Cardiff City 1-2 Charlton Athletic

Cardiff City were the victims of a comeback from resurgent Charlton Athletic, who came away 2-1 winners at the Cardiff City Stadium.

A late Yoni Buyens penalty was the difference as the visitors continued their fine form under recently installed manager Guy Luzon.

Federico Macheda had given the Bluebirds a second half lead, only for Tony Watt to peg them back soon after.

And after Sean Morrison dragged down Simon Church in the dying minutes of the game, Buyens stepped up to give his side the win.

On the back of an impressive midweek victory away at Rotherham, the Bluebirds welcomed mid-table rivals Charlton, who have made waves in the Championship with recent wins at promotion chasing Brentford and in-form Nottingham Forest.

The first half was one of very few chances for the away team, as Cardiff dominated and had the majority of possession.

Any chances that did come Charlton’s way usually came from the quick counter-attacking play of winger Johann Berg Gudmundsonn or striker Tony Watt, yet they were both regularly and easily dispossessed by the ever-impressive Bruno Ecuele Manga.

On his 300th appearance for the Bluebirds, Peter Whittingham looked at his best, as he took up the mantle as the playmaker in the middle of the park, and looked deadly accurate throughout, specifically at set pieces, with big men Kenwyne Jones and Matthew Connolly the two main targets.

Craig Noone also looked dangerous throughout, and came close after elegantly drifting through three defenders on the right hand side of the Charlton area, before forcing Henderson to put a powerful shot over the top.

The first half soon descended into scrappiness, as the referee awarded three yellow cards in the latter end of the half, with Connolly and Christophe Lepoint trading blows and both getting punished for it.

The second half started to look a lot brighter for Charlton, as they applied more pressure to the Cardiff defence and finally got a foothold in the game.

However, all this extra pressure was undone as Craig Noone played a silky ball over the top to Kenwyne Jones, who layed the ball off for Federico Macheda to easily side foot a volley into the top of the net to put the Bluebirds ahead.

Macheda was then nearly able to double his tally, as he powered a low diving header from a Noone cross that was expertly saved by Henderson near his bottom right corner.

As Charlton kept pushing, Manga again flashed the class that manager Russell Slade praised in the match programme, and saved his side by blocking a Buyens shot with an expert slide that was destined to head into the bottom left of Moore.

This continued pressure eventually made the City defence crack, as after several balls into the area, in the 74th minute it finally fell to Watt who smashed a diagonal shot from the left hand side to put the teams back on level terms.

The momentum shifted after the equaliser, and Charlton continued to press until substitute Simon Church was pulled down by Morrison to give away a penalty, that Buyens neatly finished into the top-left of the goal to make the score 2-1 with only 5 minutes left and allow the travelling fans to return back ecstatic with comeback win.

Cardiff City manager Russell Slade: “We dominated 75% of the game, so it is a little bit frustrating to say the least.”

“You’ve still got to look for the positives; we’re getting better. We’re looking better. It was like the game against Blackburn where they capitalised at the end of the game.”

“I think the good sides in the league do their game for the whole ninety minutes. We’re doing it for long periods, as we did in Rotherham, as we did for 75 minutes today.”

Charlton manager Guy Luzon: “We didn’t play well. We didn’t keep the ball. We were organised but Cardiff were better than us. I told our players at half time – we need to switch and we need to play better. We needed to chill the tempo.”

“We showed a lot of character in the second half. All the players who came into the game played well and influence the game.”

“Our aim is to win the next game. We only think about the next game and the result. We don’t think about the long-term.”

Cardiff City XI: Moore; Connolly, Ecuele Manga, Morrison, Peltier; Whittingham, Gunnarsson (Ralls 31′), McAleny (Kennedy 61′), Noone; Macheda (Revell 84′), Jones

Unused subs: Wilson, Fabio, O’Keefe, Doyle

Charlton Athletic XI: Henderson (Dmitrovic 45′); Solly, Fox, Johnson, Gomez; Gudmundsson, Buyens, Cousins, Bulot (Church 74′); Lepoint (Eagles 61′), Watt

Unused subs: Bikey-Amougou, Diarra, Vetokele, Lennon

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