Match Analysis: Cardiff City 0-0 Everton

Ben Turner of Cardiff tackles Marouane Fellaini of Everton during the Barclays Premier League match between Cardiff City and Everton at Cardiff City Stadium on August 31, 2013
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Sports Mole takes an closer look at today's 0-0 draw between Cardiff City and Everton.

Cardiff City left a frustrated Everton still looking for their first Premier League win of the new season as they played out a 0-0 draw this afternoon.

The hosts nearly took an unorthodox lead when Peter Whittingham's corner almost flew in directly, but Tim Howard made a good save to keep it out at his near post.

David Marshall was also called upon to make a good reaction stop just before the break, clawing away Nikica Jelavic's deflected header.

Craig Bellamy wasted a good chance in the second half when he took the ball too wide while looking to go round the keeper, and then Baines hammered a long-range shot narrowly wide at the other end.

Here, Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at a third consecutive draw for the Toffees.

Match statistics:

Cardiff:
Shots 4
On target 1
Possession 39%
Corners 4
Fouls 11

Everton:
Shots 13
On target 3
Possession 61%
Corners 5
Fouls 9

Was the result fair?

In terms of how many clear chances both teams created, yes it was fair. As the stats show, Everton had the lion's share of possession and had more than three times as many shots as their opponents, but they rarely looked like scoring. The Toffees were the better side in terms of how they held onto the ball and were also the side who started pushing for a winner as the match wore on, but they could not find a way through a sturdy Cardiff defence. Even if Everton deserved to win, they did not do enough to win.

Cardiff's performance

Not exactly as rousing as their victory over Manchester City last week, but a solid performance nonetheless. They will be unhappy with how little they created in an attacking sense as Frazier Campbell looked very isolated for large periods of the match, but in a game in which they had less than 40% possession, they are always likely to be struggling for chances. Manager Malky MacKay will be happy with his side's defensive work as, for all of Everton's possession, they simply could not find a way through. Cardiff were strong, sturdy and stubborn at the back and deserved their first ever Premier League clean sheet.

Everton's performance

More of the same from Everton under Martinez. In all three of their matches so far they have enjoyed plenty of the ball but have not created anywhere near enough chances. Their fans will be getting increasingly frustrated at the lack of firepower up front, with Nikica Jelavic in particular looking to have completely lost his goalscoring instinct. Marouane Fellaini is now playing in a deeper role, which leaves the Toffees severely lacking a physical presence up front. They don't play as many long balls under Martinez, but it is still important to have a target man. They were solid defensively and a plus will be a second consecutive clean sheet, but that is now three matches Everton could have won that they have failed to. It must be looked at as six points dropped already this season.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Sylvain Distin: It was not easy picking a man of the match from today's game simply because nobody stood out. However, it was always going to come from the defence of either side and Distin is the man who gets it. Cardiff did not threaten too much in an attacking sense but, when they did, Distin was there to clean up. His positioning was spot on throughout and he showed that he still has good pace despite his ageing years.

Biggest gaffe

This one has to go to referee Anthony Taylor. Leighton Baines stormed into the area towards the end of the first half and was brought down by a reckless sliding challenge from Gary Medel, only for Taylor to wave away claims for a penalty. It was a clear spot kick and a bad decision from the referee, although at least he did not give in to Medel's cheeky request of a yellow card for Baines.

Referee performance

Well, that decision above was certainly a poor one and it was the biggest he had to make this afternoon. He got that one wrong and he got a number of other decisions wrong too. None were as important as the penalty, but it certainly was not the best game from Taylor, who has now had two questionable performances from two Premier League this season.

What next?

Cardiff: Next up for Cardiff is a trip to fellow Premier League new boys Hull City in two weeks' time due to the international break.

Everton: Everton also have to wait two weeks for their next match, and it is not an easy one as they host Chelsea.

Ben Turner of Cardiff tackles Marouane Fellaini of Everton during the Barclays Premier League match between Cardiff City and Everton at Cardiff City Stadium on August 31, 2013
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