Impressive Cardiff hold Man United at CCS

Posted by Michael Morris

Mike Hewitt/Getty ImagesKim Bo-Kyung's late equaliser versus Manchester United earned Cardiff City yet another impressive result at home.

Cardiff City once again livened up a Sunday afternoon with a fully deserved 2-2 draw against Manchester United.

- Report: Cardiff 2-2 Manchester United
- Brewin: Three things: Cardiff-Man United
- Report: Medel avoids FA punishment

It was the first meeting between the teams since 1975. Since then the sides have followed different paths. United winning trophy after trophy, while Cardiff bounced around the lower leagues until finally winning promotion to the Premier League in April of this year.

The match provided an abundance of talking points with the first major incident happening inside the first 10 minutes. Wayne Rooney took a kick at Jordon Mutch as the pair chased down the touchline. It was blatant and it was seen by referee Neil Swarbrick. He issued a yellow card to Rooney despite the offence warranting a red.

The media reaction afterwards was universal in confirming that Rooney should have walked. It's not the first time he's shown such petulance, he was sent off for a similar incident when playing for England against Montenegro in October 2011.

Because the referee saw the incident and booked Rooney, no further action will be taken. It's yet to be seen if the referee will be reprimanded for not making the appropriate decision.

Seven minutes after Rooney's booking, he scored the opening goal of the match. A dreadful attempted pass by Ben Turner was intercepted by Antonia Valencia. Turner was out of position leaving teammate Steven Caulker trying unsuccessfully to mark two strikers. One of those was Rooney who collected Valencia's cross, turned and fired in via a deflection off Gary Medel.

Cardiff had started this game with the intention of competing with Manchester United. In previous matches, City have been content to try and soak up pressure and hope to nick something at the other end. This time though, against a United side missing Robin van Persie, Michael Carrick and Nemanja Vidic, the Bluebirds looked to attack.

The teams were matching each other for possession and Cardiff scored a fully deserved equaliser when Fraizer Campbell latched onto Mutch's inch-perfect pass. Campbell gave David De Gea in the United goal no chance and the former Red Devil was muted in his celebration as a mark of respect for the club with which he started his career.

The game swung United's way again with the last action of the first half. The visitors won a corner, taken by Rooney, and Patrice Evra reacted first to head the ball past David Marshall via a deflection off Andrew Taylor.

Marshall produced three stunning saves in the second half to keep the scoreline at 2-1. The best of them coming after a flicked header by Marouane Fellani saw Marshall instinctively reach out an arm so push the ball wide.

At the other end a mix up between Rooney and Tom Cleverley allowed Campbell to win possession on the edge of the box and his deft chip bounced back off De Gea's crossbar.

Both managers made significant substitutions. David Moyes brought on Ryan Giggs to face his hometown club for the first time in his career. Giggs, 40 next week, was welcomed by a mixed reaction of applause and boos. The latter for his patchy Wales career where he missed far too many games. A decision in hindsight that may be part way responsible to him still playing at Premier League level.

Malky Mackay gave Craig Noone his first taste of the Premier League. Noone has been on the bench week in week out throughout the season. His arrival gave Cardiff more attacking threat. Noone is a pacy wide player and his persistence down the left wing won a free kick in the 89th minute.

Dead ball specialist Peter Whittingham stepped up to deliver the ball into the box, but as he made contact, the referee blew his whistle for a disturbance in the penalty area. Fellani and Medel were spoken to by the official before play resumed.

Whittingham this time found Kim Bo-Kyung with his cross and the South Korean headed past De Gea to equalise. Kim raced towards the touchline with his shirt off in celebration. He was booked for his actions.

Television replays showed the reason the referee stopped the first free kick. Fellani appeared to nudge his elbow towards Medel prompting the Chilean to take a swipe at his opponent. Swarbrick noticed the commotion but not the extent of it. Although Medel, a foot shorter that Fellani, didn't make contact with the Belgian's face, the intention could have seen Medel red carded.

Twenty-four hours after the match, the matter was reviewed by an FA Panel of former referees and Medel's actions were deemed not to be a red card offence.

The drama at the stadium was not over yet. From the restart United went for the victory. Giggs played a sublime pass to Rooney who just had Marshall to beat. Instead of putting his foot through the ball himself, he tried to square a pass to Danny Wellbeck but under-hit his effort and Marshall gratefully gathered.

Cardiff had one last shot. Striker Andreas Cornelius, back after a long injury lay off, mugged Fellani and raced towards goal before hitting a tame effort straight at De Gea.

This was another impressive Cardiff performance at home in front of a record attendance for the stadium of 28,016. So far this season Man City and Swansea have perished in the Welsh capital. Everton and Manchester United have only managed to draw and Spurs nicked a win with a last minute goal.

Cardiff play Arsenal this coming Saturday before a run of games against opponents near the Bluebirds in the Premier League table. What happens against Arsenal won't decide City's fate this campaign, but the following games against Stoke, Crystal Palace and West Brom will give a good indication of where the club may expect to finish.


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