MX23RW : Monday, February 18 23:35:42
Sep 22, 2018 at 3pm UK at ​Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 32,321
CardiffCardiff City
Man CityManchester City
FT(HT: 0-3)
Aguero (32'), Silva (35'), Gundogan (44'), Mahrez (67', 89')

Live Commentary: Cardiff City 0-5 Manchester City - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Cardiff City's 5-0 defeat to Manchester City, as the Citizens cruised to all three points in South Wales.
Live Commentary: Cardiff City 0-5 Manchester City - as it happened
© Reuters

Riyad Mahrez scored a second-half brace as Manchester City thrashed Cardiff City 5-0 in Saturday afternoon's Premier League meeting.

The Citizens were three goals to the good before half time as Bernardo Silva set up Sergio Aguero and then scored one of his own, before Ilkay Gundogan thumped home a third.

Substitute Mahrez then took over in the second half, netting twice in the space of 22 minutes to lift the visitors up to second place in the table.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

2.00pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Premier League meeting between Cardiff City and Manchester City at the Cardiff City Stadium. The Bluebirds are seeking their first win since earning promotion back to the top flight in April, while the visitors will be looking to bounce back after suffering their first defeat of the campaign in midweek at home to Lyon.

2.02pmThat surprise 2-1 loss came in the Champions League, leaving the Citizens with some work to do in their remaining five matches, and they have not quite had things all their own way in the Premier League, either. Pep Guardiola's men dropped points away at Wolverhampton Wanderers a month ago - a result that Cardiff will be looking to match this afternoon in a soaking wet South Wales.


STARTING XI: Ederson; Walker, Laporte, Otamendi, Delph; Fernandinho, Gundogan; Sterling, B.Silva, Sane; Aguero

SUBS: Muric, Kompany, Stones, D.Silva, Mahrez, Jesus, Foden

2.06pmStarting with a loo at the away side, Guardiola has made three changes on the back of that defeat to Lyon. Those three alterations come right through the spine of the side, as John Stones joins David Silva and Gabriel Jesus in making way from the starting lineup. In come Nicolas Otamendi, Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane, with the latter two performing well when introduced in the midweek European tie.

2.08pmThe return of Sane for David Silva means that Bernardo Silva will likely be given a central role, which is where he tends to perform best. Otamendi will link up with Aymeric Laporte in the heart of defence, meanwhile, with Stones and skipper Vincent Kompany both among the subs, and Aguero was always likely to get the nod up top after recovering from a minor injury problem.

2.10pmToday's game is a special one for Aguero - his 300th appearance for Man City in all competitions, with an impressive 204 goals being scored during that time. The Argentina international, who extended his contract at the Etihad Stadium earlier this week, has scored 12 goals and set up two more in his last 12 games against newly-promoted sides, though he has fired blanks in two-such fixtures already this term.


STARTING XI: Etheridge; Peltier, Manga, Morrison, Cunningham; Camarasa, Arter, Ralls, Hoilett; Ward, Reid

SUBS: Murphy, Bennett, Richards, Zohore, Murphy, Paterson, Bamba

2.14pmSwitching focus to the home side, Neil Warnock has made a couple of surprising changes on the face of it by bringing in Lee Peltier and Greg Cunningham. It is a full league debut for the latter, who has had to remain patient since arriving from Preston North End in the summer, and his introduction means that Joe Bennett - one of Cardiff's best performers in the Premier League so far - drops down to the bench.

2.16pmIt is also surprising to see Sol Bamba drop out of the side a week on from scoring away at Chelsea, although he did concede a late penalty in that match. Rather than making a like-for-like change, experienced full-back Peltier will fill in on the right and Bruno Ecuele Manga will partner Sean Morrison in the heart of defence. Two changes in the back four, then, but Cardiff are otherwise unchanged.

2.18pmHarry Arter's recovery from an illness bug is a big positive for Warnock, meaning that he can go with the same midfield four that started against Arsenal and Chelsea. Victor Camarasa is Cardiff's most naturally talented player, while Joe Ralls has adapted well to life in the top flight, but Junior Hoilett has not really built on last season's impressive showings. With Joshua Murphy back in the squad, this could be the Canadian's last chance to impress.

