Live Commentary: Cardiff City 1-0 West Bromwich Albion - as it happened

Live Commentary: Cardiff 1-0 West Brom - as it happened
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Read how Peter Whittingham headed Cardiff to a 1-0 victory over West Brom and ended the Welsh outfit's five-match winless run, courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute coverage.

Cardiff City and West Bromwich Albion met in Wales this afternoon, both hoping to end five-match winless runs in the Premier League.

Former Baggies striker Peter Odemwingie played against his old club for the first time since leaving The Hawthorns in the summer, and the constant booing of him by visiting fans was as entertaining as the opening 45 minutes got.

Bluebirds captain Steven Caulker had the best chance before the interval, but could not guide his side-footed shot inside the woodwork, although it was his team that did eventually break the deadlock.

Two Cardiff midfielders combined as Craig Noone crossed for Peter Whittingham to powerfully head into the top corner on 65 minutes for the winning goal, and his third in as many games against Albion.

Below, you can read how the action unfolded at the Cardiff City Stadium.


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2.07pmGood day to you all! Two out-of-form teams will be looking to end five-match winless runs at the Cardiff City Stadium today as the Bluebirds welcome West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League.

2.10pmThis match, the first top-flight meeting between the two sides since 1962, is one of five 3pm Premier League kickoffs being brought to you live by Sports Mole this afternoon.

2.12pmThe team news from Wales is imminent. Will home manager Malky Mackay will give Peter Odemwingie the opportunity to play against his former club or persist with Frazier Campbell up top?

2.14pmCARDIFF: Marshall; Theophile-Catherine, Turner, Caulker, Taylor; Whittingham, Medel, Mutch, Noone, Odemwingie; Campbell

2.15pmSUBS: Lewis; Hudson, Cornelius, Kim, Gunnarsson, Cowie, Maynard

2.17pmWBA: Myhill, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Mulumbu, Yacob, Amalfitano, Sessegnon, Brunt, Long

2.18pmSUBS: L Daniels, Gera, Vydra, Morrison, Berahino, Lugano, Sinclair

2.20pmMackay finds room in his side to give Odemwingie his first start since the draw with Manchester United against his former club. Let us not forget, he didn't leave The Hawthorns in amicable fashion.

2.22pmThe Nigerian striker was never fully forgiven by the Albion staff or fans for his transfer deadline day attempts to force through a move to Queens Park Rangers in January of this year.

2.24pmHis recall, which is likely to see him operate off the left flank, with Campbell continuing through the middle, is one of three changes made by the Bluebirds, who are without talisman Craig Bellamy.

2.26pmThe crowd favourite has failed a late fitness test on a knee injury, but Mackay still makes changes on both wings, with Kim Bo-Kyung and Don Cowie replaced by Odemwingie and Craig Noone.

2.29pmAndrew Taylor has overcome a calf injury and is restored at left-back in place of Declan John, who had started Cardiff's last two matches - a defeat to Crystal Palace and goalless draw with Stoke.

2.31pmOnto the visitors then, and Steve Clarke puts his faith in many of the same players that are winless in five matches to turn around Albion's recent form, making just two changes.

2.33pmJonas Olsson is available again having completed his suspension, and he resumes his centre-back partnership with Gareth McAuley, as Diego Lugano, a debutante last week, drops to the bench.

2.36pmClarke again rotates his forward options, though, as Victor Anichebe misses out due to illness. With Nicolas Anelka not ready to return following a six-week layoff, Shane Long leads the Baggies line.

2.38pmStephane Sessegnon is entrusted with providing Long with support, and Clarke will be hoping the Benin international has his shooting boots on today. He has missed a few sitters in recent weeks!

2.41pmMan City loanee Scott Sinclair is back in the Albion squad for the first time since September 28. He is named on a bench which also includes attacking options such as Saido Berahino and Matej Vydra.

2.43pmThe 24-year-old winger is determined to come back strong from his two-month absence and establish himself in the Baggies team to put himself in Roy Hodgson's World Cup plans.

