By Reece Chambers
Gair Rhydd at the Cardiff City Stadium
Sean Dyche’s Burnley inflicted Cardiff City’s fifth defeat of the season on Sunday with a 1-2 victory at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Goals from Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Sam Vokes gave the Lancashire club all three points in the Welsh capital either side of Josh Murphy’s emphatic strike.
Defeat for Neil Warnock’s side sees them remain in the relegation zone, 19th, with just two points on the board from their opening seven Premier League fixtures.
A disallowed goal in the first half for the Bluebirds could have changed the entire complex of the game but it was ruled out for fouling in the build-up to the goal.
Burnley goalkeeper Joe Hart pulled off a number of world class saves in the first and second half to deny Josh Murphy. His international experience proved clear to see on Sunday when he kept his team in the game several times.
Most notably, the first half had a relegation battle written all over it. There was very little between the two sides with a clear lack of cohesion and quality about Cardiff City’s attacking play in particular.
When the teams were announced, seeing Kenneth Zohore and Callum Paterson in the starting eleven sent out a clear message. The Bluebirds threatened in the air throughout the opening 45 minutes but they were unable to find the back of the net which is symptomatic of their season so far.
A flurry of Cardiff City pressure towards the end of the first half saw them go close on several occasions. First, on 35 minutes, Zohore worked some space well at the near post but his shot was superbly saved by Burnley goalkeeper Joe Hart.
From the resulting corner, The Clarets were let off the hook when Cardiff City had the ball in the back of the net. Referee Martin Atkinson disallowed the goal, though, for a foul in the area during the build-up to the goal.
In sum, the first half showed why both of these teams were placed in the bottom half of the table before kick-off.
Into the second half, Burnley started the brighter of the two teams taking the lead with just six minutes played of the second half.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson headed the opening goal of the afternoon when he rose well at the back post above Greg Cunningham following sloppy play from the Cardiff defence.
Warnock’s men responded well, though, when Josh Murphy equalised on 61 minutes. His shot rounded off a nice move between Manga and Camarasa down the right before Murphy finished emphatically past Joe Hart.
However, just when it looked like Cardiff could have gone on to claim their first win of the season, they fell behind for the second time.
It was all too simple for Burnley when Gudmundsson found himself in behind the Cardiff defence – with time and space – to cross into Sam Vokes who finished well with his head.
For all of their endeavour in Burnley’s half, the two occasions that Cardiff lost concentration in their own half resulted in Burnley goals.
Into the final 20 minutes, Cardiff seemed flat and struggled to look like seriously threatening Burnley’s goal with long hopeful crosses into the Burnley area.
Murphy had a speculative effort from 20 yards, going marginally wide, but other than that, their tactics were limited to corners or throw-ins from Sean Morrison.
Murphy went close again with a couple of minutes to play from a free-kick. However, Joe Hart had it covered as it went wide of his post.
Defeat for the Bluebirds leaves them 19th in the Premier League table, with just two points from their opening seven fixtures.
Next weekend Neil Warnock’s side face Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium which promises to be another testing fixture for the Bluebirds.