Reece Chambers at the Cardiff City Stadium
Cardiff City’s bid to stay in the Premier League took yet another turn as they were held to a goalless draw at home to bottom of the league Huddersfield Town.
David Wagner’s side had dominated the majority of the 90 minutes but failed to create any clear cut chances. A point for the travelling side, though, is their first in the league in 9 matches.
For Cardiff, a point should be seen as a missed opportunity after Huddersfield’s dreadful run in the league.
In a game of minimal quality, the away side came closest to looking like scoring. Joe Bennett was adjudged to have fouled Florent Hadergonaj inside the area in the 76th minute and Lee Mason had initially pointed to the spot. However, assistant referee Matthew Wilkes overturned the decision after a conversation with Mason.
Huddersfield were rightly aggrieved by the situation and had certainly shown that towards the officials. In a relegation battle that will be decided by fine margins, Cardiff may well have got away with that one.
The opening 45 minutes saw Huddersfield take control of the game with Philip Billing and Alex Pritchard dominating. David Wagner’s side had much of the possession in the first half and prevented Cardiff City establishing any sort of foothold in the game.
Billing’s strong ball-carrying in the middle of the park had been the Terriers’ main threat throughout the opening half as Cardiff’s midfield trio of Gunnarsson, Camarasa and Arter struggled to keep control of the game’s pace.
Despite Huddersfield’s dominance in possession, it was Warnock’s side who had the best chance of the first half. Superb wing play from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing enabled him to whip a ball in to Junior Hoilett who only had to get the faintest of touches. However, a last ditch tackle from Florent Hadergonaj was adjudged to have been legal by referee Lee Mason who waved away appeals for a penalty.
The Terries went close just before the break through a Elias Kachunga header that sailed over the bar from a corner. In truth, though, David Warner would have been disappointed that his side was unable to capitalise on a dominant first half.
A distinct lack of quality characterised the second half much as it had the first. Neither side was able to create a clear shot at goal and, if either side were to score, it would probably have come from a set-piece.
Huddersfield may have hoped to use their arial advantage more from corners with Zanka and Schindler both posing large threats. However, the away side frustratingly failed to create any chances in the second half.
For Warnock’s men, the second half carried on as it had finished in the first. Long balls to Paterson were easily dealt with by Huddersfield over-arching centre halves and there proved to be little support around him.
Moving Junior Hoilett to a more central position to support Paterson appeared to be Warnock’s only tactical change throughout a frustrating second half and that proved to have minimal impact.
The Bluebirds’ best chance fell to Aron Gunnarsson in the 90th minute with the ball bouncing in the area from a set piece. However, the Icelandic midfielder failed to connect on the ball with any great conviction and it was easily dealt with by the Terriers’ defence.
All in all, there was little to choose between the two sides with a serious lack of quality of both parts. A point for Cardiff may well be better than none as it sees them stay out of the relegation zone for now.
However, if the Bluebirds are to stay in the division, performances will certainly have to improve.