Stoke City 3-3 Cardiff City: Three goals in five minutes sparks Cardiff memorable comeback
STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 30: Kieffer Moore of Cardiff City (2nd from r) celebrates with teammates Mark McGuinness, Rubin Colwill and Will Vaulks after scoring his sides third goal to make the score 3-3 during the Sky Bet Championship match between Stoke City and Cardiff City at Bet365 Stadium on October 30, 2021 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

Cardiff City salvaged themselves a point as three goals in five minutes saw them come from 3-0 down to draw 3-3.

A double from Steven Fletcher and an early Jacob Brown header made set for a comfortable afternoon for the Potters.

However strikes by Ruben Colwil, substitute Mark Harris and Kieffer Moore between the 65th and 71st minute ensured that Cardiff came away from the Bet365 Stadium with an unlikely point.

The result sees Cardiff earn their first point in eight league games while it extends Stoke's run without a win to five games in all competitions.

Story of the day

It was the Bluebirds that came out the stronger and should have taken the lead inside 4 minutes when a long kick by Alex Smithies caught out Stoke’s high line and Colwil found himself through on goal.

From the left-hand side, he chose to square the ball to Kieron Evans inside the six-yard box, but he just couldn’t get a toe to the ball and the ball squirmed away.

Three minutes later it was Moore who had found himself with room down the left, but his tame shot was straight at Joe Bursik.

Then only a couple of moments later, against the run of play, the hosts broke the deadlock. Ben Wilmot roamed forward and swung a great ball into the box which was met by the head of Brown and he powered his header into the top right-hand corner.

This seemed to settle the Potters down as they began to pen Cardiff deep inside their own half and doubled their lead deservedly only seven minutes later.

A long Wilmot ball found Brown in behind the away side’s back three and he laid the ball off to Fletcher who, from range, saw his deflected shot send Smithies the wrong way to seal what was his first goal of the season after not having started in the previous nine league games.

With Steve Morrison’s outfit looking to be out of ideas and disjointed, Stoke continued to dominate with Fletcher seeing his header from a corner sail well over the bar just after the midway point in the first period.

Four minutes before the break, Cardiff should have halved the deficit when Moore was played through one on one, but from a tight angle, Bursik stood tall to block the striker's shot.

Then on the stroke of halftime, Cardiff had another half chance when a cross from the right was headed into the path of Ryan Giles but his half volley from the left was sliced well over the bar.

Despite ending the half strongly, the away side found themselves in a deeper hole immediately after the break as they fell further behind.

Brown was found unmarked on the edge of the box, he fed Flecther and even though his first-time effort from the right was scuffed, it looped over Smithies and into the bottom left-hand corner.

Brown was close to adding a fourth and his second just before the hour mark when his low shot on the turn was well turned behind by Smithies.

The Bluebirds were close to opening their account with 25 minutes remaining when Leandro Bacuna's free-kick from the edge of the box took a deflection but instead of the ball nestling into the corner, it clipped off the right-hand post.

Only a minute later Cardiff got their comeback started when Colwil's low-driven effort from range had too much power for Bursik as the ball bounced into the roof of the net.

Then three minutes later a sloppy pass by Tymon saw Moore get in down the right and he threaded through substitute Harris who slotted the ball home.

Only a minute later the quick turnaround was then complete when after good work down the left, Giles low cross was latched on to by Moore who tapped the ball home at the back post to send the visiting fans into elation.

With six minutes to go Morrison's side actually thought they had won it when Harris was slipped through by Giles and he slid the ball into the bottom right-hand corner, but the flag was raised for offside against the goalscorer.

Then in the second minute of stoppage time, the hosts were so close to stealing away all three points, but James Chester just couldn't convert from close range after he was found from a nod down- but the flag did go up for offside.

Substitute Mario Vranic did have an opportunity to get that win in the final minute when he stood over a free kick in a promising position, but his effort sailed over the bar as Cardiff earned their first point in eight games.

Potters lack of concentration costs them three points

With 25 minutes to go, Stoke looked in complete control with the threat of a comeback by the Bluebirds not even in question.

However sloppy play in their defensive third and a failure to track runs is what has ultimately cost them what should have been a routine victory against a side that is struggling down the wrong end of the table and who before today had only netted once in the last eight Championship games.

Their lack of concentration and consistent silly mistakes is, unfortunately becoming a reoccurrence though as over the last few games they have held leads for long periods, and just their failure in-game management has seen them come away with limited points from winning positions.

This is something that O’Neill must address as if they hope to contend for a spot in those play-off positions, they really do need to stand firm and see games through as that is something which is seriously lacking at the moment.

Cardiff desire to keep fighting is sign of encouragement

There is no doubt that caretaker boss Morrison will be disappointed by the large majority of their performance as until their opener his side were really outclassed by the hosts in every area of the pitch.

However, he will be mightily impressed by his team’s spirit and test of character to fight back in the way they did and will certainly be something he will want to see more of from the Bluebirds during his tenure.

It will be considered as a good place to start considering their poor recent run of form and from this Cardiff will hope to use it as a platform to build upon as they look to create distance away from the bottom three.

Star Man- Kieffer Moore

It has been a pretty poor season up to now for the striker that bagged 20 goals in the league last season, but Morrison will be particularly pleased with the Welshman’s overall showing today.

Even when they were largely under the cosh, Moore confidence to bring the ball forward and go at defenders was always a cause of concern for the Potters back three.

He was also a large reason to why the comeback was formulated as his dangerous runs in behind and the threat that he caused on the break was ultimately always going to cause problems.

Not only that, but of course he grabbed the goal that secured a point for his side and was also the one who was alert to Tymon’s sloppy pass meaning that he was able to slip in Harris for Cardiff’s second goal.

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