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West Ham United
28 September 2013
• Craven Cottage, London
Referee: C. Pawson
• Attendance: 23020
B. Ruiz 45'
S. Caulker 12'
J. Mutch 90'+
Fulham will look to get back to winning ways when they bost Stoke next weekend whilst Cardiff will search for back-to-back wins when they host Newcastle. That's all from me, folks. Until next time, goodbye!
FT: Fulham 1-2 Cardiff. Jordan Mutch's superb stoppage-time strike gives Malky Mackay's side a first win on the road this season. The Bluebirds were good value for the victory and opened the scoring in the first half courtesy of Steven Caulker's header. Fulham were simply second-best although Bryan Ruiz produced a moment of genius to level the scores on the stroke of half-time. Martin Jol's side miserable home form continues as they remain in the relegation zone.
Boos ring out around Craven Cottage as the referee blows the final whistle! Cardiff have their first ever Premier League away win.
90' + 2'
Goal Jordon Mutch
CARDIFF TAKE THE LEAD AND WHAT A GOAL IT IS! Richardson fails to deal with Marshall's long ball and Mutch seizes onto the ball and sends a superb swerving left-footed shot into the top left-hand corner from the right corner of the box. The three points look to be heading back to Wales!
WHAT A CHANCE FOR FULHAM! Karagounis produces a brilliant pass to send Richardson clear down the left and this time the left-back produces a fantastic low cross which skids across the face of goal, but there is no white shirt to meet it. All it needed was a touch.
Cardiff win a free kick around 35 yards out and Bellamy opts to go for goal, blazing the ball high over the crossbar. The way Whittingham has been playing, I'm surprised he didn't cross that into the box.
Martin Jol makes a final roll of the dice as he throws on Adel Taarabt for Darren Bent. Will it prove to be another inspired substitution?
Cardiff attack down the other end but Whittingham cannot quite divert Bellamy's reverse pass the right side of the post. Will we see a late winner?
WHAT A CHANCE FOR FULHAM! Kasami embarks on a bamboozling run and he takes on several defenders before his shot is blocked bravely by Caulker. The rebound falls kindly for the Macedonian but his shot lacks conviction and is saved by Marshall.
Fulham work the ball out to the left smartly but once again Richardson overhits his cross. The London side have really lacked creativity in wide areas today.
Peter Odemwingie cannot add to his goal in midweek as he is hauled off for Craig Bellamy. The Welshman has not scored a league goal in this calendar year. It wouldn't be a bad time to end that run.
Kieran Richardson has been really poor for Fulham today and his cross from the left sums up his performance as it flies straight out of play. Craig Bellamy readies himself on the touchline.
Andrew Taylor produces a strong run from left-back but his cross is just behind Mutch who volleys the ball over the crossbar. Cardiff are not giving up hope of a first Premier League away win just yet.
Fulham have Cardiff pegged back into their own half here but it is really sloppy passing from the Cottagers. Darren Bent has hardly had a sniff of Marshall's goal.
The Fulham crowd are starting to get behind their side as they sense the chance of what has to be called an undeserved winner. Can they find a late goal to lift them out of the relegation zone?
Malky Mackay opts to make his second change as Nicky Maynard replaces Fraizer Campbell. Can he give the Bluebirds an extra attacking dimension up front?
Fulham launch a counter attack but Bent plays a pass just behind Ruiz and the move breaks down.
Peter Whittingham has been superb for Cardiff today but he can only strike his free kick straight into the wall before Gunnarsson's shot is well blocked.
However, Fulham have certainly improved in this second half and Ruiz tees the ball up for Kasami on the edge of the box, only to watch the Macedonian's weak effort comfortably saved by Marshall.
Hangeland has looked constantly shaky on his 200th Premier League appearance and he nearly gets robbed of possession by Campbell in a dangerous area. Cardiff are certainly going to get more chances in this one.
Yellow Card Dimitar Berbatov
Dimitar Berbatov is the first Fulham player to be booked after a mistimed challenge on Theophile-Catherine. It's been a rather frustrating afternoon for the Bulgarian so far.
FULHAM GO CLOSE! Riether produces a rare burst to get forward from right-back and his cross finds Berbatov who heads against the outside of the post from a narrow angle.
Make that 16. Whittingham receives the ball on the edge of the box but he cannot replicate Ruiz's effort as he curls a shot over the bar.
