham29147842301249
5Brentford291451044222247
6Bristol City2913884340347
7Preston2913794234846
8Swansea2912983433145
9Millwall29111173835344
10Blackburn29127104236643
11Sheff Wed29126114033742
12Cardiff29101274142-142
13Hull29116124138339
14QPR29115134753-638
15Reading29107123533237
16Derby29910103139-837
17Middlesbrough29811102936-735
18Birmingham2997133546-1134
19Huddersfield2988133345-1232
20Stoke2994163642-631
21Charlton2979133741-430
22Wigan2968152744-1726
23Barnsley2959153554-1924
24Luton2973193763-2624
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