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April 19, 2014
• Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff (Caerdydd)
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 27686
P. Whittingham 51'
M. Arnautović 45'+
All it remains for me to say is thank you very much for joining me this afternoon and enjoy the rest of your weekend, I've been Chris Baker.
The Bluebirds live to fight another day as defeat surely would have been fatal to their survival chances but they will feel frustrated that they could channel the momentum of their equaliser into another goal. Their next game away against Sunderland has become even more significant now. Mark Hughes will probably be the most satisified man in Cardiff at the moment but he will feel that his forwards should have been more clinical in front of goal today.
Perhaps a draw was a fair result but it does little to help either side. Cardiff do go above Fulham into 18th place due to their superior goal difference but they will be praying that Liverpool can continue their outstanding recent form and beat Norwich in the early kick off tomorrow. They are two points behind the Canaries having played a game more. Stoke City sit tenth in the table on 44 points just below Newcastle United.
90' + 4'
FULL TIME 1-1. In the end Cardiff might look at this as a point gained given how little they threatened in the last 15 minutes. Stoke will reflect on what could have been as they finished the second half strongly but couldn't find the winner.
90' + 2'
Stoke are looking the more likely to snatch the three points as the game draws to a close. Cardiff haven't been able to get on the ball and put the away team under any sort of pressure in the final few minutes.
CHANCE! Four minutes of time have been added on and Walters almost puts Stoke into the lead as his curling effort clips the top of the crossbar with David Marshall beaten all ends up in the Cardiff goal. A whisker away from the winner from the substitute.
Whittingham's corner is palmed away by Begovic before Mutch commits a cardinal sin of taking a foul throw. Surely that's a fine? Stoke then break on Cardiff. Walters sends in a low cross which is picked up by Assaidi who brings the ball onto his left foot but with the goal at his mercy he can only shot straight at Marshall.
You sense that Cardiff are slightly beginning to run out of energy and ideas as Stoke begin to dominate. It must be said that the home fans are giving their team tremendous backing. Campbell chases down a loose ball and wins a corner for his side.
Yellow Card Peter Crouch
Jonathan Walters comes on in place of Stephen Ireland for the final five minutes. Walters immediately gets on the ball and holds it up nicely before bringing Odemwingie into play. The Nigerian cuts in from the right and drills a low shot in at the near post with his left foot, Marshall does well to turn the ball around the post.
Fabio Da Silva
Final sub for Cardiff with Fabio being replaced in a like-for-like change with Declan John. The game has got a little bit scrappy in the last ten minutes or so. The home side are looking for a grandstand finish but Stoke will also fancy their chances on the break. Crouch gets a yellow card for bumping into Cala off the ball. The Stoke striker looks less than impressed.
Kenwyne Jones has entered the fray and has replaced Mats Daehli for the remaining nine minutes. The former Stoke hitman get straight into the action and makes a surging run in-field from the right hand side and looks to feed in Zaha but the flag is up for offside. Can Solskjaer's sub make the all important impact?
Oussama Assaidi, on loan from Liverpool, is the man to replace Arnautovic. The Moroccan winger has been out injured and his return will please Mark Hughes no doubt. Fraizer Campbell meanwhile goes tumbling in the area but the ref is having none of it and waves away the appeals.
Zaha has been on the end of some pretty rough treatment since coming on. This time Howard Webb waves play on. Ireland's cross is easily dealt with by the Cardiff defence, the clearance drops to Whelan who is encouraged to shoot by the travelling supporters but instead pass it to Arnautovic who can only fire his effort way over the bar. It turns out to be the Austrian's last involvement in the match as he is subbed.
Yellow Card Cala
Last week's hero Juan Cala then gives away a silly free kick by fouling Odemwingie in a harmless position. Ireland flights the ball into the area looking, inevitably for the head of Crouch but Caulker heads clear. Both teams will feel they could have made more of their free kicks and corner this afternoon.
Theophile-Catherine shows excellent persistance by winning a corner for his side off of Muniesa. Whittingham curls the ball into the area but can only find the grateful gloves of Asmir Begovic. Cardiff can't afford to waste such good opportunities to put the ball into the dangerzone.
With the final twenty minutes approaching it is soon to be go for broke time for Cardiff City. A draw isn't really enough at this stage of the campaign. Will Ole Gunnar chuck on another striker to complete the turnaround?
As so many Premier League games do, this match has really opened up in the second half. Admittedly, when the home side gets a penalty so quickly after the restart it does tend to light the blue touchpaper. Stephen Ireland finds himself in a bit of space but can't keep his shot down and it flies over David Marshall's crossbar.
