Peter Whittingham's goal moved Cardiff four points clear of the bottom three in what proved to be Steve Clarke's last match in charge of West Brom.

Neither team shone but Cardiff had the better of a poor first half with defender Steven Caulker going close.

Gary Medel came to Cardiff's rescue after the break, clearing Gareth McAuley's goalbound shot off the line.

Whittingham headed home the winner to condemn the Baggies to a fourth defeat in a row and end Clarke's tenure.

The defeat means the Baggies' season continues on a downward spiral and a team that ended last season in eighth are now just two points above the bottom three in 16th place.

End of a drought

  • Peter Whittingham's goal against West Brom ends a run of 335 minutes without a Premier League goal for Cardiff.
  • Whittingham has also scored in each of his last three league appearances against West Brom.

Prior to the match, Clarke said it was too early to describe his team as being in a relegation dogfight, but the visitors put in a below-par performance against a side that has also struggled of late.

Suggestions this match was a "must-win" for the Welsh team, however, were dismissed by Cardiff manager Malky Mackay beforehand.

Beating West Brom important - Mackay

But as the lacklustre game progressed it became clear that this was a fixture neither team wanted to lose, and understandably so considering both clubs had gone five games without a win leading up to this encounter

Cardiff edged a scrappy and dull first half, although it was perhaps unsurprising that a team who had not scored in their previous three Premier League matches lacked a killer instinct in the final third.

The hosts bombarded Boaz Myhill's goal in the opening 10 minutes, with an Odemwingie free-kick forcing a fine save from the Wales goalkeeper and Medel going close from distance.

Only fine defending from Jonas Olsson prevented Odemwingie - playing against his former team for the first time since his summer move from The Hawthorns - connecting with a Craig Noone cross when the Nigerian international was just yards from goal.

The best chance of the half, though, fell to defender Caulker who should have done better than volleying a Whittingham corner wide when just eight yards from goal.

West Brom, a shadow of the team which secured a memorable victory at Old Trafford in September, lacked guile and confidence. Indeed, they did not even have a shot on target to comfort them as they left the pitch for the break.

But despite their dire form, the visitors nearly snatched the lead early in the second half only for club-record signing Medel to stand in the way of McAuley's side-footed effort.

Clarke's final interview as West Brom boss

The Baggies were slowly gathering momentum when the hosts struck for the opener. The impressive Noone found Whittingham on the far post and the midfielder headed into the corner for his third goal in as many appearances against the Baggies.

City went in search of a second as Jordon Mutch went fractionally wide after good work by Odemwingie.

But the visitors had opportunities to equalise with a dangerous Chris Brunt free-kick evading Shane Long and Saido Berahino as well as the Cardiff defenders, and then Long drew the best out of goalkeeper David Marshall.

West Brom manager Steve Clarke, speaking before he was sacked: " It's been a frustrating couple of weeks. I don't think the performance was so bad that we deserved to lose the game but at the moment that's the run we're in.

"Over the course of the game we created enough chances to score. At the moment, when we defend well, like we did today, we still concede the goal which came from nowhere, really."

Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay: "It was an important win for us against a team who are around about us in the league.

"A clean sheet and a real good performance. I said to the boys at half-time to just have patience and grind them down, and I think we deserve it on the balance of play."

See a photo gallery of all the action from Saturday's Premier League matches on the BBC Sport Facebook  site.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Cardiff City

  • 01 Marshall
  • 28 Théophile-Catherine
  • 03 Taylor
  • 08 Medel Booked (Gunnarsson - 87' )
  • 04 Caulker
  • 06 Turner
  • 11 Odemwingie (Kim - 90' )
  • 18 Mutch Booked
  • 10 Campbell (Maynard - 82' )
  • 07 Whittingham
  • 16 Noone

Substitutes

  • 05 Hudson
  • 09 Cornelius
  • 13 Kim
  • 17 Gunnarsson
  • 19 Cowie
  • 23 Maynard
  • 32 Lewis

West Bromwich Albion

  • 13 Myhill
  • 28 Jones Booked
  • 06 Ridgewell
  • 05 Yacob (Sinclair - 74' )
  • 23 McAuley
  • 03 Olsson
  • 18 Amalfitano (Berahino - 73' )
  • 21 Mulumbu
  • 09 Long (Vydra - 88' )
  • 29 Sessegnon
  • 11 Brunt

Substitutes

  • 07 Morrison
  • 10 Sinclair
  • 14 Lugano
  • 19 Daniels
  • 20 Vydra
  • 22 Gera
  • 38 Berahino
Ref: Howard Webb
Att: 26,632

Match Stats

Shots

11 12

On target

3 2

Corners

8 6

Fouls

16 12

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Cardiff City 1, West Bromwich Albion 0.

90:00 +4:11 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Cardiff City 1, West Bromwich Albion 0.

90:00 +1:38

Attempt missed. Stéphane Sessegnon (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Scott Sinclair.

89:21 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Kim Bo-Kyung replaces Peter Odemwingie.

88:43

Foul by Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City).

88:43

Youssuf Mulumbu (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

88:03

Foul by Peter Odemwingie (Cardiff City).

88:03

Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

87:26 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Matej Vydra replaces Shane Long.

87:07

Attempt missed. Stéphane Sessegnon (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jonas Olsson following a corner.

86:33 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Aron Gunnarsson replaces Gary Medel.

85:43

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by David Marshall.

85:41

Attempt saved. Shane Long (West Bromwich Albion) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Saido Berahino with a headed pass.

83:04

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

82:14

Delay in match Craig Noone (Cardiff City) because of an injury.

81:24 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Nicky Maynard replaces Fraizer Campbell.

80:13

Foul by Ben Turner (Cardiff City).

80:13

Shane Long (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

79:01

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Gary Medel.

77:19

Hand ball by Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City).

76:18

Attempt missed. Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Scott Sinclair.

74:29

Foul by Gary Medel (Cardiff City).

74:29

Youssuf Mulumbu (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

73:38

Attempt missed. Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

73:06 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Scott Sinclair replaces Claudio Yacob.

72:58 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Saido Berahino replaces Morgan Amalfitano.

72:37

Andrew Taylor (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

72:37

Foul by Shane Long (West Bromwich Albion).

68:40

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Andrew Taylor.

68:37

Attempt blocked. Youssuf Mulumbu (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Stéphane Sessegnon.

67:29

Attempt blocked. Steven Caulker (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Peter Whittingham with a cross.

67:03

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Claudio Yacob.

66:26

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Chris Brunt tries a through ball, but Shane Long is caught offside.

64:59 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Cardiff City 1, West Bromwich Albion 0. Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Craig Noone with a cross.

63:49

Foul by Craig Noone (Cardiff City).

63:49

Claudio Yacob (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:42

Foul by Peter Odemwingie (Cardiff City).

63:42

Morgan Amalfitano (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:59

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Claudio Yacob tries a through ball, but Shane Long is caught offside.

62:04 Booking

Booking Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

61:52

Foul by Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City).

61:52

Morgan Amalfitano (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:10

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Liam Ridgewell tries a through ball, but Chris Brunt is caught offside.

60:31

Attempt missed. Stéphane Sessegnon (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Shane Long with a headed pass.

59:32

Offside, Cardiff City. Craig Noone tries a through ball, but Peter Odemwingie is caught offside.

58:45

Attempt missed. Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right from a direct free kick.

58:04

Foul by Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City).

58:04

Morgan Amalfitano (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

56:34

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Claudio Yacob.

55:53

Andrew Taylor (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

55:53

Foul by Jonas Olsson (West Bromwich Albion).

55:50

Attempt blocked. Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Claudio Yacob.

55:50

Attempt missed. Claudio Yacob (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Gareth McAuley.

55:14

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Andrew Taylor.

52:33

Offside, Cardiff City. Kévin Théophile-Catherine tries a through ball, but Peter Whittingham is caught offside.

51:40

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Gareth McAuley.

51:13

Hand ball by Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion).

51:05

Attempt blocked. Shane Long (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Stéphane Sessegnon.

50:15 Booking

Booking Billy Jones (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

49:45

Gary Medel (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

49:45

Foul by Billy Jones (West Bromwich Albion).

48:06

Attempt missed. Peter Odemwingie (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Ben Turner following a set piece situation.

47:18

Craig Noone (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

47:18

Foul by Shane Long (West Bromwich Albion).

46:54

Attempt saved. Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

46:07

Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

46:07

Foul by Claudio Yacob (West Bromwich Albion).

45:14

Foul by Peter Odemwingie (Cardiff City).

45:14

Claudio Yacob (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00

Second Half begins Cardiff City 0, West Bromwich Albion 0.

45:00 +1:02 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Cardiff City 0, West Bromwich Albion 0.

43:02

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Liam Ridgewell tries a through ball, but Shane Long is caught offside.

38:31

Foul by Peter Odemwingie (Cardiff City).

38:31

Boaz Myhill (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

38:08

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Gareth McAuley.

36:39

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Steven Caulker.

35:54 Booking

Booking Gary Medel (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

35:50

Foul by Gary Medel (Cardiff City).

35:50

Morgan Amalfitano (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

35:01

Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

35:01

Foul by Morgan Amalfitano (West Bromwich Albion).

34:59

Attempt blocked. Morgan Amalfitano (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

34:22

Foul by Steven Caulker (Cardiff City).

34:22

Shane Long (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

33:43

Offside, Cardiff City. Jordon Mutch tries a through ball, but Peter Odemwingie is caught offside.

30:32

Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

30:32

Foul by Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion).

27:43

Attempt missed. Steven Caulker (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Ben Turner with a headed pass following a corner.

27:10

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Gareth McAuley.

26:40

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Billy Jones.

24:12

Offside, Cardiff City. Andrew Taylor tries a through ball, but Peter Odemwingie is caught offside.

23:57

Attempt blocked. Craig Noone (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Gary Medel.

22:52

Attempt blocked. Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andrew Taylor.

20:27

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Youssuf Mulumbu tries a through ball, but Shane Long is caught offside.

17:15

Attempt blocked. Shane Long (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Youssuf Mulumbu.

16:42

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Morgan Amalfitano tries a through ball, but Shane Long is caught offside.

14:06

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Chris Brunt tries a through ball, but Gareth McAuley is caught offside.

13:24

Foul by Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City).

13:24

Billy Jones (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

10:44

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Ben Turner.

9:03

Offside, Cardiff City. Andrew Taylor tries a through ball, but Peter Odemwingie is caught offside.

8:37

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Gareth McAuley tries a through ball, but Morgan Amalfitano is caught offside.

8:09

Foul by Craig Noone (Cardiff City).

8:09

Stéphane Sessegnon (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:47

Gary Medel (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:47

Foul by Billy Jones (West Bromwich Albion).

5:45

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Boaz Myhill tries a through ball, but Shane Long is caught offside.

5:05

Foul by Peter Odemwingie (Cardiff City).

5:05

Claudio Yacob (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

3:48

Gary Medel (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

3:48

Foul by Shane Long (West Bromwich Albion).

3:07

Attempt missed. Gary Medel (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.

3:05

Attempt blocked. Kévin Théophile-Catherine (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

2:37

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Boaz Myhill.

2:33

Attempt saved. Peter Odemwingie (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

1:30

Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

1:30

Foul by Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion).

0:56

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Stéphane Sessegnon.

0:16

Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

0:16

Foul by Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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