2.45pmHe told the Express & Star: "I've been out for two months. I had a very bad pull which I did at Manchester United but I've been getting back to 100%. I have a lot of catching up to do. I need to hit the ground running. Hopefully now, I can crack on and build on from there."

He added to the Birmingham Mail: "Every player has that chance and hope, it comes down to my performances. If I'm performing on the field then why not? There is still time."


2.48pmHEAD-TO-HEAD: This is the first Premier League meeting between the two sides, but victories have been shared in recent encounters in the Championship and cup competitions. In eight matches since 2006, Cardiff and Albion have won two each, while four have been drawn.

2.51pmAround 10 minutes until kickoff in Wales...

2.54pmONE TO WATCH: It has to be Peter Odemwingie. So often in football do we see players come back to haunt their former clubs, and with the Nigerian having a bit of a pantomime villain reputation at The Hawthorns, it is surely in the script for him to bag a goal this afternoon.

2.57pmPREDICTION: With both teams winless in five, neither will want a draw today but that's how I see this one turning out. I'll plump for a 1-1 scoreline, with Odemwingie to net for the Bluebirds.

1 minWe are underway at the Cardiff City Stadium...

2 minThe ball nearly falls to Gary Medel from an early Cardiff corner, and the Bluebirds have another set-piece opportunity here after Jordan Mutch is fouled by Chris Brunt 20 yards out, centre of the goal.

3 minSAVE! Odemwingie and Peter Whittingham are over the free kick, and there is a bizarre scene of confusion as both go to take it, and both make clean contact with the ball. Somehow it is on target, but Myhill punches the ball behind for a corner. I've never seen two players strike the same free kick before!

5 minSHOTS! Cardiff continue their early pressure as their corner is only cleared to Kevin Theophile-Catherine, whose blocked shot falls to Medel to thrash a wild effort some distance over the crossbar.

7 minFeint shouts of a Cardiff penalty after Theophile-Catherine's cross was blocked in the box. Referee Howard Webb did think that a hand was involved - Medel's - and the free kick goes the other way.

10 minA bright start from the hosts, with the majority of the action being played in the Albion half. Odemwingie is yet to stay on the ball for long enough for the visiting fans to boo at full voice.

13 minThere is a brief stoppage in the game as Billy Jones resolves a problem with a contact lens. He sorts it out in time to see a promising Baggies break through the middle with Mulumbu break down.

16 minUPDATE: The first Premier League goal of the afternoon has been scored by Chelsea striker Fernando Torres. The Blues lead Tony Pulis's rejuvenated Crystal Palace by a goal to nil.

18 minA mix up between Ben Turner and David Marshall nearly gifts West Brom a sight of goal. The defender tries to shield the ball back to his goalkeeper, realises it isn't going to reach him and then pokes backwards in panic, forcing Marshall into a snap clearance which lands at the feet of Sessegnon. His attempted pass is intercepted by Andrew Taylor, who's intervention rolls safely into Marshall's gloves.

21 minThis is a pretty tense affair at the moment, with the usually raucous home Cardiff crowd in South Wales largely muted. I get the impression that the first goal in this game is so important, and it seems as if both teams are more anxious not to concede it than they are eager to score it.

24 minWe haven't had a shot on goal in 20 minutes, with players struggling to find space in a very congested centre of the park. Craig Noone has been the most lively player and is proving to be a good outlet on the Bluebirds right. He cuts inside and looks to get a shot away but Yacob is on hand to foil him.

27 minNoone seems determined to make the most of his first Premier League start. Albion are expecting him to come inside again, so the winger goes to the byline and crosses brilliantly to the back post, where Jones is well positioned to head out for a corner, with Whittingham looming behind him.

28 minCHANCE! Turner gets a feint flick on a Whittingham corner, and his fellow centre-back Caulker had peeled of McAuley at the back post, but cannot guide his side-footed shot inside the woodwork.

31 minA nasty clash of heads between McAuley and Campbell brings about another Bluebirds free kick. Set pieces have proved the source of Cardiff's clearest openings. Whittingham is over this one.