Yellow Card Jordon Mutch
This game has a real ebb and flow about it now with both sides going all out for the victory. Cardiff will feel that they should have turned their early second half dominance into a vital lead. The Potters will be relieved to have survived such an onslaught.
Stoke finally managed to release some pressure by setting Odemwingie free on the right wing, his cross is deflected out for a corner that Ireland will take. Ireland's corner is headed clear but only as far as Glenn Whelan, the Irishman looks to bend the ball at goal but his shot is just wide.
First substitution of the afternoon with Kim being replaced by Wilfried Zaha. The winger is incredibly quick and very skilful, he'll be a threat to the Stoke rearguard.
Things are beginning to calm down after a crazy start to the second period. After equalising, Cardiff put on an avalanche of pressure which it seemed that Stoke wouldn't be able to cope with but they seem to have weathered the storm, for now at least...
Goal disallowed for offside! The linesman's flag has come to the rescue for Stoke. Steven Caulker, who had stayed up following a corner, found himself in some space and drove a low shot in at goal which Begovic got down well to save. The rebound came back to Caulker who stabs it towards goal, the ball comes back of a combination of the goalkeeper and the post. It drops to Cala who turns the ball home only for his joy to be cut short.
Stoke are rattled here and the temperature has been raised within the stadium. N'Zonzi tackles Campbell from behind and is given a yellow card. Cardiff are pumping the ball into the box and causing problems. The away side will need to stand firm here.
Yellow Card Steven N'Zonzi
Penalty Goal Peter Whittingham
GOAL! Whittingham, the dead ball specialist, makes no mistake and levels the score at 1-1. The midfielder waited for Begovic to commit himself before guiding the penalty down the centre of the goal. Game on!
PENALTY TO CARDIFF! N'Zonzi is the guilty party as he dangles a lazy leg out and again the referee has no hesitation in awarding the penalty.
Yellow Card Peter Odemwingie
Peter Odemwingie goes into the book after running into the back of Mutch. As the villan of the piece the home fans are very pleased to see their former striker receive a yellow card. The Cardiff fans are very much on the referee's back and will be putting Howard Webb under pressure to even things up.
Stoke get us going again for the second half. You can't help but feel that this will be a 45 minutes of monumental importance to Cardiff City. Can they get back into the match or will the visitors increase their lead?
You would imagine that Cardiff must be contemplating changes, as they simply can't afford to lose this fixture. Kenwyne Jones is an obvious substitution as Fraizer Campbell has looked a little isolated at times. Wilfried Zaha of course has the capability to make the difference.
Truth be told there wasn't a lot between the sides in the first half. Whittingham came close to giving Cardiff the lead with an exquisite free kick which was superbly saved by Begovic. Stoke grew into the game as the half wore on and have managed to grab a precious lead. I think it would be fair to say that Odemwingie 'won' the penalty but it was a clumsy and unnecessary challenge from Kim.
45' + 4'
There's the half-time whistle which is greeted by howls of derision from the home faithful. Odemwingie seemed to go to ground very easily and theatrically. The Stoke fans don't care one bit though they are bouncing with delight!
45' + 3'
Penalty Goal Marko Arnautovic
GOAL! 1-0 TO STOKE! Cool as you like Arnautovic steps up to calmly slot the ball past Marshall. An absolute body blow to Cardiff on the brink of the half-time interval.
45' + 1'
PENALTY TO STOKE! Muniesa forced a corner with a rocket of a shot from the left back position. Ireland then delivered the ball into the area, after a bit of a scramble Odemwingie is bundled over and Howard Webb points to the spot.
Kevin Theophile-Catherine is rather unceremoniusly upended by Glenn Whelan on the touchline and requires some treatment. Meanwhile, two minutes have been ended onto the first half.
OFF THE POST! Free kick to Cardiff in a dangerous position, Whittingham curls the ball over the wall but Begovic is able to touch the ball onto the frame of the goal. Just inches away from the opening goal of the game. Fantastic save from the Stoke goalkeeper, who is probably one of the best stoppers in the division.
Nearly a moment to forget for Asmir Begovic who comes charging out of his area to deal with a long pass towards Campbell. The Bosnian goalkeeper gets their first but almost misses the ball completely - he does however get just enough on the ball to scuff it out of harms way. He was very lucky that a Cardiff player wasn't following that up otherwise Begovic could have been seriously embarrassed!
The home team may have had a decent opening ten minutes to the match but Stoke are certainly growing into it. The Potters are starting to stretch their opponents and are getting some space on the wings. Steven N'Zonzi works the ball out to Arnautovic, who looks to work the ball onto his favoured right foot but his shot is snuffed out by a combination of Caulker and Cala.
Cardiff's midfielder are just wanting a little too long on the ball and are being caught in possession far too often for their manager's liking. Arnautovic is the latest Stoke player to take advantage and whips in an excellent ball from the left that Crouch meets with his head but can only loop it up in the air which Marshall easily gathers.