Fulham have hardly tested Marshall in the Cardiff goal and Kasami's shot from distance flashes narrowly wide. The statistics show that Cardiff have had 15 shots on goal in comparison to Fulham's four.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR CARDIFF! Mutch makes an instant impact when his teasing low cross finds Campbell in the box, but the striker can only poke the ball over the top from close range. Will Mackay's team live to rue all these missed opportunites?
Cardiff make their first change of the game and it is a surprising one as Kim is replaced by Jordan Mutch.
Cardiff win a free kick in a promising area but this time Whittingham's delivery is too close to Stockdale and the Fulham goalkeeper comfortably claims.
Theophile-Catherine has produced some good quality play down the right and his fizzed cross is met on the volley by Whittingham but bobbles towards the corner flag.
Cardiff have started the second half well and Stockdale needs to be alert to prevent Campbell from heading in Turner's flick-on. The Bluebirds centre-back has been immense in the air today.
Cardiff continue to look a threat from set-pieces and Medel shovels a shot over the bar after Fulham failed to clear their lines from a corner.
The referee blows his whistle and Cardiff get the second half underway. I'm sure Martin Jol has had some stern words with his players at the break whilst Malky Mackay will be asking his team for more of the same.
Let's bring you up-to-date with the other half-time scores: Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea (FT), Aston Villa 0-1 Manchester City, Hull City Tigers 1-0 West Ham, Manchester United 0-0 West Brom, Southampton 0-0 Crystal Palace.
HT: Fulham 1-1 Cardiff. Bryan Ruiz's fantastic strike on the stroke of half-time ensures the two low-lying sides are level at the break. In truth, it has been all Cardiff and they took the lead through Steven Caulker's first goal for the club. The Welsh side have dominated the midfield battle and Malky Mackay must be wondering how his side are not in front.
45' + 1'
Cardiff look to respond immediately with Odemwingie, who wriggles into the box before his shot is well blocked.
Assist Sascha Riether
Goal Bryan Ruiz
WHAT A STRIKE FROM BRYAN RUIZ! It's an inspired substitution from Martin Jol as the Costa Rican receives the ball on the edge of the box before bending a wonderful shot into the top corner, with Marshall stranded. Fulham do not deserve to be level, but that is a goal of the highest quality.
It really has been all Cardiff this half but it seems they will only have one goal to show for their efforts at the break as Campbell heads Theophile-Catherine's cross over the bar.
This time the corner is headed out to the edge of the box but Medel can only slice his shot well high and wide of the target.
Fulham continue to look shaky at the back and Cardiff win another corner when Riether nervously clears the ball behind.
Second substitution for Fulham as Bryan Ruiz replaces Alexander Kacaniklic. The Costa Rican marches onto the field, dishing out instructions to a number of teammates.
Kim has looked lively in this first half but he cannot deceive Stockdale with his cheeky chip as it goes narrowly over the crossbar.
It seems that Martin Jol will not even wait until half-time to make the changes. Bryan Ruiz is stripped and ready to go on the touchline. Fulham have been woeful in this first half.
Cardiff threaten again when Theophile-Catherine stretches his legs down the right and his cross is glanced wide of the target by the head of Gunnarsson.
FULHAM FINALLY DEFEND WELL FROM A CORNER! Whittingham whips the ball into the box and Stockdale is given good protection from his back four to pluck the ball out of the air.
Cardiff appeal for a handball when Taylor is convinced that his cross hits the hand of Riether. The referee is not interested however and points for a corner.
Cardiff are well on top here and they are dominating the midfield battle. Bent and Berbatov have been mere spectators up front for Fulham.
Fulham just cannot cope with Whittingham's corners! This time, Caulker knocks the ball down for Campbell who acrobatically strikes the ball over the top. Martin Jol does not look a happy man.
Yellow Card Kevin Theophile Catherine
Theopile-Catherine is the first player to be booked as he cynically brings down Kasami to prevent a Fulham counter attack.
Moments after Caulker has a goal ruled out for a foul from a corner, Fulham go close as Karagounis' fizzing shot is well pushed around the post by Marshall.
Brede Hangeland is certainly not playing well on his 200th Premier League appearance and he allows Campbell to nip in behind him but his blushes are spared by Stockdale.
CARDIFF GO CLOSE AGAIN! It's a familiar combination as Whittingham's cross to the back post is met by the head of Turner, who forces Stockdale into a brilliant save. From the resulting corner, Turner is there again and he heads against the outside of the post.
