Live Commentary: Cardiff City 1-1 Stoke City - as it happened
Find out how Cardiff City were held to a 1-1 home draw by Stoke City with Sports Mole's text updates.
By Liam Apicella, Features Editor Filed: Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 14:00 UK
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 23:24 UK
Cardiff City played host to Stoke City this afternoon in need of the three points to boost their survival chances.
As it was, a first-half penalty from Marko Arnautovic put the visitors in front, but that was cancelled out after the restart by Peter Whittingham, who also scored from the spot.
You can find out how the match unfolded with our minute-by-minute updates below.
2.02pmAfternoon all. So, there is still plenty to be decided in the Premier League this season and here we will be covering events down at the bottom with Cardiff City, who play host to Stoke City at the Cardiff City Stadium.
2.04pmAs always with Premier League matches these days, the team news has been released with just under an hour to go until we get underway. Let's take a look first of all at how the hosts will start this clash.
2.06pmCARDIFF SUBS: Lewis, Turner, Jones, Eikrem, Gunnarsson, Zaha, John
2.09pmHaving seen it work last time out against Southampton, Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stuck with the 4-4-2 formation that he had previously abandoned. What's more, it's the same starting lineup from the clash with the Saints, which means that Kenwyne Jones is only on the bench against his former club. The likes of Peter Whittingham, Kevin Theophile-Catherine and Mats Moller Dæhli all continue to deputise.
2.15pmLike Cardiff, Stoke won their previous Premier League outing 1-0 and as a result, manager Mark Hughes has named an unchanged starting lineup in Wales. Peter Crouch will feature as a lone frontman, with Peter Odemwingie and Marko Arnautovic providing the support from out wide. Meanwhile, further back, Marc Wilson continues to partner Ryan Shawcross at the heart of the defence.
2.17pmOne of those managers, Hughes, has just briefly spoken to Sky Sports News. Here is some of what he had to say:" We had a good result last weekend and we hope to come here and continue our good form."
2.19pmMeanwhile, speaking about the other boss on show today, Cardiff midfielder Jordan Mutch said this of Solskjaer, again talking to Sky Sports News: "He's been at the best club in the world - he knows how it should be done.
"The way he talks to the boys is brilliant and hopefully that can pay off. From now until the end of the season the team are going to be pushing together."
2.23pmStaying with Mutch, against Southampton he was deployed by Solskjaer in a more advanced midfield role behind lone striker Fraizer Campbell. On that position switch, Mutch added: "I've enjoyed playing there. We've formed a good partnership because we know each other's movements. Hopefully I will keep playing behind him over the coming weeks."
2.28pmAnd from a Stoke point of view, Stephen Ireland, who recently signed a permanent contract with the club, said: "I really wanted to stay here. Everything has been perfect for me since I come here. [Hughes] won't let us take our foot of the gas. We want to win today and the rest of our remaining games."
2.31pmFor the Potters to win today, though, they would have to arrest some pretty poor form on the road. From a possible 51 points away from home, Stoke have collected just 10. What's more, they've won just once on their travels in 2014.
2.35pmWhile on the face of it visiting Stoke do not have too much to play for, the same cannot be said about Cardiff. With Fulham currently losing at Tottenham Hotspur, a win today would see them move up to 18th and level on points with Norwich City, who occupy the final safety spot. Tomorrow the Canaries play title-chasing Liverpool and with a victory expected for the Merseysiders, a win today could well prove crucial for the Bluebirds where their Premier League status is concerned.
2.39pmAnd Fulham have indeed been defeated away at White Hart Lane, leaving them one point better off than Cardiff. You can read our match report of that contest here.
2.42pmIf there is one thing that Cardiff's last two outings in Wales tell us, it's that there should be goals today. Against Liverpool they were beaten 6-3, before Crystal Palace scored what proved to be three unanswered goals on what was a dark afternoon for the Bluebirds. Having said that, one would imagine that Solskjaer would settle for a dour 1-0 victory if it was offered to him!
2.46pmStaying with Solskjaer, here is what he has had to say in the days leading up to this crucial encounter: "We had a fantastic result against Southampton and we've set that standard now. We've got to have that same level and consistency now especially in defence because that's a good foundation for us to build upon.
"I'm looking forward to it. We're in the fight. The result last week gives us all a boost and we've got a lot of belief in the camp now. This is going to be a month's examination of everyone's character, we need to keep working hard and battling to achieve the goal that we all want.
"It's been a week where we've been completely focused on the task ahead. Results to do breed confidence. This week has been very positive and we've been working on how we can build on last week's excellent result."
2.50pmPREDICTION: Right then, who is going to win this clash? There is big pressure on Cardiff today because after the win at Southampton, there is some renewed hope around the place. As a result, the onus will be on them to attack, which will leave them vulnerable in defence. Let's go for an entertaining 2-2 draw, which in truth wouldn't be the best result for the home side.
