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August 31, 2013
• Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff (Caerdydd)
Referee: A. Taylor
• Attendance: 27344
I'm sorry we couldn't bring you any goal today from the Cardiff City Stadium but at least there are positives for both sides to be taken away. Once again Cardiff prove that they can withstand the pressure of an experienced Premier League side while Everton can boast and unbeaten start. I have been Hayden Gribble, and thanks for following this game with me. Until next time.
There is no doubt that Malky Mackay will be the happier of the two managers today as his Cardiff side were leargely outplayed in many moments of the game. For Roberto Martinez, he is still left looking for his first Premier League win in charge of Everton but the Toffess remain unbeaten, having drawn all three of their opening games.
STAT ATTACK: Cardiff have not beaten Everton at home since a 1-0 triumph at Ninian Park in an old First Division clash in December 1956. (BBCSport)
So, it ends in a stalemate as both managers shake hands at the end of a rarely exciting afternoon of football.
Everton get a corner in the first of three injury time minutes and Deulofeu puts a cross/shot across the face of goal. Everton will be so disappointed not to have capitalized on their chances and poccession in this game. Time's running out for a winner...
We are into the final minute of the second half and Campbell is put through only to be blocked off by a great tackle by Jagielka.
CHANCE! Gerard Deulofeu makes an immediate impression and does what Mirallas should have done two minutes ago. He turns on the edge of the box and has a pop but the ball is plucked out of the air by Marshall - who it must be said - made the save of the day today to keep Jelavic out in first-half stoppage time.
CHANCE! Mirallas is put clean through but he wants too many touches and eventually loses the ball. What a waste. As my Dad would say, 'Just 'ave a pop, son!'
STAT ATTACK: The last league meeting between the sides was April 1962 when Everton ran out 8-3 winners at Goodison Park thanks to a Roy Vernon hat-trick. (BBCSport)
CHANCE! The Fellaini - Baines connection nearly gives us the deadlock-breaker. The Belgian midfielder turns ourside the box and tees his fellow Man Utd target up - but this time on his wrong foot. He leathers it wide much to the relief of Malky Mackay on the touchline.
Ten minutes to go and we are still waiting for the breakthrough. Kone brings a marvellous save from Marshall again but the striker is offside when the ball reaches him.
To paraphrase a quote from The IT Crowd, the trouble with Everton is that they try and walk it in. There are many nice touches around the box from Fellaini et al but the Bluebirds are able to contain the pressure and clear into safety.
15 minutes to go and Everton continue to press, but Coleman is put under pressure from a crowd of red shirts and his cross hits the side netting. Is there some form of rain dance you can do to make it rain goals?
Ultimately, that corner was a waste and the Toffees come back into the game. Is there a late winner here?
We have twenty minutes to go and Cardiff have a corner on the right-hand side. Can they score from here?
Instead, Pienaat steps up and tries to play Jelavic in, but the tide of red shirts break apart the attack. The confidence-stricken Croatian International prepares to depart the field of play after another disappointing afternoon in front of goal.
Another free-kick is given to the Toffees in a similar position to the last one. Will Barkley improve his radar with this one?
...Actually, it's Barkley who steps up and tnrashes the ball into the Cardiff wall.
Wittingham tickles Barkley's heels and a free-kick of awarded to the visitors about 25-yards-out centre to the goal. Will this be a Baines special?...
CHANCE! The Bluebirds support roars their team forward and Craig Bellamy is onside and threw on goal! But the Welshman's touch is too heavy and he has to scramble the ball back to Gunnarsson before Coleman gets it clear. If only the Cardiff captain's touch had been better, we would have had our first goal of the afternoon.
The Toffees are currently boasting a poccession percentage of 66% but that final ball is still missing. Martinez looks to his bench. Is the time approaching to throw Wigan old-boy Kone into the mix?
Nearing the hour mark at the Cardiff City Stadium and it is still 0-0. Would it be too much to ask for a goal?
There's a bit of argy-bargy as Fellaini brings Campbell down inside the Everton half. The Bluebirds striker gets into a needless but short scuffle with the Belgian and both players are spoken to by the referee.
STAT ATTACK: Only once under David Moyes (in 2010-11) did Everton fail to win any of their opening three games in a Premier League season (D1 L2). (BBCSport)
CHANCE! Oh, Jelavic. Good work from Barkley as he puts the striker through on goal but the out-of-form hitman scuffs his shot high over the bar when it looked easier to score.
Yellow Card Matthew Connolly
...which finds Jelavic in an offside position.
Connolly is booked for impeding on Baines. Free-kick to the Toffees...
CHANCE! Connolly slices the balls wide after a corner from the right-hand side is cleared to his feet at the edge of the area.
The two teams are back out on the pitch and the second half begins. Can the Bluebirds claim another major scalp or will the Toffees win their first game of the season?
It's goaless at the break, yet my spidey-sense is tingling and telling me that goals will flow in the second half. How many? Well, you'll have to stick around to find out...
STAT ATTACK: Including eight games as Wigan manager, Roberto Martinez has won just one of his last 10 Premier League matches (W1 D5 L4). (BBCSport)
Both teams leave the field with Everton on top in this game. The Bluebirds only clear cut effort came with Wittingham's corner which was scrambled away by Howard in the six-yard box. But that fingertip save in the final minute from Howard's opposite number, Marshall, was majestic. More to come in 15 minutes!
45' + 2'
CHANCE! What a save! Coleman puts a cross in from the right and Jelavic gets his head to it. It takes a deflection and looks to be sailing into the back of the head before Marshall, who was wrong footed in the deflection, manages to scramble low to his left and turn the ball away. That is an early contender for save of the season, surely! What a moment for the keeper.
There will be two minutes of stoppage time...