32 minThat's a shocker, from a usually reliable set-piece taker. Whittingham's delivery is so far overhit that none of the Cardiff players even bother trying to attack it. The nerves of the supporters, of which club owner Vincent Tan is not one today, may be matched by the angst of the players.

35 minSlightly better stuff from West Brom, but Taylor thwarts Jones as he collected Amalfitano's return pass and surged into the box. A lovely Brunt cross soon after is headed clear by Caulker.

37 minBOOKING: Medel becomes the first player to be cautioned this afternoon for a late lunge on Amalfitano. Caulker is again on hand to climb highest and clear from the resultant free kick.

39 minA poor piece of control from McAuley, who inadvertently knocks the ball behind as he tried to control a Taylor cross, presents Cardiff with another corner, which this time yields nothing.

42 minOdemwingie chases down a ball into the left channel, squares up McAuley and creates some space for himself to whip in a cross which is behind Campbell, and Olsson stretches out a boot to clear.

45 minWe are now entering the ONE minute of first-half stoppage time...

3.48pmHALF-TIME: CARDIFF 0-0 WEST BROM

3.52pmWell, that wasn't pretty. You can see why both of these sides have been struggling of late. Understandably there is a lack of confidence in the attacking players and that helps to explain why we are goalless at the break, and that the few chances that there have been came from set pieces.

3.55pmPeter Odemwingie has yet to make any significant contribution, but his presence is at least keeping Baggies fans that have witnessed a poor display from their side entertained and occupied.

3.57pmThe former Albion striker's every touch is being greeted by boos from the visiting fans, but, in truth, he hasn't touched it all that often, with a lot of this contest being played in a congested midfield.

3.59pmCardiff enjoyed some good early pressure, with Odemwingie and Whittingham's dual-struck free kick forcing Myhill into a good save, and Caulker causing problems from set pieces. He has had perhaps the best chance to break the deadlock, but he could not direct a side-footed shot inside the post.

4.01pmSTATS: Cardiff have only registered one shot on target, but the Baggies are yet to even test David Marshall in the Bluebirds goal. The host have had a healthy 61% of possession, and if they have as much in the second period, Malky Mackay will expect them to do much more with it.

46 minThe action has resumed in heavy rain in South Wales...

47 minOdemwingie is happy to leave Cardiff's latest set piece to Whittingham, but he was never going to generate enough power hitting it side footed from 30 yards, and Myhill makes a simple catch.

48 minThe hosts have started the first half in positive fashion, as they did the first, but their shooting still isn't threatening, as Odemwingie lashes a wild volley from the edge of the box high into the stands.

50 minBOOKING: Long escaped with just a warning from Howard Webb a minute ago for a cynical trip on Mutch, but Jones is punished with a caution for a forceful, but not dangerous, slide on Medel.

53 minThe weather is starting to really play a part here. As well as the rain, it is beginning to get very blustery, and the wind nearly carries Medel's floated cross over Myhill, who catches on the backpedal and uses the long reach of his arms to ensure that the whole ball does not cross the line.

56 minOFF THE LINE! Medel denies West Brom the opening goal with some last-ditch defending. An Amalfitano corner is cleared, but Jones immediately returns the ball to the Frenchman with a smart pass. He pulls the ball back to Yacob, whose scuffed shot falls for McAuley to guide towards goal, but Medel gets his stretching leg to it and keeps it out. Two great chances for Albion, firstly Yacob and then McAuley!

59 minThings just are not working out for Albion at the moment, as Brunt tries to release Amalfitano with a training ground free-kick routine, but the flag goes up immediately on the Marseille loanee's touch.

61 minRidgewell's throw is headed inside by Long, and the ball skips across the surface and away from the Cardiff players, allowing club-record signing Sessegnon to hit it on the up from 25 yards, into row z.

63 minBENCH WATCH: Neither manager has turned to their substitutes as of yet, but may well do if things don't change imminently. Clarke may call on young prospect Saido Berahino or ex-Watford loanee Matej Vydra, while Mackay could look to £7.5m summer recruit Andreas Cornelius.

