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Match Report – Brighton 0, Cardiff City 2

Match Report – Brighton 0, Cardiff City 2

More than 1,800 Bluebirds fans had an outstanding night out on the South coast, singing, cheering and even dancing their way thrown the 90 minutes.

Cardiff City produced one of their best performances of the season and took control through midfield. They set a fast tempo and kept their composure against a Brighton team who simply could not cope with their visitors.

This was easily Cardiff’s biggest win of the season so far. They were in front at half-

The Seagulls, beaten 5-0 at home against Bournemouth last weekend, looked shellshocked as City stayed focused, kept their discipline and stayed in control.

Manager Neil Warnock made three changes to City’s starting line-up. Joe Ralls, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Oumar Niasse stepped up, while Josh Murphy, Kenneth Zohore and the injured Harry Arter missed out.

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BBC Radio Wales pundit Danny Gabbidon, a former Bluebirds and Wales defender, said: “Cardiff’s performance was as good as you will see from any team.

“What a team display. They were positive, full of energy, playing on the front foot. Cardiff knocked Brighton out of their stride.

“It’s a lifeline, a massive result for Neil Warnock’s players.

“The two central defenders, Sean Morrison and Bruno Manga, were outstanding. When your centre-backs play like that, dominating strikers, it sets the tone for the whole team.

“Cardiff dominated dominated. If they can play to the same level against Liverpool on Sunday they will give them a good game. It’s a great boost in confidence.”

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Aron Gunnarsson was a powerhouse in midfield for 63 minutes before he was forced off with a back problem and he told BBC Wales: “We never give up.

“This was about us pulling together and we fought for each other. This puts pressure on Brighton.

“We have a tough game on Sunday (v Liverpool, home), but this was a good performance and a welcome three points.

“Mendy (Mendez-Laing) pulled out something special with his goal, putting his shot into the top corner.

“In the second half we defended well and minimised Brighton’s chances. Overall it was a terrific performance.”

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Brighton have now lost their last five matches and they were well below par. They look in trouble – and that gives the Bluebirds hope.

Mendez-Laing struck a mighty blow for the Bluebirds when he started and finished the move which led to the first goal.

Ralls won a crucial challenge inside his own half and Mendez-Laing took possession. His run was direct and he first forward before playing a pass out to Junior Hoilett, who returned the ball to his team-mate as he continued pressing forward.

Mendez-Laing cut inside and produced a sweet finish, curling his right-foot shot past goalkeeper Mat Ryan.

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The goal, scored midway through the first half, sparked wild celebrations in the away end where City fans were loving their evening.

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Cardiff struck again five minutes after the break when Victor Camarasa’s exquisite delivery at a set-piece picked out Morrison, who lost marker Lewis Dunk headed back across goal and past Ryan.

Brighton look a team desperately short on confidence and they have a difficult run-in with matches against Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester City still to come. The home team conceded the ball far too easily, passing poorly and completely failing to manage possession.

Defeat against Cardiff was a massive blow and many home supporters were leaving the stadium well before the end.

Bluebirds, in contrast, were loud and proud. They made themselves heard with songs including ’You are my Cardiff’.

Glenn Murray hit a post near the end, but Cardiff held on for a win which keeps their hopes pf staying up alive.

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Neil Warnock went over to Bluebirds fans, applauding the travelling faithful and finishing by punching the air in delight.

It is an away win which will be greeted with delight in and around Cardiff. Now Warnock’s task is to find a way of earning some reward from Sunday’s home game against title-chasing Liverpool.

Brighton: Mathew Ryan, Bruno, Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk, Bernardo, Pascall Gross (Florin Andone 53), Dale Stephens, Davy Pröpper, Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Jose Izquierdo 69), Glenn Murray, Solly March. Subs not used: Gaetan Bong, Baram Kayal, Jurgen Locadia, David Button (gk), Dan Burn.

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