2.57pmThe players are out and the handshakes have taken place. It must said, there is a really good atmosphere inside the Cardiff City Stadium - the home supporters know how important this fixture is.
1 minKICKOFF! Hosting Cardiff, attacking from left to right, get this important encounter underway in the Wales sunshine.
4 minFirst venture forward by Cardiff and it's Daehli at the centre of it. The pint-sized Norwegian raids into the penalty area, but he is eventually crowded out and his shot is deflected behind for a corner. Then, moments later, Fabio da Silva gets into a good position, but his cross is overhit and doesn't trouble Asmir Begovic. Nonetheless, it's been a bright start by the hosts.
7 minSAVE! It's all Cardiff at the moment and once again it's Daehli that is pulling the strings. On this occasion he feeds a pass through for Mutch, who goes for goal from a narrow angle. It's a clean hit, but it ends up being a relatively routine stop for Begovic.
11 minStoke are yet to register a shot on or off target, but they have started to see much more of the ball over the last few minutes. They are keeping possession well, which is a sign of the influence that Hughes has had on the team since he took charge during the summer.
16 minAfter that bright start to proceedings, Cardiff have barely had a touch of the ball! Without being threatening, Stoke are comfortable right now. Their defenders are happy to take possession and wait for a midfielder to come to collect it off them. It's also killed the atmosphere, which had been buoyant, inside the Cardiff City Stadium.
20 minAt last Cardiff have some decent possession which ends with Mutch inheriting the ball on the edge of the area. He takes too long over his shot, though, which is blocked and then runs through easily for Begovic.
24 minWhat a player Daehli could turn out to be. The Cardiff playmaker is so positive every time that he gets on the ball. Just now he beat three players, only for his attempted cross to be blocked. At the age of 19, the Norwegian has plenty of time on his side.
27 minThere is a potential problem for Stoke because their full-back Erik Pieters is down and receiving treatment. He's played well in recent weeks so to lose him would be a big blow.
29 minSAVE! Smart counter-attack from Stoke, but once against David Marshall comes to Cardiff's rescue. Ireland does well to pick out Odemwingie 12 yards from goal, but his powerful drive is pushed to safety by the Scottish goalkeeper.
31 minSUBSTITUTION: It is in fact bad news for Stoke because Pieters had been unable to shake off that leg complaint. He's been replaced by Marc Muniesa.
34 minMore good football from Stoke as Crouch plays the ball wide to Arnautovic and then makes his way into the area. The winger attempts to pick out the former England international with his cross, but Whittingham does well to get his body in the way to thwart the danger.
39 minThe home fans are becoming a little frustrated right now. Their side need to win the game, but they can't get hold of the ball for a sustained period. To Stoke's credit, they really do play some good football these days.
43 minSAVE! That's a contender for save of the season from Begovic because it looked for all the world that Whittingham had broken the deadlock for Cardiff. The midfielder beat the Stoke wall with a dipping free kick from 25 yards out, but Begovic at full stretch somehow tipped the danger away, albeit with the aid of the upright.
45 minThere will be a minimum of two minutes of stoppage time at the end of this first half.
45+3 minWhat a big moment this could turn out to be in Cardiff's season. The hosts aren't happy, but it's a big error by Kim, who tries to win the ball from Odemwingie, despite the fact that he is heading out of the area. The Nigerian hits the floor and Howard Webb has little hesitation in awarding a penalty. Up steps Arnautovic and the Austrian has ice running through his veins as he sends his penalty straight down the middle, as Marshall gambles to his right.
3.52pmSo, after what had been a largely uninspiring first half, the game came to life in controversial circumstances in stoppage time. As a result, Stoke have taken a one-goal advantage into the break.
3.55pmThere really is only one place to start when reflecting on that half - the penalty. The contact may have been minimal between Kim and Odemwingie, but it's poor defending from the Cardiff midfielder. He went into a challenge that he had little chance on winning the ball from and Odemwingie did what the majority of attackers would do - hit the floor. You can certainly see why Webb pointed to the spot.
3.57pmIn terms of performance, Cardiff will not have seen enough of the ball for Solskjaer's liking. They've arguably had the better of the few chances that have been created, but they've spent a lot of time chasing possession. One plus point has been the performance of Daehli, who the Bluebirds need to get on the ball whenever they can. The Norwegian looks to have have the quality that this match has been severely lacking.
4pmAs for Stoke, they've looked neat and tidy on the ball without posing too much of a threat. Although they lead from the spot, Hughes will no doubt want to see more of a cutting edge in an attacking sense. What may well suit the Potters is the fact that Cardiff at some point will have to commit more players forward, which should suit Stoke's counter-attack style.