65 minGOAL! CARDIFF 1-0 WEST BROM (PETER WHITTINGHAM)

65 minThe Bluebirds lead, and it is wonderful play from the two wingers! Noone cuts back onto his left foot to deliver a superb ball to the back post, where Whittingham, who had made a late run off the other flank, meets it with a brilliant header into the top corner for his third goal in as many games against the Baggies! He's been hurt in the process, but that doesn't stop his teammates from mobbing him!

68 minAlbion travel forward with Sessegnon, who slides the ball to Mulumbu, whose stinging shot takes a deflection on its way behind for a corner. It did not appear to be troubling Marshall, anyway.

70 minPENALTY APPEAL! West Brom appeal for a spot kick, and with some justification. Long is looking to control a ball over his shoulder when Turner bundles into him from behind and takes him to the floor very clumsily. Howard Webb awards nothing, maybe considering he turned down a strong penalty shout from Odemwingie at the other end just a couple of minutes earlier.

72 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Clarke makes his move, responding to going behind with a double change. Fit-again Scott Sinclair and Berahino are on in place of holding midfielder Yacob and Amalfitano.

74 minCLOSE! Noone's driving run and cross down the left is only cleared to Mutch, who fools Brunt by feigning to shoot and then hits it from 20 yards on his left foot, just a little over the crossbar.

77 minBerahino gets into the box on the inside left and then tries to bend a shot inside the far post. It takes a big deflection off Turner on its way behind, but referee Webb awards a goal kick.

80 minThis would be a huge three points for Cardiff, but they will have to survive what is sure to be a nervous final 10 minutes before claiming them. They concede another free kick inside their own half...

81 minCHANCE! McAuley heads Brunt's deep delivery across the six-yard box, but neither Berahino or Long react quickly enough to pounce on what would have been a pretty simple tap in!

83 minSessegnon shows good acceleration to get away from Medel and then set Long away down the right. He crosses towards Sinclair, but a combination of Theophile-Catherine and Noone clear.

84 minSUBSTITUTION: Cardiff make a straight swap up front, replacing Campbell with Maynard. Mackay looks like he is preparing another change, as is Clarke in the dugout next to him.

86 minSAVE! What a fantastic save from Marshall to keep his side ahead. Albion pass patiently until Sessegnon has room to stand up a cross which Brunt flicks on, and Long powers a header back across goal, but Marshall readjusts his feet and reacts brilliantly to palm away at full stretch. World-class stop!

87 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Clarke throws on another striker, as Matej Vydra, yet to score for the Baggies in the Premier League, is brought on for Long. Cardiff also make a change, with Gary Medel, who has picked up a little niggle, replaced by fellow midfielder Aron Gunnarsson for the final few minutes.

89 minMutch shoves Mulumbu to the ground when the Congolese midfielder was going nowhere. Cardiff clear the free kick, but they may well get punished eventually if they keep giving away silly fouls.

90 minSUBSTITUTION: Mackay take up a few more precious seconds with a third substitution, bringing off away-fans target Odemwingie for Kim Bo-Kyung, which will reinforce the centre of Cardiff's midfield.

90+2 minIn the second of FOUR minutes of stoppage time, Sessegnon's waywardness in front of goal continues as he slices a 20-yard shot horribly wide. Time running out fast for the Baggies...

4.51pmFULL-TIME: CARDIFF 1-0 WEST BROM

4.54pmWhat a massive victory for the Bluebirds, who end their five-match winless run and move four points clear of the Premier League relegation zone thanks to Peter Whittingham's 65th-minute header.

4.56pmAlbion drop to 16th in the table, though, after losing for the fourth time in a row. They came close to claiming a point with Shane Long's late header, which was brilliantly kept out by David Marshall.

4.58pmThat's it from me on a wet and windy afternoon in Wales! Thanks for joining Sports Mole today, and be sure to stay with us for live coverage of this evening's 5.30pm Premier League clash between Hull City and Stoke City at the KC Stadium. Until next time...

Marouane Chamakh of Crystal Palace is surrounded by team mates after scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Cardiff City at Selhurst Park on December 07, 2013
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