2.20pmSergio Aguero comes into the side for his 300th Manchester City appearance in one of three changes from the defeat to Lyon, with Nicolas Otamendi and Leroy Sane also being handed starts. There are two changes for Cardiff City, meanwhile, both coming in the backline as Lee Peltier and Greg Cunningham take over at full-back.

Sergio Aguero in action during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester City on August 12, 2018© Reuters

2.22pmCardiff head into this match occupying 17th place in the Premier League table, above Huddersfield Town on goal difference alone. If it stayed that way come the middle of May then it would be seen as job done for Warnock, but the fear is that the Bluebirds - promoted along with Wolves and Fulham last term - will drop into bottom three come the end of the day, as this is the toughest of their fixtures to date.

2.24pmThe Bluebirds have collected two points from their first five games, but they have been far from disgraced in each of those matches. Defeat to Bournemouth on the opening day was disappointing, followed up by back-to-back stalemates with Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town where there were positives to be taken. Cardiff are in the midst of a tough run, though, having faced Arsenal and Chelsea in their last two and now champions Man City today.

2.26pmIn terms of those two most recent outings, Cardiff did not exactly park the bus against Arsenal and Chelsea, just as Warnock promised. The Bluebirds pushed the Gunners all the way, twice pegging them back and coming within 10 minutes of a valuable point, only for Alexandre Lacazette to thump the ball in at Neil Etheridge's near post. Then came the 4-1 loss at Stamford Bridge, when taking a surprise early lead but crumbling in the final stages of the match.

2.28pmWarnock has taken plenty of positives from those last two matches, played either side of the international break, but the veteran boss also confessed that his side need to learn to do the basics better. Sol Bamba gave away a needless penalty last weekend, while Joe Bennett was guilty of failing to stop Eden Hazard for the first of Chelsea's four goals on the day, perhaps explaining their absences today.

2.30pmCardiff have now lost three games in a row in all competitions, having also been comprehensively beaten by Norwich City in the EFL Cup last month, and there is a sense that their momentum from last season has been killed off. Just try telling that to the 30,000 home fans in attendance today, though - they are loving every minute of this second ever Premier League adventure, with these games against the established elite the ones they look forward to more than any other.

2.32pmFollowing a run of six hour and 55 minutes without a league goal, Cardiff got off the mark through Camarasa's strike at home to Arsenal at the start of the month. They have now scored three goals in two matches, against the Gunners and Chelsea, but at the opposite end of the field two successive clean sheets has since become seven conceded in those two outings. Getting the balance right will obviously be key to their survival hopes.

2.34pmHaving faced two of last season's top six in their last two outings, Cardiff now take on the best the country had to offer last season, before trips to Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool in their next two away outings. Sandwiched between those daunting trips, though, are winnable home games against Burnley and Fulham, with six points from six being the target for the Bluebirds. Anything from the other three games will essentially be a welcome bonus.

2.36pmDID YOU KNOW? Cardiff City are now winless in their last nine Premier League matches sine a 1-0 win away at Southampton in April 2014, losing six of those subsequent matches, and their most recent home victory in this competition came against Fulham in March of that year. Not since 1921-22 had they failed to win any of their opening five top-flight fixtures; a record they matched with defeat to Chelsea a week ago.

2.38pmSeven matches without a win, accounting for the 0-0 draw with Reading on the final day, is Cardiff's longest-such run since February 2015. Warnock, meanwhile, is without a win in 11 Premier League matches, which is his longest run. Whichever way you look at this, Cardiff - and indeed Warnock - are in desperate need of a victory to put an end to these negative statistics. What better way to do that than by overcoming the reigning champions!

2.40pmNeil Warnock has lost all six of his previous meetings against the reigning champions of English football by an aggregate score of 13-0. Cardiff City's record is not much better, having won one and lost 12 of their last 14 games against the Premier League's established top six.