We are one minute plus stoppages away from the break and both sides are yet to break the deadlock. Roberto Martinez will be happier with his side's performance but maybe thinking how they have been denied a penalty in this first-half.
PENALTY SHOUT! Ooh, is that a penalty for the Toffees? Leighton Baines plays a fantastic one-two with Pienaar and goes down under a challenge from Taylor in the box. The left-back does not complain as the visitors appeal, but that could easily have been given.
Yellow Card Ross Barkley
It is fair to say that the referee is having a bit of mare so far today. Barkley goes in on Kim and the official waves play on but the flag is waving from his linesman, over ruling the man in charge. The teenager is subsiquently booked for a foul that would bot have been given if the ref had not taken the advice of his fellow officiator.
Everton catch the home side on the break and Fellaini, being booed the whole time by the Cardiff support, is tackled by Caulker who puts the ball into safety. The Toffees definitely have the edge in this game.
CHANCE! Another free-kick, floated in from the left from Baines, is met by a leaping Jagielka, whose looping header is comfortably smothered by Marshall.
CHANCE! I wonder if Tim Howard likes butter? Why, I hear you ask? Because his gloves are the colour of buttercups. A through ball from Gunnarsson away after it had been intercepted by Campbell...despite the Iceman's intentions to find Wittingham instead, who had made a great run into the box.
CHANCE! Jelavic cuts the ball back on the left-hand-side of the City box and puts a lovely cross onto the head of Mirallas, who once again fluffs his lines and sees his free header skim wide.
Baines is being given license to roam down the left flank but he is crowded out by the Bluebirds defence before he can find a killer pass. Like I said earlier, we are one cracking final ball away from an opener here.
CHANCE! Baines swings in a free-kick from the left flank and Mirallas is left unmarked but skies his header into the stand.
CHANCE! Fraizer Campbell, who is making his 150th career appearance today, latches onto a bouncer in the box but sees his effort skew high over the crossbar. The lineman's flag is up anyway, so it would not have counted, but the Bluebird striker was almost in the right place to strike, there.
Seamus Coleman is spoken to by the referee after leaving his leg in and bringing Kim down near the halfway line. The intensity of the crowd bays for a yellow but it's just a ticking off for the Everton youngster.
The visitors are enjoying a spell on the ball and Mirallas sees one ball into the area headed away by Caulker and then his next two attempts for a cross are also thwarted. The final ball is all thats lacking for the men in blue right now.
CHANCE! Bellamy swings a corner in from the left and Caulker gets up to meet it, but the ball brushes the head of an Everton player for another corner on the opposite side. Taken by Peter Wittingham, Tim Howard makes a bit of a hash of it and punches the ball away from just under his own bar. The American needs to dry his gloves and find his composure after that one!
Barkley's movement is superb as the 19-year-old shows just why he has been picked by Roy Hodgson for England's double header next week. The youngster jinks past two Cardiff defenders but his through-ball is too heavy for Jelavic. The intensity of this game is slowly beginning to rise.
CHANCE! The Toffees are knocking again as Pienaar slots the ball through to England hopeful Ross Barkley, whose shot from the edge of the box is blocked by Steven Caulker and trickes wide for a corner, which ultimately leads to nowt. Great play from Roberto Martinez's men.
OUCH! It looks like Craig Bellamy's personal vendetta today is to get in Baines' face...literally. The Bluebirds captain punts an elbow into the England International's face in what looked like a deliberate attempt to unsettle the defender. Well, i'd be!
STAT ATTACK: Malky Mackay's team beat Manchester City in their last match despite having only 30% of the possession, as calcuated by Opta. (BBCSport)
CLOSE! The Toffees knock on the door, first and Mirallas is beaten to a loose ball at the back post by Taylor, who clears it behind. The away support are incensed when a goal kick is given. That looked like the Bluebirds ball, to me.
It's Cardiff who are getting stuck in first as Leon Osman is bundled over by Gunnarsson in the centre circle. Plenty of time for this game to settle.
Everton get the game underway, kicking from right to left.
Both sides are lining up, about to be welcomed by beautiful sunshine and screaming fans. They emerge, kick-off is not far away now.
We are only ten minutes away from kick-off but the atmosphere is building inside the Cardiff City Stadium. If the home fans can roar their charges forward like they did against City last week, the Evertonians may be in need of ear plugs!
STAT ATTACK: Craig Bellamy could become the first player to score for seven different clubs in the Premier League. He has previously scored for Coventry, Liverpool, Manchester City, Newcastle, Blackburn and West Ham. (BBCSport)
STAT ATTACK: Nikica Jelavic has only scored one goal in 21 hours and 47 minutes of Premier League football. (BBCSport)
So, Cardiff boss Malky Mackay keeps the faith with the team that put Man City to the sword last weekend, whilst Roberto Martinez also names an unchanged line-up, with Man Utd targets Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini both taking their places on the team sheet. Can the home support create more epic atmosphere this afternoon here in Wales like last time out?
Cardiff: Marshall, Connolly, Taylor, Caulker, Turner, Whitts, Medel, Campbell, Kim, Gunnarsson, Bellamy (c). Subs: Lewis, Hudson, Gestede, Noone, Mutch, Cowie, Maynard. Everton: Howard, Coleman, Baines, Distin, Jagielka (c), Mirallas, Pienaar, Osman, Fellaini, Barkley, Jelavic. Subs: Robles, Heitinga, Oviedo, Kone, Deulofeu, Naismith, Stones. Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)
Good afternoon and welcome to the live text commentary of Cardiff City versus Everton. I am Hayden Gribble and thanks for joining me on a day that could see the Bluebirds register their first back-to-back wins in the top flight since April 1962 against a Toffees side yet to win in the Premier League this season. We are about half hour from kick-off, so let's get the team news...
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