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Football news - Sol Bamba strikes late for Cardiff to break resilience of 10-man Brighton

Bamba strikes late to break resilience of 10-man Brighton

10/11/2018 at 13:26Updated 10/11/2018 at 14:56

Premier League, Cardiff City Stadium - Cardiff 1 (Paterson 28, Bamba 90) Brighton 1 (Dunk 6)

Sol Bamba struck in the 90th minute as Cardiff finally wore down a Brighton side reduced to 10 men in the first half by a red card for Dale Stephens.

The Seagulls took an early lead when Bamba gave away a free-kick for a clumsy challenge on Jose Izquierdo. The Cardiff defender - who would later redeem himself with the winner - proceeded to lose Lewis Dunk in the box, allowing the defender to score in his second successive match.

Cardiff looked positive going forward and struggled to break down the visitors’ robust defence until Kadeem Harris danced through the back line and picked out Callum Paterson with a deflected cross. The Scottish forward nodded home from close range, scoring his third goal in his last four league games.

Controversy struck around 10 minutes before the break when Stephens lunged into Greg Cunningham. While some disputed the nature of the contact, referee Martin Atkinson deemed the tackle dangerous, showing little hesitation in brandishing a straight red card. With 10 men, the visitors sat deep for much of the second half and stayed resolute under consistent pressure.

Joe Ralls was replaced by Bobbie Reid to show Neil Warnock’s attacking intention late on, and the attacking ethos finally paid off with minutes to spare. After a scramble in the box from an Aaron Gunnarsson long throw, Bamba hit the post with an overhead kick. Moments later, the defender was able to smash a deflected ball into the net from six yards.

The Bluebirds moved up to 16th place with the win. Cardiff will visit Everton after the international break, while Brighton will host Leicester.

Cardiff City's Sol Bamba celebrates

Cardiff City's Sol Bamba celebratesReuters

TALKING POINT: Can Cardiff survive relegation battle?

Playing the majority of the match against 10 men, the Bluebirds were presented with a golden opportunity to go forward and take a valuable three points. Despite showing attacking verve, they needed a last-gasp winner to close out their second win of the season. Warnock’s side have escaped the relegation zone and must be admired for their determination — a factor that could be a difference maker in the latter stages of the competition — but the odds remain stacked against them.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Kadeem Harris

The Cardiff midfielder was the liveliest player on the field for much of the game, causing constant issues on the flanks. He was instrumental in Cardiff’s equaliser and nearly found the net with a superb long-range effort.

PLAYER RATINGS

Cardiff: Etheridge 6, Ecuele Manga 6, Morrison 7, Bamba 6, Cunningham 6, Camarasa 7, Gunnarsson 6, Ralls 6, Harris 8, Paterson 7, Murphy 6. Subs: Peltier 6, Reid 6, Hoilett 6

Brighton: Ryan 6, Montoya 6, Duffy 7, Dunk 8, Bong 7, Stephens 5, Kayal 7, Knockaert 6, March 7, Izquierdo 6, Murray 6. Subs: Bissouma 6, Andone 6.

Lewis Dunk headed Brighton into an early lead

Lewis Dunk headed Brighton into an early leadPA Sport

KEY MOMENTS

6 - GOAL! Lewis Dunk gives Brighton the lead! March's free kick is headed home near the back post!

28 - GOAL! The Bluebirds are level! Harris charges into the box, navigates around three defenders and his deflected cross in nodded in from close range by Paterson!

34 - RED CARD! Stephens is taking an early shower after a dangerous tackle on Cunningham. It wasn't two-footed, but it was a straight leg going into the defender's shin.

90 - GOAL! Soul Bamba wins it for Cardiff! After Gunnarson launches in a long throw, the defender hits the post with an overhead kick. After a brief scramble gets another chance to turn it into the net!

KEY STATS

  • Cardiff have conceded the first goal in nine league fixtures this season—no other Premier League side has managed more.
  • Chris Hughton has lost to Neil Warnock for the first time in six meetings. This is also the first time a Hughton side has conceded to a Warnock one.
  • Brighton have managed only one win in 20 Premier League away games.
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