Cardiff 0 Sheffield United 3: It's easy for Blades as Bluebirds see double red

22 March 2009 05:38
Cardiff had two players sent off in a nightmare first half asCoca-Cola Championship promotion rivals Sheffield United cantered tovictory at Ninian Park.

David Cotterill fired the Blades ahead from the penalty spot inthe 25th minute after Bluebirds defender Gabor Gyepes committed aprofessional foul on Darius Henderson, for which he was sent off.

The hosts were dealt another massive blow in the 33rd minute whenstriker Ross McCormack was sent off for a professional foul on KyleNaughton.

Spot on: David Cotterill converts a penalty for Sheffield United



Substitute Jamie Ward headed in a killer second for the visitorsshortly after the restart and Stephen Quinn fired in a third with threeminutes remaining.

Cardiff went into the game with an outstanding record of 12 winsand only two defeats at Ninian Park this season, but they met theirmatch in Kevin Blackwell's side.

Victory lifted the Blades to fourth spot but Cardiff should have opened the scoring inside the 10th minute.

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Joe Ledley delivered an outswinging corner from the left flank and Gyepes sent his header wide of the mark.

However, the Blades went even closer in the 19th minute when GregHalford collected possession and hit a right-footed shot whichBluebirds goalkeeper Stuart Taylor was forced to tip around a post.

United began to build momentum and took the lead when Gyepeshauled down Henderson and Cotterill did the rest from 12 yards to claimonly his third goal of the season.

Red rash: Referee Paul Taylor sends off Cardiff's Ross McCormack



In the 27th minute, Cardiff threatened an equaliser when afree-kick from Gavin Rae was met with a firm header by Miguel Commingeswhich forced Paddy Kenny into a smart stop.

However, the Bluebirds suffered a major setback in the 33rd minutewhen McCormack was sent off for a professional foul on Naughton.

United quickly went in search of a second goal and Halford shotstraight at Taylor before Quinn fired narrowly wide from the edge ofthe 18-yard box.

In the 39th minute, Cardiff had a half-chance when Rae saw hisheader blocked by Naughton before Comminges fired wide for Cardiff onthe stroke of half-time.

Within seconds of the restart, United sealed the points whenCotterill crossed from the right flank and Ward headed home from sixyards out.

Blackwell's men sought to press home their advantage but Quinn's effort in the 58th minute sailed just wide.

Cardiff, to their credit, refused to surrender and Roger Johnsonheaded a corner from Comminges just wide and then Rae sliced a shotoff-target.

United substitute Craig Beattie hit a shot just wide in the 74thminute and was at it again four minutes later with another fine strikethat narrowly failed to test Taylor.

The Blades were comfortable and never looked like letting Cardiffback into the game as they played out a victory which lifted them threepoints above their hosts.

Quinn added the coup de grace in the 87th minute when he took a pass from Beattie and rifled home left-footed from six yards.

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Source: Daily_Mail