4.02pmLooking at that Cardiff bench, they do have options to potentially change this game. The physical presence of Jones up front may give the Stoke rearguard something different to contend with, while Wilfried Zaha's direct and pacey style could also cause problems. Whatever happens, the hosts cannot afford to lose this one and in truth, they need to win it.
46 minRESTART! Here we go then. Visiting Stoke, who lead 1-0, get the second half at the Cardiff City Stadium underway.
49 minBOOKING! The biggest cheer of the afternoon goes up from the Cardiff fans as their former player Odemwingie goes into the referee's book for a trip on Cala.
51 minWhat a time to score that is - Cardiff are back in business! It's another big call from referee Webb, but it's the right one as Campbell gets to the ball before Nzonzi, who trips the Cardiff striker inside the area. Whittingham takes the responsibility and sends his shot from 12 yards straight down the middle as Begovic dived, just as Arnautovic did with his effort. The Cardiff City Stadium erupts - game on!
53 minBOOKING! Moments after he gives away the penalty, Nzonzi is cautioned for another foul on Campbell. The Stoke midfielder tries to protest his innocence, but he clearly hauled back his opponent.
55 minWhat a difference a goal makes. All of a sudden Cardiff are in the ascendancy and look highly likely to score a second goal. First Campbell kicks fresh air when it looked easier to score, before a deep cross into the area causes Begovic to tip clear the danger. Then, tempers flare up as Cardiff win a corner, but Webb diffuses the situation quickly.
57 minDISALLOWED GOAL! What a huge moment as Cala thinks that he has given Cardiff the lead. First of all Begovic denies Caulker, before the same player's rebounded effort is turned against the post. The ball breaks for Cala, who nods in from close range, sparking wild celebrations all round. The joy was short-lived, though, because the referee's assistant Darren Cann raised his flag for offside, with replays showing that it was the correct decision.
60 minSUBSTITUTION: It's a positive switch from Cardiff boss Solskjaer as he takes off Kim and throws on Manchester United loanee Zaha.
64 minHaving weathered that Cardiff storm, Stoke have now taken the sting out of the game somewhat. Moments ago Odemwingie sent in a dangerous cross, but it was cleared for a corner. That then fell to Glenn Whelan, who curled a shot a foot or so wide of the target from 30 yards out.
68 minWhat Stoke have also done well is quieten the home supporters. They were buzzing after Whittingham had equalised, but now it's the away fans that are in fine voice.
71 minA decent opening for Cardiff goes begging as Theophile-Catherine lofts the ball into Mutch's path down the right flank. He in turn lifts a dangerous cross into the Stoke area, but no Cardiff players attack the ball and the danger is cleared.
75 minBOOKING! A yellow card for Cardiff and it's Cala that is the guilty party. Having been tricked by Odemwingie, the Cardiff centre-back then hauled him to the floor. The caution came as little surprise!
78 minSUBSTITUTION: Arnautovic's last involvement for Stoke is to shoot well over the crossbar before his number goes up. He has been replaced by the fit again Assaidi.
82 minSUBSTITUTION: And now it's Cardiff turn to make another change, with former Stoke centre-forward Jones replacing Daehli. He left the Potteries under somewhat of a cloud in January so no doubt he will be desperate to show Hughes exactly what he can do.
84 minSUBSTITUTION: Yet another Cardiff switch and this time it is at left-back, with Fabio departing and Welsh international Declan John entering the action. These changes have not helped the flow of the match, that's for sure.
87 minBOOKING! Needless from Crouch, who crashes straight into the back of Cala and is rightly cautioned for his actions. Then, another alteration, this time by Stoke as Ireland leaves the field of play and is replaced by Jonathan Walters.
88 minSAVE! The ball is at the wrong end of the pitch as far as Cardiff are concerned. Odemwingie cuts inside the area and sends a low shot goalwards. Marshall does well to tip it around the post, with the resultant corner routinely cleared to safety.
90 minSAVE! How many times as Marshall saved Cardiff this season?! Add another to the list as Walters breaks down the right, before crossing for Assaidi. The winger cuts inside Theophile-Catherine, but his shot is blocked by Marshall. Then, a few seconds later, Walters sees his curling effort hit the Cardiff crossbar. The hosts are handing on as four minutes of stoppage time is shown.
90+2 minFor a side that need to win this match, Cardiff are struggling! They can't get hold of the ball and it's Stoke that are applying the pressure. Can they grab a late winner?
4.55pmThere goes the final whistle and although it lifts Cardiff up a place to 18th, they remain in the relegation zone and are fast running out of matches. This will have been a game that Solskjaer had identified as winnable, yet they were hanging on for a point at the end.
4.56pmHughes is also likely to be disappointed that his team didn't claim all three points because they created some good chances, particularly during the closing stages of the match.
5pmThat is all we have time for from the Cardiff City Stadium. Thanks for joining us this afternoon and until next time, goodbye.