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock looking sultry on September 2, 2018© Reuters

2.42pmPREVIOUS MEETINGS! Manchester City are winless in their last six top-flight visits to Cardiff City, most recently losing 3-2 in August 2013 on their only previous Premier League trip. The Citizens won 2-0 here in an FA Cup fourth-round tie in January, however, courtesy of goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling, taking the average number of goals in this fixture to 3.5 per game across the last 10 meetings.

2.44pmMan City sit third in the Premier League table after collecting 13 points from the first 15 on offer. Guardiola complained about his side's profligate nature last weekend, despite beating Fulham 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium, but he had every right to be frustrated a few days on when going down 2-1 at home to Lyon. Defeat in that group-stage opener made City the first English side ever to lose four successive Champions League games.

2.46pmGuardiola was forced to watch that last match from high up in the stands because of a UEFA ban carried over from last season, but he will be back on the touchline this afternoon. City will now have to expend more energy in the next few months if they are to claim top spot in the Champions League group, and they are also playing catch-up in the Premier League as Liverpool and Chelsea have yet to drop any points.

2.48pmThe current top two face off next weekend in a crunch clash, though, so Guardiola will be desperate to put collect six points from his side's next two outings to put the pressure on those two sides. Thirteen points from 15 is not a bad return by any means, matching their tally from last season when going on to accrue 100, as aside from their draw at Wolves they have otherwise been pretty faultless - although not in the eyes of Guardiola!

2.50pmCity kicked off their season with a straightforward 2-0 win at Arsenal and a a 6-1 thrashing of Huddersfield, before that 1-1 draw at Molineux. They have since got back on track with six points from six against Newcastle and Fulham, leaving them two points behind early pacesetters Liverpool and Chelsea. The loss against Lyon may have been "frustrating", in the words of John Stones, but there is little time to reflect as the games are coming thick and fast.

2.52pmThe Citizens are unbeaten in their last 21 outings against promoted clubs since a 1-0 loss to Burnley in March 2013, while boss Guardiola has gone 33 matches against such opposition since last tasting defeat - 2-1 to Real Sociedad in April 2011 when in charge of Barcelona. That said, City did taste defeat here on their most recent league visit, so they will not be taking Cardiff for granted.

2.54pmIt is 11 matches without defeat for Man City in the Premier League following their near-perfect start this term, with nine of those matches ending with three points being collected. Away from home, meanwhile, they have 23 points from the last 27 on offer since losing to Liverpool at Anfield in January. For those who question the Citizens' form after Champions League games, they have won eight of their last nine immediately following European games.


Neil Warnock: "It's a blip and might give them a kick up the backside. I don't think it helps us at all. They made a few changes and looked a lot stronger when they put the regulars on in the second half. When I watch them I think 'thank goodness we only play them twice'."

Pep Guardiola: "The Premier League is physical. Not just Cardiff. I realised that when I arrived. Cardiff has a way to play and we have to adapt We'll play our game and try to maintain the physicality. It's happened in all the games and now we try to make a good performance."

2.58pmWarnock expects Man City to turn up extra motivated this afternoon following their defeat to Lyon. The stats certainly reflect that as, win or lose, the Citizens have won eight of their last nine games that have immediately followed a Champions League clash. Cardiff are in desperate need of a victory to climb the table, but this is their third tough test in a row and a point will be seen as a positive today.

Pep Guardiola pulls a ridiculous face during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester City on August 12, 2018© Reuters

1 minKICKOFF:  Cardiff City get us up and running in South Wales, where it has rained all day and will continue to do so for at least the next couple of hours. This was an eventful fixture last season when they met in the FA Cup, and more of the same can be expected today.

3 minLee Peltier has been brought in today because of his defensive resilience, but already Leroy Sane has knocked it past the ex-Liverpool man like he was not there. Victor Camarasa got across well to concede a corner kick, which came to nothing.

5 minMan City, as expected, have dominated possession in the early stages of this contest. The Citizens have yet to really get the ball in a dangerous position, though, with Leroy Sane being dispossessed before he could look up and find a teammate.

