Cardiff City slumped to a heavy 5-0 defeat at the hands of reigning Premier League champions Manchester City. The loss for the Bluebirds sees them continue their winless run in the Premier League.
Goals from Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan and two from Riyad Mahrez gave Pep Guardiola’s side a comfortable win at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Cardiff City’s Joe Ralls was lucky to have not seen a red card from Michael Oliver at the end of the first half when he clattered into Gundogan with a high tackle.
Defeat for the Bluebirds leaves them without a win in their opening six league games, registering just two points.
Guardiola’s side, meanwhile, remain two points from top-placed Liverpool – boasting an impressive +15 goal difference.
In the first half, Manchester City opened the scoring through Sergio Aguero in the 32nd minute when he rounded off a nice flowing move, firing home a pass from Bernardo Silva.
Silva then turned from assister to scorer when he improvised cleverly to divert Leroy Sane’s cross into the far corner.
It was three for Guardiola’s side before half-time. This time it was Ilkay Gundogan adding to the score sheet. Neat interplay between Gundogan and Raheem Sterling allowed the German international space to wonderfully finish into the top right corner of Neil Etheridge’s goal.
Whilst Man City took a three-goal lead into the second half, Warnock’s side had limited the away side’s chances in the opening 20 minutes.
As expected, the away side dominated possession in the first half with the likes of Gundogan and Fernandinho bossing proceedings.
The pace of Man City was clearly a difficulty for Cardiff City to deal with in the first half. For instance, Sane had beaten Cardiff City right-back Lee Peltier for pace on several occasions but failed to find a decisive pass.
With the roster of talent Guardiola’s side host, there was no surprise when the Bluebirds went into the half-time break 3-0 down.
Into the second half, the visitors continued with such impressive levels of precision, organisation and speed that caused the Bluebirds so many issues in the first half.
It wasn’t long before the reigning Premier League champions created more chances through Sane and Aguero. However, uncharacteristically, both of them failed to find the back of the net within 30 seconds of each other.
Nevertheless, a fourth was added for the away side when Riyad Mahrez scored his first goal of his Manchester City career. Mahrez rounded off a terrific passing move consisting of several passes by racing in front of his marker and finishing clinically.
The Algerian international added his second – and his side’s fifth – when he pounced on a sloppy individual error from Bruno Manga. The error from Manga may well have been the result of a gruelling afternoon for the Bluebirds defence.
In what was a game Cardiff City were not expected to get anything from, they ended up with the worst case scenario. Losing by five goals at any level is concerning but Warnock will have to rally the troops and make sure his side is not seriously damaged by this result.