Kim has produced some neat touches for Cardiff and he is fouled by Kasami. The Fulham players are looking a little frustrated here.
Fulham just do not look comfortable at the back and Turner flicks a header from Whittingham's cross narrowly wide.
Fulham do look vulnerable at the back though and they are fortunate to see Taylor miscontrol Gunnarsson's cross at the back post. The left-back had ghosted in unmarked there.
BETTER FROM FULHAM! Kacaniklic's run causes problems down the left but his cross is just too high for Berbatov. The ball falls to Richardson on the edge of the box but he slices over the bar.
Incidentally, Berbatov is experiencing a bit of a dry spell for Fulham at the moment with only two goals in his last 12 Premier League appearances.
Fulham win a corner of their own but Berbatov cannot quite hook the ball towards the goal. The Cardiff supporters are in fine voice here. I think it's safe to say they're enjoying themselves so far.
OFF THE LINE! Whittingham's crosses are causing all sorts of problems and Hangeland produces a brilliant header to deny Cardiff a second goal before Kasami clears Turner's effort off the line! Fulham are at sixes and sevens at the back.
Cardiff have suddenly sprung into life and Whittingham's dangerous cross to the back post is hooked behind by Richardson for another corner. Can Fulham defend this one better?
Assist Peter Whittingham
Goal Steven Caulker
CAULKER PUTS CARDIFF AHEAD! Peter Whittinghaam floats a corner into the box and Caulker gets ahead of Amorebieta to head the ball past Stockdale. That's his first goal for the Bluebirds!
Odemwingie embarks on a mazy dribble before slipping the ball through for Kim. However, he cannot shift the ball out from his feet and Fulham survive.
Berbatov produces a smart run to get in behind Caulker. However, the Bulgarian cannot quite get the ball under control and the move breaks down. Decent start from the home side.
There has been no attacking threat from Cardiff so far but there is hope. Fulham have allowed their opponents to attempt 100 shots on goal so far this season, a Premier League high.
Early blow for Fulham here as Scott Parker is forced to go off with a hip problem. Giorgos Karagounis comes on to replace him.
Cardiff are yet to get going here and Fulham show their attacking intent as Kasami closes down Taylor brilliantly. The 21-year-old Macedonian midfielder has made a bright start to the season.
Speaking of the tall Norwegian, he plays a long ball into the right channel for Bent to chase but there is nobody in the middle to meet his low cross.
Incidentally, Brede Hangeland is making his 200th Premier League appearance for Fulham today. What a servant he has been in the heart of the Cottagers' defence.
The referee blows his whistle and Fulham get the ball rolling. Can they build on their cup success over Everton in the week?
It must have felt strange for Fulham season ticket holders not to walk past the Michael Jackson statue today. It was removed earlier this week at the request of former owner Mohamed Fayed.
The two sides emerge from the tunnels and onto the pitch. Fulham will play in their traditional white jerseys with the Bluebirds in their, erm, red shirts. Can Fulham produce a good performance to lift the pressure off the shoulders of Martin Jol? Kickoff is moments away.
CARDIFF (4-1-2-1-2): Marshall; Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Turner, Taylor; Medel; Whittingham, Gunnarsson; Kim; Odemwingie, Campbell.
FULHAM (4-4-2): Stockdale; Riether, Hangeland, Amorebieta, Richardson; Kacaniklic, Sidwell, Parker, Kasami; Berbatov, Bent.
Without further ado, here are today's lineups...
Cardiff will be boosted by the fact that Fulham have only managed to take one point from their last six home Premier League matches and only one side (Stoke City) have failed to score in the last 17 at Craven Cottage.
As for Cardiff, they have coped reasonably well on their long-awaited return to the top flight and Malky Mackay's side pulled off one of the upsets of the season when they defeated Manchester City 3-2. However, that has proved to be their only league victory so far, and they lie just above the relegation zone on five points.
Things have not gone quite as planned so far this season for Martin Jol. Fulham have only picked up four points from their opening five games with their solitary win coming against bottom side Sunderland. They have only managed to score three league goals in that time but their 2-1 Capital One Cup victory over Everton in midweek, with Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Bent both on the scoresheet, suggests that their season may be about to turn.
A big game towards the bottom of the Premier League today as 18th place Fulham host 16th place Cardiff City at Craven Cottage. It really is a tale of two sides who have come so far over the past two decades and the fact that the last meeting between them came in the fourth tier during the 1996-97 season is testament to their success.
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