Cardiff City 3-1 Leeds United: Brilliant Zohore leads Bluebirds to top of Championship table

Cardiff City are at the summit of the division following a thorough win over their promotion rivals.

Cardiff City 3-1 Leeds United: Brilliant Zohore leads Bluebirds to top of Championship table
Zohore celebrates after opening the scoring in Cardiff/Photo: Athena Pictures/Getty Images
Cardiff City
3 1
Leeds United
Cardiff City: Etheridge; Peltier, Manga, Morrison, Bennett; Bamba, Bryson, Damour; Hoilett, Mendez-Laing (Feeney, min 85.), Zohore (Ward, min 75.).
Leeds United: Wiedwald; Ayling, Cooper, Jansson, Berardi; Klich, Phillips; Alioski (Grot, min 61.), Dallas, Hernandez (Pennington, min 45.); Roofe. Booked: Cooper 39.
SCORE: 1-0, min. 28, Zohore. 2-0, min. 37, Hoilett. 3-0, min. 59, Zohore. 3-1, min. 67, Roofe.
REFEREE: Kevin Friend (ENG) Booked Cooper (min. 39), Cooper (min. 45+3)

Two of the top three sides met at the Cardiff City Stadium and it was third-placed Cardiff City who recorded a convincing 3-1 victory over leaders Leeds United.

Leeds control play early on

In what was the most anticipated game of the Championship season so far, it was the visitors who had the first chance just three minutes into the game when Gjanni Alioski as he cut in from the right wing from the edge of the area, but his low shot went wide. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leeds looked to be on the front foot for most of the beginning stages of the game despite injury scares to Pablo Hernandez and Stuart Dallas, attacking down the right side, but in the 18th minute they were nearly a goal behind if not for deflections on shots by both Joe Bennett and Sol Bamba.

Cardiff score twice in nine-minute span as Cooper sees red

The hosts sprung to life in the 28th minute after a terrible giveaway by Mateusz Klich as Loic Damour first bullied Klich before finding Junior Hoilett, who weaved through the Leeds defense to set up Kenneth Zohore who rifled a shot past keeper Felix Wiedewald to put the hosts ahead 1-0.

The lead was doubled nine minutes later after a long goal kick from Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was headed right to Hoilett and with room to work, he cut to his right before blasting one from 25 yards out put the Bluebirds into a comfortable 2-0 lead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As if things weren't already bad enough for Thomas Christiansen's side, defender Liam Cooper saw yellow for his trip on Nathaniel Mendez-Laing followed soon after with a second yellow after a silly lunge on Mendez-Laing as referee Kevin Friend gave him his marching orders.

Rampant Bluebirds go three ahead

With a two-goal lead and a man advantage, Cardiff were surging and Sean Morrison flicked home the free-kick following Cooper's dismissal to make it 3-0, but he was ajudged to have been offsides.

Leeds were improving and long-range efforts from Kalvin Phillips and Alioski tested Etheridge, but the hosts soon made it 3-0 with a showpiece goal in the 59th minute.

Damour was again involved, playing two perfect first-time passes on the edge of the box – with Hoilett and Morrison – to carve open the Leeds defense and when Morrison crossed, Zohore pounced to claim his second to effectively seal the three points.

Embed from Getty Images

Leeds did manage a consolation goal in the 67th minute as Kemar Roofe played a neat one-two with Luke Ayling, the striker receiving the ball back, his shot deflecting past Etheridge from 20 yards away.

Post-match comments

Cardiff manager Neil Warnock: "I'm proud of the whole club. The fans were fantastic, the players responded and I thought there was excitement all over the show.

"I thought the strikers looked dangerous all the time and it was great to see Ken get two taps-ins.

"I told him it would be one from a yard that gets him back on it. He's played well over the last few weeks but he never had a chance."

Christiansen: "Disappointed of course with the result in a top game. It was important in the first half, the two mistakes brought Cardiff into the game without creating any problems for us.

"Then the red card to finalise the first half was very bad… if we want to come back into the game. The performance of the team in the second half was very good, a good response, good character.

"The team played better with 10 than 11.

"They [Cardiff] did what I expected them to do. It's a strong team at home with their crowd."