7 minThere is no doubt that Man City are missing Kevin De Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy at the moment, with the latter missing a third match in a row today because of bruising on his foot. The visitors have seen 79% of the ball in the opening seven minutes.

9 minGood defensive work from Lee Peltier to block an attempted through-ball - there will be a few of those today. A promising moment from Cardiff up the other end, but Danny Ward's back-heel for Bobby Reid did not quite come off.

11 minLaporte with a vital sliding challenge to prevent Cardiff mounting a counter-attack. Man City have been on top but, in fairness, there has not been a great deal between the two sides at the Cardiff City Stadium so far.

13 minCLOSE!  The closest we have come to a goal so far as Sergio Aguero's right-sided cross was sent wide of his own post by Sean Morrison. The centre-back had Ilkay Gundogan racing in beside him so that was not the worst piece of defensive work.

15 minCardiff have scored two goals from set pieces this term; Man City have conceded two goals from set pieces this term. There has been no such route to goal for the Bluebirds so far, as they have pretty much had to defend from the off.

17 minThe home side are growing in confidence and have just had their best spell of the match. The Bluebirds knocked the ball around well and got plenty of bodies forward, but Victor Camarasa's pass for Junior Hoilett was poor and the attack broke down.

19 minThere has not been a single shot of any note so far at the Cardiff City Stadium. The closest we have come to an opener in the opening quarter of the game was through that Sean Morrison block five minutes ago, with the ball fizzing past his own goal.

Sergio Aguero and Joe Ralls in action during the Premier League game between Cardiff City and Manchester City on September 22, 2018© Reuters

21 minWarnock will be happy with the way his side have started here. Much like against Chelsea last weekend, the Bluebirds are keeping things tight and really stifling their opponents. They did go on to concede four times at Stamford Bridge, though...

23 minVictor Camarasa takes a little too long on the ball and gives it away in a dangerous position, but Man City cannot make the most of it. Warnock would have been furious had Leroy Sane made more of that promising situation.

25 minThis has been a very good display from Cardiff so far. They have yet to register a shot of any sort, but nor have their opponents - that takes some doing. Guardiola will not be panicking just yet, though that may change the longer this remains goalless.

27 minCLOSE!  A big sigh of relief from Lee Peltier. The full-back deflected Leroy Sane's cross towards his own goal, but thankfully for him Bruno Ecuele Manga blocked it before it reached the back of the net - Neil Etheridge would not have got there.

29 minMan City's best two moments so far have come through Cardiff's own doing, with Morrison and Peltier nearly scoring own goals. The visitors are up to 77% now in terms of possession, but that counts for little as long as it remains 0-0.

31 minThis is a strange on: Fabian Delph has gone to right-back, Aymeric Laporte to left-back and Kyle Walker has gone into central defence alongside Nicolas Otamendi. Will that work? It can surely only get better for the Citizens...

32 minCHANCE!  Man City create their first clear-cut chance of the afternoon. Sergio Aguero's pass was poorly defended by Sean Morrison into the path of Ilkay Gundogan, whose first touch was brilliant but his second was poor, skying the half-volley.


34 minA minute or so after Cardiff enjoyed their most dangerous moment of the match, which ended with a corner being won, Man City put the ball in the net up the other end. A reverse pass from Ilkay Gundogan into the path of Bernardo Silva was squared to Sergio Aguero, who guided the ball out of Neil Etheridge's reach.

Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring during the Premier League game between Cardiff City and Manchester City on September 22, 2018© Reuters


37 minTwo attempts on target for Man City and two goals. I'm not even sure if this was an attempt, in fact, as Bernardo Silva attempted to flick Leroy Sane's cross towards the back post, but it dipped over Neil Etheridge into the far corner.

39 minSAVE!  Cardiff get in their first shot of the afternoon, with Danny Ward only able to force Ederson into a routine stop with his shot from just outside the box. The visitors have gone from being frustrated to being in control in the space of three minutes.

41 minFernandinho slips the ball through for Leroy Sane, who could not quite get a shot away in front of goal. The ball then fell loose to Sergio Aguero to have a pop, but Bruno Ecuele Manga was able to block it behind for a corner kick.

43 minSAVE!  Man City were dominant in the opening half an hour without ever looking like scoring; since then they have been dominant and look threatening whenever they get forward. Great play from Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero should have scored from the pull-back - Neil Etheridge was equal to it.


45 minBrilliant finish from Ilkay Gundogan to put the champions out of sight. The Germany international, guilty of missing a good chance earlier on, exchanged passes with Raheem Sterling and curled the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box.



3.49pmNo idea how Joe Ralls is still on the field, being shown only a yellow by referee Michael Oliver following a shin-high challenge on Ilkay Gundogan. That is the final meaningful act of the first half - the whistle has now blown and the opening 45 minutes are at an end.

3.52pmMan City were made to toil by their opponents prior to the floodgates opening, as they failed to register a shot of any note prior to Sergio Aguero's opener 32 minutes in. The closest the Citizens came to a breakthrough up to that point came via Cardiff players, with Sean Morrison and Lee Peltier both guilty of almost putting the ball into their own net.

3.55pmPep Guardiola appeared to tweak formation at that point, sending Fabian Delph to right-back and Aymeric Laporte to left-back, while Kyle Walker was temporarily used in the middle of the back four. Man City then started to turn their possession into chances, coming close through Ilkay Gundogan's skied half-volley from inside the box, moments before Aguero's vital opener.

3.58pmGundogan's reverse pass was gathered by Bernardo Silva, who in turn squared for Sergio Aguero to tuck out of Neil Etheridge's reach on the striker's 300th appearance in Man City colours. Bernardo added the second himself three minutes later with a flicked header into the far corner, although it looked more like an intended pass towards the back post than an effort at goal.

4.01pmDanny Ward's tame attempt down the middle for Ederson to collect was the best Cardiff had to offer in a first half that got progressively worse, as Gundogan slammed home a third into the top corner after exchanging passes with Raheem Sterling. The Citizens in cruise control and the midway point, then, while the hosts have it all to do...

CARDIFF CITY SUBS: Murphy, Bennett, Richards, Zohore, Murphy, Paterson, Bamba

MANCHESTER CITY SUBS: Muric, Kompany, Stones, D.Silva, Mahrez, Jesus, Foden

Bernardo Silva celebrates scoring during the Premier League game between Cardiff City and Manchester City on September 22, 2018© Reuters

46 minKICKOFF:  Manchester City get us back under way in South Wales, where neither managed has made a change. It will likely be a case of damage limitation for the Bluebirds in this second period, with the points now out of their reach.

48 minAn awkward landing for Lee Peltier leaves the full-back in a bit of pain, and Neil Warnock may well be forced into making a change early in this second period. The stretcher has been readied, so it could be a long-term layoff for Peltier.

50 minCARDIFF CITY SUB! Jazz Richards comes on as a sub for the second week running, but unlike at Stamford Bridge last weekend - when used in a wide midfield role - he will play in his more familiar full-back spot this afternoon.

52 minSeven minutes of the second half played, but five minutes of those were eaten up by the injury to Peltier. They will be added on at the end, unless referee Michael Oliver has a bit of sympathy for Cardiff and blows a little earlier.

54 minSAVE!  Ederson with a second save to make of the afternoon, and again it is Danny Ward who looks to make something happen for his side. The striker cut inside on his right and curled the ball towards goal, but it was a pretty simple stop for the Brazilian to make.

56 minBobby Reid with a big chance to pull one back for Cardiff 10 minutes into the second half. The ex-Bristol City attacker could not quite get a shot on goal when the ball fell nicely for him. Man City have taken their foot off the gas.

58 minRaheem Sterling slides the ball along the floor for Sergio Aguero in a repeat of the Argentinian's opening goal, but on this occasion the shot takes a deflection off Sean Morrison and goes wide. The Citizens now stepping things up.

60 minSAVE!  Neil Etheridge spills Sergio Aguero's shot and Leroy Sane looked certain to add a fourth goal for the hosts, only to sky the ball over the bar from six yards. There are more goals there for the taking if the visitors want them.

