Search

Gunn shoots down Palace

18:20 26 December 2012

Cardiff City

Cardiff City's Aron Gunnarsson. Photo: Mike Egerton/EMPICS

EMPICS Sport

Championship: Cardiff 2 Crystal Palace 1

Crystal Palace slipped further behind Championship leaders Cardiff after substitute Aron Gunnarsson nodded home the winning goal to complete a Bluebirds turnaround which extends their lead at the top of the division.

An action-packed first half was book-ended by two goals 40 minutes apart, Mike Jedinak stunning the sell-out crowd with an early opener before Craig Noone’s equalised a minute before the interval.

Cardiff’s goal led a charmed life with Wilfried Zaha’s splendid effort hitting the bar and chances aplenty for Palace but half-time substitute Gunnarsson helped turn the tide for the Bluebirds before scoring his sixth of the season from close range.

The Eagles came into this match having scored in all-but one of their League games this season so it was perhaps no surprise when captain Jedinak nodded home after just 180 seconds.

But Cardiff’s reaction was laboured to say the least and it took until the 16th minute for the Bluebirds to really set their sights on Julian Speroni’s goal, Craig Bellamy’s ambitious half-volley sparking cries of “top of the league, you’re having a laugh” from the buoyant travelling support.

And the 1,190 behind Speroni’s goal had every right to be boisterous given their team’s start which they came incredibly close to extending in two first-half minutes.

First Glenn Murray’s touch let him down as he raced clear on Marshall’s goal after being found by Jonathan Parr. And then Zaha’s trickery bamboozled Kevin McNaughton down the Palace left and, after cutting inside, the England international’s right-footed curler crashed off the crossbar with the Scottish keeper just a spectator. When the ball bounced back to Yannick Bolasie his deflected drive forced Marshall into a fingertip save.

A minute later Palace were threatening yet again, Owen Garvan’s free-kick forcing Marshall into a low-save.

At the other end only the combination of Peter Ramage and his keeper Speroni kept out Bellamy after the Welshman tried a cute lob after racing clear with what was comfortably the home side’s best chance of a forgettable opening 44 minutes for the table-toppers.

Just when it looked like the Bluebirds would go into the interval behind for the second successive home game they drew level. Bellamy’s pace helped him get the better of Parr down the Cardiff left and his pull-back into the box was perfect for Noone to hammer a first-time effort into the top of the Palace net.

After an off-colour first-half display Malky Mackay shuffled his midfield at the break with Jordon Mutch being replaced by Gunnarsson. And his change seemed to work a treat, with the Iceland midfielder helping to stop the constant stream of Palace chances.

And in fact it took 12 minutes of the second period for the next chance, Garvan’s drive flying just inches wide of Marshall’s near post.

Bellamy was Cardiff’s biggest threat and the 33-year-old tested Speroni with a low drive from an angle from Gunnarsson’s clever pass as the game reached the hour mark. And Cardiff were beginning to engineer more chances with Gunnarsson and Whittingham both having opportunities.

And that pressure paid off 27 minutes into the second half when Gunnarsson rose to head in Bellamy’s right-footed corner via the underside of the bar.

Only the reactions of Speroni stopped the home side extending their hard-fought lead, the keeper diving right to flick Whittingham’s free-kick onto the bar.

Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Hudson, Turner, Whittingham, Conway, Noone (Mason, 76), Mutch (Gunnarsson, 46), Bellamy, Helguson (Gestede, 57).

Unused subs: Lewis, Cowie, Kim, Lappin.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Parr (Easter, 87), Moxey, Ramage, Gabbidon, Dikgacoi, Garvan, Jedinak, Zaha, Murray, Bolasie (Moritz, 74).

Unused subs: Price, Martin, Williams, O’Keefe, Appiah.

Referee: P Gibbs (West Midlands)

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Tottenham goalscorer Harry Kane (left) grapples with Chelsea captain John Terry during last night's 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge, which ended Spurs' title challenge

Harry Kane believes Tottenham showed their fighting spirit in last night’s fiery derby clash against Chelsea – but he feels they should have controlled the game better as they threw away another lead.

Spurs Ladies midfielder Shannon Moloney. Pic: Getty Images/Tottenham Hotspur

Midfielder Shannon Moloney was disappointed with Spurs Ladies’ performance as they lost the second of their three cup finals – and she says the Lilywhites are determined to make amends and win another trophy this weekend.

Yesterday, 22:18
Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur turns away to celebrate after scoring the opening goal at Chelsea  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Tottenham’s Premier League title challenge was ended by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after they threw away a two-goal lead in a fiery and ill-tempered London derby.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says he felt compelled to confirm his commitment to Tottenham to prove to the club’s current stars and prospective signings that he will be staying at White Hart Lane.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista celebrates Danny Welbeck's winner against Norwich

Arsenal 1 Norwich City 0

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino hopes to emulate Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign at Manchester United and create his own legacy at Tottenham after announcing he has agreed a two-year contract extension.

Dele Alli (right) appeared to punch West Bromwich Albion's Claudio Yacob during Monday's 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane and has been banned for three games

Dele Alli will continue to take part in training until the end of the season, even though he cannot play for Tottenham, to maintain his fitness ahead of this summer’s Euro 2016 Championship.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has announced he has verbally agreed a two-year contract extension at Tottenham, extending his stay at White Hart Lane until 2021.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe