Cardiff close gap on Wolves after Kenneth Zohore sinks Bristol City

Powered by article titled “Cardiff close gap on Wolves after Kenneth Zohore sinks Bristol City” was written by Ben Fisher at the Cardiff City Stadium, for The Guardian on Sunday 25th February 2018 14.14 UTC

Neil Warnock promised Cardiff City would whip up an atmosphere and they delivered eight minutes from time as Kenneth Zohore’s goal fired his team to within six points of Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers. For Warnock, an eighth career promotion is still very much on and the feelgood factor lives on in south Wales. Severnside derby defeat for the Robins means, while Lee Johnson’s team remain in the play-off picture, it is now one win in 10 league matches and any notable momentum has been surrendered.

Johnson spent most of the opening 45 minutes jogging and skipping up and down his technical area to keep warm. How supporters must have wished they could do the same during an attritional first half desperately low on quality, bogged down by the whistle-happy referee Paul Tierney, tit-for-tat fouls and hopeful pumped passes. It was the perfect afternoon for Lois Diony, the on-loan Saint-Etienne striker nicknamed “The Bull” by friends, to make his presence felt alongside Famara Diedhiou.

Both teams had a long-throw specialist in their armoury too – Greg Halford for the hosts and Hordur Magnusson for the visitors – but neither got close to inflicting any damage. Liam Feeney, the Cardiff winger, found joy up against Magnusson, just as Junior Hoilett – on the opposite flank here – had done when these two duelled at Ashton Gate in November. Cardiff carved open the Robins’ defence when Feeney skated beyond Magnusson before cutting the ball back invitingly for Gary Madine. The striker, a £6m addition from Bolton Wanderers in January, could not latch on to the ball but Joe Ralls struck at goal, forcing Nathan Baker to block. Cardiff were blunted but Warnock sought to change that at the interval, with Zohore replacing Madine.

The Cardiff striker made an immediate impact, too, when he squared for Paterson in the box but, just as the midfielder shaped to shoot at goal, Korey Smith slid in to divert the ball out for a corner. Cardiff’s next glimpse of Frank Fielding’s goal came gift-wrapped courtesy of Magnusson. His sloppy pass freed Feeney to frenzy forward, with Ralls’ effort blocked amid panic in the Robins defence. Cardiff’s attempt to let loose saw Halford pick up a booking for a high tackle on Joe Bryan while Bailey Wright, the Bristol City captain, rugby tackled Paterson to the floor.

But just as the game looked as thought it would pass without any incident, Cardiff broke incisively down the left with time ticking. Ralls fed a ball to the front post and it bounced kindly for Zohore to instinctively tap home his sixth goal of the season. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010