Wolverhampton 1-0 Cardiff: Match Report
Wolverhampton 1-0 Cardiff: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
Hudson own goal hands Wolves win
Wolves completed a top-class hat-trick as a stoppage-time own goal from Mark Hudson earned them a 1-0 win Sky Bet Championship win against Cardiff.
Hudson deflected the ball into his own net following a speculative shot from Kevin McDonald.
The goal ensured Wolves have now beaten all three of the sides relegated from the Barclays Premier League last season, having already secured 1-0 wins against Norwich and Fulham.
The defeat capped a testing week in the worst possible way for Cardiff, who were in the headlines in the build-up to the game following the probe into former manager Malky Mackay and sporting director Iain Moody.
Wolves should have had the game wrapped up by half-time as they dominated without having a real cutting edge in front of goal.
Cardiff, who were beaten for the first time this season, were a different proposition after the half-time introduction of striker Kenwyne Jones and he looked set to win the game for then in the 83rd minute only to be denied by a stunning save from Carl Ikeme.
Wolves winger Bakary Sako set the tone for the first period when he was denied a spectacular 13th-minute opener by the woodwork.
After a spell of sustained Wolves pressure, they forced two corners in quick succession and from the second Sako whipped in a curling centre.
The ball flew over the outstretched hand of goalkeeper David Marshall and the Scotland international was relieved to see it bounce to safety off the inside of his far post.
Wolves did carry the greater threat in the early exchanges and Cardiff were left to breathe a sigh of relief again when Rajiv van La Parra's 20th-minute shot was deflected wide for a corner.
The hosts were then caught out from their own corner with Adam Le Fondre launching a one-man counter-attack that saw him race the full length of the field before pulling his shot across the face of Ikeme's goal.
It was a rare moment of menace for Cardiff, who were struggling to keep the three-pronged Wolves attack of Van La Parra, Sako and Nouha Dicko in check.
Dutchman Van La Parra should really have made Wolves' pressure pay off on the half-hour when he was picked out at the far post by a cross from left-back Scott Golbourne only to fail to hit the target with his close-range header.
Van La Parra then tested Marshall from long range and right-back Matt Doherty fired into the side-netting as Cardiff's goal continued to lead a charmed life.
Wolves' failure to take advantage of their dominance should really have been punished on the stroke of half-time as Cardiff finally managed to muster a chance of their own.
A corner from Anthony Pilkington found its way to Sean Morrison at the far post but he could not turn the ball home from two yards.
Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needed to do something to shake up his team and he turned to the powerful presence of Jones at half-time, sending him on in place of Nicky Maynard.
Jones certainly proved a handful for Wolves' central defenders Richard Stearman and Danny Batth and it was no surprise that Cardiff started to carry more of a threat going forward with Peter Whittingham seeing his 20-yard drive in the 55th minute turned around the post by Ikeme.
Substitute Guido Bergstaller then had a 76th-minute shot saved by Ikeme, with Cardiff's players appealing strongly for a penalty after the ball appeared to deflect off the arm of Stearman.
Whittingham then picked out Jones who was just six yards from goal but his volley was beaten away by Ikeme before Hudson's unfortunate intervention earned Wolves victory in a dramatic finale.
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