By 90Min
April 27, 2019

This was another day where Cardiff City were meant to fight for their lives.

The Bluebirds turned up to already-relegated Fulham needing to win. Victory would shift them to, as it would turn out, one point from 17th-placed Brighton - who drew 1-1 with Newcastle in Saturday's late game - with just a couple of fixtures remaining of the Premier League season. 

The job? Just keep the pressure on. Win, and there was always a chance.

The position the team found themselves in prior to kick off is a true enough indicator of the team's quality as a whole. But we've seen it enough this season, this team punches above their weight. They'll fight. That's the reason they still even had a shot of survival beforehand and the reason the Bluebirds got here in the first place. 

Cardiff weren't themselves for the most part at Craven Cottage, though, failing to step up in a game which was decided by the only moment of quality (anywhere, honestly) from Ryan Babel. 

IAN KINGTON/GettyImages

You'd be naive to expect brilliance here - these two are 19th and 18th in the Premier League for a reason - but Cardiff had something to fight for. And they let the chance slip through their fingers.


Cardiff had eight shots on target over the course of the afternoon, and not one came before the 73rd minute. It seemed as though they were happy to soak up pressure and hit Fulham on the break in search of the opener, but you could note it - that snappiness of a Warnock team, the bit of arsey-ness, the odd crunching tackle which was borderline illegal. It wasn't there.


Nor was any creativity, but that was to be expected. Cardiff were meant to give a damn, but it never looked like they did until it was too late.

"I thought we could've done a lot better in the first half," Warnock admitted post match. "They were there to be beaten today and I'm disappointed we didn't get on the front foot earlier".

He's long in the tooth at 70, it might well be his penultimate away game in the Premier League before relegation and retirement, but Warnock's team went out in a manner not reflective of a manager famed for his, erm, bite.

That's not to say Cardiff didn't respond. They did. But it came after falling behind, and 1-0 down was never a position Cardiff were meant to be in. Sean Morrison was denied from close range by Sergio Rico, Danny Ward forced a save, Junior Hoilett hit the crossbar, but it was too little, too late from a team who should've set out to win the game from the off. 

Warnock refused to send his players under the bus in his time to reflect, but goes away knowing that one of their two winnable games before the end of the season (not including the game at Old Trafford on the final day there, perhaps wrongly given Manchester United's form of late) has come and gone. 

Brighton's draw with Newcastle leaves Cardiff four points adrift of safety with two games remaining. And when you know the Seagulls face a trip to Arsenal and a visit from the title-chasing robots that are Manchester City in the last two games, it really sticks out just how important Saturday's game was to the visitors.

The gap is four, and they didn't do enough lessen it. You've only yourself to blame, Cardiff City.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)