• FT

    Aston Villa

    2

    Cardiff

    0

  • FT

    Chelsea

    2

    West Brom

    2

  • FT

    C Palace

    0

    Everton

    0

  • FT

    Liverpool

    4

    Fulham

    0

  • FT

    Southampton

    4

    Hull

    1

  • FT

    Norwich

    3

    West Ham

    1

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

Villa Park, England

Attendance: 35809

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Aston Villa

  • Leandro Bacuna 76'
  • Libor Kozák 84'

2 - 0

FT

Villa see off Cardiff

Aleksandar Kozak scored to wrap up the points for Villa.

Second-half efforts from Leandro Bacuna and Aleksandar Kozak ended Aston Villa's goal drought as they beat Cardiff at Villa Park.

Having gone four Premier League matches without a goal, Villa looked certain to draw another blank as they laboured for three quarters of a low-quality encounter against a Cardiff side showing little of the fight that saw them defeat Swansea last week.

But Bacuna laid the foundation for their 2-0 win with a precision free-kick in the 76th minute, having won the decision following a foul by Gary Medel.

That opened things up enough for Kozak to double the lead eight minutes later, heading home after substitute Matt Lowton had nodded the ball across the face of goal.

Prior to that, it had been a drab affair, with Villa booed off by their fans at the interval.

The hosts began with plenty of attacking intent, Kozak's header drawing a good save from David Marshall after just a minute -- though an offside flag would have cancelled it out regardless.

Marshall was less assured when Karim El Ahmadi tested him from 25 yards, palming the ball back into the danger area in front of goal with Christian Benteke sniffing around.

Luckily for the visitors, Steven Caulker was a fraction quicker off the mark than the Belgian and cleared the danger.

Caulker was also the unlikely originator of Cardiff's first real attack, carrying the ball towards the edge of the Villa area before chipping a pass towards Aron Gunnarsson.

Villa might have conceded had Peter Odemwingie got a clean connection with his attempted volley but, when it bobbled away from the Nigerian, Ron Vlaar slid in to avert the danger.

There were still only ten minutes gone when Medel's floated free-kick drew Kozak into a defensive header that wrong-footed Brad Guzan and flashed across the face of his own goal.

Benteke, still looking for the inspiration that was ever-present last season, had one further sight of goal, but shot wide having ignored Aleksandar Tonev's intelligent run.

The next half-hour was little more than a non-event, Cardiff having marginally the better of things but producing nothing clearer than a Craig Bellamy free-kick that Guzan was able to catch with minimal fuss.

Odemwingie gave hints that he may have the skill to create a breakthrough without actually doing so, while Villa's efforts were stifled too often by sloppy passing.

Nathan Baker's body check on Odemwingie 25 yards out gave Cardiff the first chance to spark the game into life and former Villa man Peter Whittingham stood over the free-kick.

He whipped the ball across the area, but none of his team-mates were able to get a boot to it.

Villa countered and went closer than ever to an opening goal as Bacuna's cross found Kozak at the far post.

His header looked to be on target, but Marshall did enough to keep it out.

Malky Mackay had seen enough of Odemwingie after 55 minutes and sent on Fraizer Campbell.

With 62 minutes gone, Ashley Westwood's first-time shot -- taken after Benteke's pass had ricocheted off Kevin Theophile-Catherine -- briefly looked as if it might find the top corner but ended up a yard high and wide.

Benteke had two headers in the space of ten minutes from positions he would typically fancy, but on each occasion he failed to hit the target.

Bacuna, moved into midfield as part of a tactical reshuffle, rescued the game from stalemate.

He powered into the Cardiff half and was heading towards the penalty box when Medel's cynical foul stopped him in his tracks. But that merely delayed the danger, and Bacuna curled the resulting free-kick round the wall, leaving Marshall flat-footed as the ball hit the net.

Villa made the points safe when Kozak claimed his second goal for the club, heading home after a period of untidy defending by the Bluebirds.

Tonev's initial cross was poorly cleared by Theophile-Catherine, allowing Lowton to head back towards Kozak, who applied the finishing touch from six yards.

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Scoring Summary

  • Aston Villa
  • Cardiff City
 

Match Stats

  • Aston Villa
  • Cardiff City
17(6) Shots (on goal) 8(2)
10 Fouls 3
5 Corner kicks 3
5 Offsides 7
43% Time of Possession 57%
1 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
2 Saves 4

Teams

  • Aston Villa
  • Cardiff City
Substitutes
Substitutions
Yellow Cards
Ciaran Clark (90 + 5')
Gary Medel (75')