62 minCLOSE!  A right-sided free kick is met by the head of Leroy Sane, who was desperately unlucky not to get his side's fourth - the bill clipped the post on its way through. Raheem Sterling then denied by Neil Etheridge from the next attacking move.

64 minSUBS! Riyad Mahrez maintains his record of appearing in each of Man City's games this term, being given around half an hour to impress after taking over from Sergio Aguero here. Kenneth Zohore replaces Danny Ward for the hosts.

66 minWarnock will be quietly pleased that Man City have failed to extend their lead in the opening 20 minutes of the second half, although there will probably be seven or eight minutes added on at the end because of Lee Peltier's injury.


69 minRiyad Mahrez is up and running with his first goal in Manchester City colours! Ilkay Gundogan is played in behind and squares it for Mahrez to tap into an empty net. Credit to Raheem Sterling for his part in the build-up to that fourth goal of the afternoon.

Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring the fourth during the Premier League game between Cardiff City and Manchester City on September 22, 2018© Reuters

71 minMANCHESTER CITY SUB! Phil Foden is given some minutes, with this game now well out of Cardiff's reach. The English youngster takes over from Ilkay Gundogan, who has enjoyed a great afternoon - a goal and an assist for him.

73 minCardiff fans still trying to urge their side on, knowing the importance of goal difference come the end of the season. As things stand, the Bluebirds will drop down to 19th place in the table, kept off the bottom by Huddersfield Town.

75 minMANCHESTER CITY SUB! Pep Guardiola has the luxury of being able to rotate for the final quarter of the game, taking off defensive midfielder Fernandinho and bringing on John Stones. Warnock still has one available change to make.

77 minCLOSE!  Bernardo Silva, looking a lot better today in his favoured central position, controls a back-post cross and then sends a deflected shot just over the crossbar. Cardiff have made their final change, bringing on Josh Murphy for Junior Hoilett.

79 minLee Peltier was stretchered off the field early in the second half with a shoulder injury, meaning that we will likely see seven or eight minutes - possibly more - added on at the end. This match has been over since the midway point, in truth.

Lee Peltier receives treatment during the Premier League game between Cardiff City and Manchester City on September 22, 2018© Reuters

81 minCardiff struggling to keep hold of the ball. Man City have boasted 80% of possession and it is they who look the more likely to find the fifth goal of the afternoon. I'm sure Warnock would take the full time whistle if offered to him right now.

83 minSAVE!  Raheem Sterling takes the free kick and forces Neil Etheridge into making a save. The effort took a deflection off the wall on its way through so that has to go down as a decent stop from the Philippines international, who has shipped 11 goals in three games.

85 minSAVE!  Riyad Mahrez wants a second goal to add to his breakthrough strike in Man City colours, but his shot is kept out by Neil Etheridge at his front post. Raheem Sterling with a bit of a tired cross into the middle, which is cleared by the Bluebirds.

87 minSAVE!  Phil Foden charged through on goal and probably should have score with only Neil Etheridge to beat. The Cardiff goalkeeper came out on top in that personal battle, getting down to keep out what was an admittedly weak attempt.


90 minThere is no stopping Riyad Mahrez on this occasion - the club-record signing tucks the ball into the bottom corner, just out of Neil Etheridge's reach, after Bruno Ecuele Manga passed the ball right into his path. This is turning into a thumping.

90+2 minIncredibly, only three minutes have been added on at the end of the match. Lee Peltier was down for five or six minutes and we have had five second-half subs, but the referee clearly has some sympathy for the home side.


4.56pmManchester City thump Cardiff City 5-0 in South Wales, with Riyad Mahrez getting off the mark with a couple of goals from the bench. That added to first-half efforts from Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan, as the Citizens cruised to all three points.

4.58pmThat concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events from the Cardiff City Stadium. An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here, and be sure to join us a little later as we will have updates from Real Madrid's La Liga clash with Espanyol. See you then!

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Sol Bamba celebrates his shock opener during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Cardiff City on September 15, 2018
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