Campbell's shot forced another corner which didn't lead to a chance for the home side. Instead Stoke sprang forward on the counter attack, Stephen Ireland carried the ball a good 40 yards before feeding the ball out wide to Odemwingie. The winger's stinging shot was well palmed away by David Marshall. Marc Muniesa has indeed come on to replace Pieters at left back for Stoke.
Erik Pieters seems to be struggling with an injury and may have to be replaced. Fraizer Campbell, who has been rather anonymous so far, picks up the ball and tries to curl the ball into the top corner but his effort is blocked well by the onrushing defenders.
A sniff of an opportunity for Mutch after neat approach work from Bo-Kyung Kim. The South Korean ducked inside from the left wing well and laid the ball square for Mutch who can only scuff his shot wide from the edge of the box. He was leaning back a bit and will be disappointed to have not done better.
Half way through the first half and their has been a distinct lack of composure from both teams in attacking areas which has meant their hasn't been a great deal of goalmouth action to tell you about so far. You can understand the nerves from Cardiff but Stoke should be able to relax a bit more and play with a little less pressure.
That's more like it from Fabio! The Brazilian left back picks the ball up in his own half and drives towards the Stoke penalty area. He takes the shot on from a fair way out but his strike is well blocked by Marc Wilson. The surge forward has certainly livened up the crowd. Cardiff fans will want to see more of that kind of endeavour.
It's no coincidence that Marko Arnautovic has started seeing a bit more of the ball and as a consequence Stoke look more threatening. After a promising start Cardiff have just gone off the boil in the last five minutes, they'll need to up the tempo and intensity of their play.
Stephen Ireland has an opportunity to throw the ball into the box with a free-kick from the right wing. His delivery isn't bad but Crouch can't make anything of it from the set piece. Stoke are just beginning to feel their way into the match and find some rhythm.
Peter Crouch is trying to get more involved in the game to give the Stoke attack a focal point but the service into the tall frontman hasn't been up to scratch so far. It will be interesting to see if Peter Odemwingie can make any sort of impact against his former club. Likewise Kenwyne Jones would love to score, if given the opportunity to come off the bench for Cardiff.
Solskjaer will be reasonably happy with the opening ten minutes of this match. His players look bright and lively going forward while Stoke haven't had anything vaguely like a serious attack on their goal. Cardiff have pressed the ball well and are hunting in packs.
Stoke are just enjoying their first period of sustained possession as they look to get a foothold in the match and quieten down the home supporters. Cardiff appear content to let the visitors pass the ball around in their own half.
CHANCE! It's all coming down the left flank for the Bluebirds. Jordon Mutch is released down the inside left channel. The midfielder looks to curl the ball into the far corner with his right foot but his effort is straight at Begovic who collects comfortably.
Peter Whittingham's corner fails to pick out a teammate and is easily cleared by Ryan Shawcross. Fabio then looks to help the ball back into the danger area but his cross is overhit and floats out for a goal kick.
Some patient and probing passing from the home side leads to the young Norwegian Mats Daehli breaking into the box, he cuts inside but his low shot is deflected out of play for the first corner of the game. Encouraging start from Cardiff.
We're underway in the bright Welsh sunshine. The home fans are in typically good voice for this potentially crucial game in their debut season in the Premier League. Howard Webb is the referee.
Cardiff haven't won two Premier League games in a row this season which is a statistic they will look to remedy over the course of the next 90 minutes. The Potters have been in good form of late and will be hoping to finish the season with a flourish. The teams are just making their way out onto the pitch...
Cardiff City will be buoyed by the news that Spurs have already seen off Fulham at White Hart Lane and with Norwich playing Liverpool tomorrow Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team will see today's game against a Stoke City side with not a great deal left to play for as a massive opportunity.
Stoke City (4-2-3-1): Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Whelan, N'Zonzi; Odemwingie, Ireland, Arnautovic; Crouch. Subs: Sorensen, Muniesa, Palacios, Adam, Walters, Assaidi, Wilkinson.
Cardiff City (4-5-1): Marshall; Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Cala, Fabio; Whittingham, Medel, Daehli, Mutch, Kim; Campbell. Subs: Lewis, Turner, Jones, Eikrem, Gunnarsson, Zaha, John.
Good afternoon and welcome along to the Cardiff City Stadium for this Premier League clash between Cardiff City against Stoke City. I'm Chris Baker and I'll be describing the action for you today. The Bluebirds will be looking to build on a fantastic away win at Southampton last time out, which has breathed new life into their bid to beat the drop. Stoke meanwhile saw off Newcastle United at the Britannia Stadium.
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