Cardiff City 4-2 Fulham: Second half goals seal first win for Bluebirds in six-goal thriller
Photo: Cardiff City FC / Getty Images

Cardiff City 4-2 Fulham: Second half goals seal first win for Bluebirds in six-goal thriller

Two second half goals from Callum Paterson and Kadeem Harris settle matters at the Cardiff City Stadium, after a see-saw encounter in south Wales.

Neil Leverett
Cardiff CityEtheridge; Ecuele Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett; Camarasa, Gunnarssson (Richards 77'), Arter (Damour 86'); Murphy (Harris 82'), Paterson, Reid.
Fulham FCBettinelli; Odoi, Ream, Chambers (Mawson 45'), Le Marchand; Seri (Ayite 58'), McDonald, Johansen (Vietto 82'); Schurrle, Mitrovic, Sessegnon.
SCOREMurphy (15'), (Reid 20'), (Paterson 65'), Harris (87'), Schurrle (11'), Sessegnon (34')
INCIDENTSPremier League clash between Cardiff City and Fulham at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, UK.

Cardiff City fought off a stern Fulham test via second half goals from Callum Paterson and substitute Kadeem Harris, as Neil Warnock's Bluebirds register their first Premier League win on their return to the top flight, beating the Cottagers 4-2 at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Following a frenetic opening period, both sides shared four opening period goals courtesy of André Schürrle's long-range rocket, two from Josh Murphy and Bobby Reid, before Ryan Sessegnon leveled before the break.

The hosts held off a late show from Slavisa Jokanovic's men to eventually win out comfortably as the hosts temporarily move outside the bottom three.

Schurrle opener ignites game

With both sides keen to establish themselves the two made busy starts busy starts before the visitors took the lead in spectacular fashion in the 11th-minute.

As Fulham picked up the ball in midfield, Schurrle found room to roam forward and then cutting inside, lashed a pile-driver past Cardiff stopper Neil Etheridge from 30 yards out to give the Cottagers first blood.

Their lead however lasted just minutes. After Sol Bamba sent an arrowed ball forward from the half-way line, his pass found Murphy with the freedom of Cardiff on the left wing. The winger raced in on goal and coolly slotted into the far corner of the net to level the scores.

Buoyed, the hosts soared forward and then took the lead. After a wasted free-kick was sloppily cleared, Joe Bennett's rebound effort deflected through and Reid was quickest to react. The Cardiff forward escaped his marker and clipped the ball over Fulham stopper Marcus Bettinelli to send the Cardiff faithful into raptures.

As has been the case for much of this season so far, the Fulham defence was again at sixes-and-sevens, as the west Londoners struggled with the pace and trickery of the hosts on the counter-attack. 

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Sessegnon levels 

However, just as had been the case in a see-saw opening period and just as Cardiff looked to managing the game, the Cottagers them made their own riposte.

A hopeful ball forward found Aleksandar Mitrovic, who slid a ball forward for the scampering Sessegnon to chase down. The versatile winger - who had endured an indifferent start to to Premier League life - was first to the ball and shied a left-footed effort low into the net to again level the scores for the second time in the afternoon.

Both sides continued to throw caution to the wind before the break, and Etheridge had was smartly off his line to prevent Sessegnon again sneaking in, and cleared after sliding in to thwart to pacy Englishman.

As the whistle blew for the interval, both managers had plenty of food for thought after a throughly engrossing 45 minutes in south Wales.

Caution thrown to wind

After a more cautious resumption, the battle lines were again draw, with both sides opting to go the aerial route.

Harry Arter tried his hand from outside the box but the Irish international's effort sailed narrowly over Bettinelli's bar and Sean Morrison himself went close on two occasion from set-pieces for the hosts, before Cardiff regained the lead shortly after the hour-mark.

As full-back Bruno Ecuele Manga found space on the right of the area, his cross dribbled through to the waiting Reid in the centre. With the visiting defence again failing to clear their lines, Paterson pounced on Fulham uncertainty and hooked his foot around the ball and watched it dribble past Bettinelli and into the corner of the net.

It was the visitors who again began to look desperate, as the hosts looked to cling on for their first win of the campaign. 

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Harris seals points for Bluebirds

The Cottagers however were not going without a fight and Etheridge had to be at his very best to deny half-time substitute Alfie Mawson from adding a sixth goal to the game after a superb reaction save down to his right. 

The fouls were totting up for the hosts and Fulham pushed forward in search of a late point, as the anxiety levels began to peak for the home crowd.

Just as Jokanovic's side could see a chink of light, substitute Harris them sealed the points from close range after a Victor Camarasa cross again exposed a hapless Fulham back line.

Harris' goal knocked the stuffing out of an again game visiting side, who again conceded two goals in a league game - a statistic that remains a concern for the Cottagers. Cardiff meanwhile after nothing short of an horrific start to the campaign, may now sense hope for the season ahead.