Championship
CardiffCardiff City3Aston VillaAston Villa0
By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport at Cardiff City Stadium
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing fires in Cardiff City's third goal
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing fires in Cardiff City's third goal with Aston Villa's James Chester beaten

Cardiff City thoroughly outplayed Aston Villa to maintain their perfect start to the Championship season.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing headed the impressive hosts in front in a frenetic first half.

They dominated the second too, Kenneth Zohore tearing through the visitors' defence to set up Junior Hoilett for Cardiff's second.

Mendez-Laing then whipped in a fine third goal to take the Bluebirds top of the table after two games.

Cardiff appeared to be fitter and sharper in the early stages of this campaign, seemingly benefitting from Neil Warnock's gruelling pre-season regime in his first full term in charge.

They set an electrifying tempo in the first half, with Loic Damour and Zohore both forcing Sam Johnstone into saves as Villa struggled to get a foothold in the game.

Cardiff's pressure told when Hoilett's deep cross to the back post found boyhood Birmingham City fan Mendez-Laing, who rose above a static Villa defence to nod in.

Rival managers Neil Warnock and Steve Bruce talk before kick-off in Cardiff
Rival managers Neil Warnock and Steve Bruce talk before kick-off in Cardiff

The visitors could have fallen further behind had Wales defender Neil Taylor not cleared Damour's shot off the line, and they were booed off at half-time by some of their travelling supporters.

Villa boss Steve Bruce might have thought his team talk had worked when James Chester had a header pushed on to the crossbar after the interval.

But that chance was not representative of what the second half would entail for Villa.

They were run ragged by Zohore, the muscular Cardiff forward running through the heart of the visiting defence and squaring the ball to Hoilett, who converted into an empty net from close range.

Mendez-Laing then struck his third goal in two games in spectacular fashion, wrong-footing Chester with a series of step-overs before curling the ball into the far corner.

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock:

"It's why I'm in football really. Excitement, chances and saves, oohs and ahhs.

"I know Steve will be disappointed. We possibly played them at the right time because, with the quality they've got, he'll turn that around.

"But I'm delighted to get the three points. We competed well and we looked really sharp at times."

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce:

"It was on the edge of embarrassment, if I'm being brutally honest.

"It's a rude awakening for us, very early again. Arguably that's the biggest doing I can remember having in the Championship.

"We didn't do enough of the basics. We looked fragile every time they broke on us."

Line-ups

Cardiff

  • 25Etheridge
  • 2Peltier
  • 4Morrison
  • 14Bamba
  • 3BennettSubstituted forRichardsat 63'minutes
  • 17Gunnarsson
  • 20Damour
  • 8Ralls
  • 19Mendez-LaingSubstituted forWardat 86'minutes
  • 10ZohoreSubstituted forKennedyat 90'minutes
  • 33Hoilett

Substitutes

  • 5Ecuele Manga
  • 6Richards
  • 7Tomlin
  • 9Ward
  • 15Halford
  • 23Kennedy
  • 28Murphy

Aston Villa

  • 1Johnstone
  • 21Hutton
  • 5Chester
  • 26Terry
  • 3TaylorBooked at 55mins
  • 27El MohamadySubstituted forAdomahat 31'minutes
  • 8LansburySubstituted forO'Hareat 58'minutes
  • 6Whelan
  • 18OnomahSubstituted forHourihaneat 77'minutes
  • 11Agbonlahor
  • 9Hogan

Substitutes

  • 4Samba
  • 13Steer
  • 14Hourihane
  • 16Bree
  • 20Bjarnason
  • 36O'Hare
  • 37Adomah
Referee:
Tim Robinson
Attendance:
23,899

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home35%
Away65%
Shots
Home15
Away10
Shots on Target
Home12
Away1
Corners
Home4
Away7
Fouls
Home9
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Cardiff City 3, Aston Villa 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Cardiff City 3, Aston Villa 0.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Cardiff City. Matthew Kennedy replaces Kenneth Zohore.

  4. Post update

    John Terry (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Kenneth Zohore (Cardiff City).

  6. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Sol Bamba.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Aron Gunnarsson.

  8. Post update

    James Chester (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Sol Bamba (Cardiff City).

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Cardiff City. Danny Ward replaces Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Sam Johnstone.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Loïc Damour (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jazz Richards.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa).

  14. Post update

    Loïc Damour (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sean Morrison (Cardiff City) header from very close range is just a bit too high. Assisted by Nathaniel Mendez-Laing following a set piece situation.

  16. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  17. Post update

    Delay in match Loïc Damour (Cardiff City) because of an injury.

  18. Post update

    Foul by James Chester (Aston Villa).

  19. Post update

    Loïc Damour (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Conor Hourihane replaces Josh Onomah.

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