Neil Warnock was rightly impressed with his team’s effort despite the heavy defeat they suffered at Stamford Bridge but insists they need to learn quickly to survive in the Premier League.
Cardiff frustrated Chelsea all afternoon and were very much in the contest up until Sol Bamba’s ill-timed lunge on Willian. Eden Hazard completed his hat-trick from the resulting penalty and that proved the undoing of an industrious performance.
Bamba’s decisive error was defended by Warnock who wa quoted by Football London as saying: “Willian is too quick, Sol wasn’t going to hold. I thought he had a good game but that was his only mistake.
“You have to learn when you are in the Premier League. I knew it was going to be a penalty, and you have to learn quickly.”
The Bluebirds had actually taken a deserved lead from the unlikely source of Sol Bamba after troubling Kepa Arrizabalaga’s goal consistently in the opening stages of the game.
Neil Etheridge produced two excellent saves to deny Mateo Kovacic and keep his side ahead with the rest of Chelsea’s frontline proving wasteful. But cometh the hour, cometh the man - as Hazard stepped up to draw his team level following a neat exchange with Olivier Giroud.
The pair were on hand again to deliver a second on the stroke of half-time with just the fourth shot on target for the Blues in a dogged first 45 minutes. Cardiff in truth never looked like equalising but kept the contest alive up until the 80th-minute penalty.
Cardiff came apart a little after that with Willian adding a fourth to wrap up the points for the hosts in comfortable style.
Warnock praised his team, adding: “I thought we were in the game for 80 minutes. I was disappointed with the goals we conceded [and] we should have had a penalty when Luiz pulled Patterson down.”