Cardiff are still looking for their first win in the Premier League as Burnley prevailed in a cagey match in South Wales.
The first half was a very low-quality encounter, more reminiscent of a match from the 1970s than 2018.
In the first half Cardiff were the more dynamic and ambitious team. They had a few half chances but nothing of any major note; Josh Murphy looked bright as did Kenneth Zohore.
Cardiff’s first chance came from a good delivery from Murphy yet some solid defending from Ben Mee ensured it came to nothing.
Sol Bamba delivered a nice cross-field ball which released Martin Paterson yet Murphy arrived too late to get on the end of the ball he whipped across the goalmouth.
It appeared early on that Cardiff were looking to exploit the right flank. Zohore and Camerasa overlapped nicely down the wing as they struggled to create an opener.
Cardiff wasted no time in showing their physical attributes, as Burnley were forced into an early change after Tarkowski was brought down and appeared to injure his shoulder. Vydra also went down less than a minute later after a full-blooded challenge yet managed to continue.
At this point Cardiff were starting to look dangerous in and around the Burnley penalty area. Josh Murphy showcased some good skill to wriggle free from two defenders but could only hit the near post.
Neither team looked particularly confident with the ball at their feet. There was a fair amount of ‘hoofing’ as the game struggled to find a rhythm.
After 30 minutes neither team had an attempt on target. Up until now Joe Hart had more touches of the ball than either of the Burnley strikers.
The best chance of the first half came from Zohore. He was played in by Camarasa and the resulting shot forced Hart into a great reflex save from Hart. From the resulting corner Cardiff had the ball in the net but it was disallowed due to a foul on Kevin Long in the penalty box.
Zohore, again looking one of the liveliest players on the pitch, broke through the Burnley defence but was denied due to some great defending from Kevin Long. Not long after this Paterson had potentially the best chance of the half when he was gifted a free header but luckily for Burnley Vydra was there to clear it from the goal-line.
Early in the second half there were calls for a penalty on Sam Vokes. The Burnley striker had broken free into the Cardiff box and appeared to be pulled back by Morrison. Referee Martin Atkinson deemed it be legal much to the chagrin of Vokes and his teammates.
Surprisingly it was Burnley who made the breakthrough. A looping cross came in from Ashley Westwood after a very quick throw in. Johann Berg Gudmundsson was waiting and ready to steer a good header into the bottom corner.
Burnley’s lead lasted for only eight minutes however. Cardiff defied their reputation as route one team and passed the ball around nicely until Manga picked out Murphy at the edge of the box who swept the ball home first time.
The equaliser was very much deserved and injected some much-needed life into the game. Cardiff were starting to look hungry as they pushed for another goal. Murphy had a great curling shot into the top corner which was just tipped out by Hart.
It was Burnley, however, who once again took the lead thanks to Welshman Vokes. The ball was launched upfield to Vydra who passed across the box for Vokes to head in. Neil Warnock will not be impressed at how easily his defence made this move for the Burnley attacking line.
Cardiff toiled away trying to find an equaliser as Warnock became more and more incensed on the touchline. Josh Murphy regularly looked like Cardiff’s best chance to get back in the game yet Joe Hart was there every time to deny him.
Neil Warnock will not be impressed by Camarasa who on multiple occasions chose to selfishly go for glory rather than look for a teammate, as the Bluebirds fell short once again and Burnley recorded consecutive victories for the first time in their 2018/19 campaign.
Are Cardiff doomed already?
Neil Warnock’s team are on a horrible run of fixtures. Having played Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City in their last three fixtures they have Tottenham, Fulham and Liverpool coming up next. Cardiff need to target games to win this season, and if they want to have any chance of staying up they need to be winning games at home against teams like Burnley.
The lack of quality in the squad and apparent naivety seems to make them almost certainties for relegation.
Joe Hart for England?
Joe Hart was integral in his team’s victory today. The formed England no.1 has had a good start to the season for his new team and is showing his previous good form. With the international break looming on the horizon Gareth Southgate will have to be ruminating over the inclusion of Hart. Nick Pope is injured and Hart is ahead of Tom Heaton in the Burnley pecking order. The other obvious alternative is Stoke’s Jack Butland and whilst he is no doubt a very, very good keeper he is currently plying his trade in the Championship.
Burnley back on track
After their meek start to the season, Sean Dyche will be pleased to see his team grind out a result like this. Of course a 4-0 victory like their one against Bournemouth last week is always welcome, but there is something equally valuable about going to a ground like Cardiff and winning against a strong physical team. Dyche will be hoping that Burnley can push on now; they play Huddersfield in their next game and a win there could see them rise as high as 10th in the table.
Man of the Match: Joe Hart.
Burnley’s goalkeeper sent out a reminder to Gareth Southgate as to his abilities with a commanding performance between the sticks for the Clarets. Cardiff’s inefficiencies cost them dearly, but Hart was outstanding and kept his side in the game on numerous occasions.