Cardiff City 3-2 Coventry City: Bluebirds win again as they see off visitors


Karlan Grant attacks for Cardiff City
Cardiff City beat Welsh rivals Swansea City for the first time in five attempts last weekend

Cardiff City’s momentum continues to build under Erol Bulut as they condemned Coventry City to their second defeat of the season.

Second-half goals from Karlan Grant and Kion Etete ensured back-to-back Cardiff wins for the first time since February.

Coventry, who had drawn their last four, looked as though they might make it five when Matt Godden cancelled out Dimitrios Goutas’ early opener.

But, although not completely convincing – and despite a late second from Godden – it was a straight-forward enough win for Bulut’s side, who moved into the top-half of the table for the first time this term.

Last year’s play-off finalists Coventry, who had not lost since their opening day defeat at Leicester, slipped further having never truly imposed themselves, despite striker’s Godden’s best efforts as he made it six goals in eight games.

And while Cardiff – nor the Cardiff City Stadium atmosphere – carried the same fervour and frenzy as their south Wales derby win against Swansea City at the weekend, the result ensured that the feel-good factor continues into Sunday’s trip to Sunderland.

And all done without Aaron Ramsey. The Wales captain, so influential and inspiring in the win over bitter rivals Swansea City three days earlier, was given the evening off after his exertions.

It was the first time Cardiff had been without the 32-year-old in this Championship campaign, although his absence was not keenly felt in terms of the contest. Initially, at any rate.

Ollie Tanner, on a high from his goalscoring impact on Saturday night and brought back into the starting XI, made dangerous early inroads.

And Ramsey’s replacement, skipper Joe Ralls, had a hand in the opener. His eighth minute corner was not particularly threatening, yet Sky Blue shirts had somehow ignored the lurking run from Goutas. His thumping header was the predictable outcome, the goal the Greece international’s first in British football.

The control was Cardiff’s and so Bulut’s frustration would have been justified when, after a 35th minute corner was not properly cleared, Godden helped on Liam Kelly’s ball past Jak Alnwick.

Energised, Coventry hinted that they would put a poor opening behind them and ask questions of a Cardiff side who had already thrown away winning positions twice before this season.

Yet, with Tanner involved again, Cardiff rallied, responded and restored their lead just after the hour mark. A smart cross from Ryan Wintle saw Grant slip away from the poor marking of substitute Tasuhiro Sakamoto, stooping to head past Ben Wilson.

It was Grant’s first goal following his summer loan move from West Brom, showing some signs that he is growing into a threat for Bulut’s side. Mark Robins, meanwhile, will only bemoan the second example of lax defending.

Alnwick, fresh from signing a new deal earlier in the week, did have to scramble to save a Kasey Palmer effort following some scruffy Cardiff play at the back.

But the points seemed secured for the hosts when Perry Ng lofted a pass into the run of substitute Etete, the former Tottenham man lashing home with six minutes normal time.

Godden did rise high to head past Alnwick in injury time, but a Coventry comeback so late on never really looked likely. They will now wait to play a post-Neil Warnock Huddersfield on Monday to try to rediscover their form.

Cardiff, though, with three home wins in a row for the first time since February 2022, are discovering something of an impetus under Bulut.

Cardiff manager Erol Bulut:

“Saturday was a great victory, but we couldn’t celebrate too much because of this game, we had to rest and work. This was a hard game against a very good team and I’d told my players we had to work very hard, we had to go 100% for 100 minutes, to get these three points and we must continue the same every game.

“We are learning from mistakes we have made before and we are looking forward. It is always good to have victories, but we must continue.

“We rested Aaron (Ramsey) because he had a problem with stiffness in the second game with Wales and again in the final minutes against Swansea and I already have enough injuries.

“We need all our players; Aaron is a great player and we showed today when he’s not on the field we can replace him with other players. Maybe we can keep the ball better with him, create more chances, but the guys on the field showed all the team is important, not the individual.”

Coventry manager Mark Robins:

“We didn’t start the game with the tempo we wanted which was disappointing. They are organised with some good players, but we weren’t brave enough and didn’t get on the ball.

“We went a goal down without laying a glove on them. The goal gave us a bit of a lift, but we’re normally braver and better on the ball than that and we didn’t do enough.

“We had a lot of possession, but it’s vanity if you don’t do anything with it. We’ve scored two goals away from home, but three poor goals conceded and we have players who are better than that and can defend better than that.

“We are scoring goals, but certain performances have been lacklustre and we are going to have to work.

“We know we are going to be without Ben Sheaf for a minimum six weeks so that’s a blow.”

Line-ups

Cardiff

Formation 4-3-3

  • 21Alnwick
  • 38Ng
  • 4Goutas
  • 5McGuinness
  • 17CollinsBooked at 66mins
  • 6Wintle
  • 8RallsSubstituted forRobinsonat 83′minutes
  • 23SiopisSubstituted forAdamsat 90+7′minutes
  • 32TannerSubstituted forEteteat 83′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 12UgboSubstituted forMéïtéat 71′minutes
  • 16Grant

Substitutes

  • 2Romeo
  • 9Etete
  • 13Rúnarsson
  • 18Adams
  • 19Sawyers
  • 22Méïté
  • 24Panzo
  • 27Colwill
  • 47Robinson

Coventry

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 13Wilson
  • 22LatibeaudiereBooked at 90mins
  • 5McFadzeanBooked at 90mins
  • 2BinksSubstituted forKitchingat 73′minutes
  • 27van EwijkSubstituted forSakamotoat 53′minutes
  • 28Eccles
  • 6KellySubstituted forAyariat 73′minutes
  • 3Dasilva
  • 45PalmerSubstituted forAllenat 83′minutes
  • 24GoddenBooked at 82mins
  • 11WrightSubstituted forSimmsat 83′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Thomas
  • 7Sakamoto
  • 8Allen
  • 9Simms
  • 15Kitching
  • 21Bidwell
  • 26Ayari
  • 40Collins
  • 49Obikwu

Referee:
Sam Allison

Attendance:
18,297

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