Championship
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Cardiff City 3-0 Hull City: Cardiff cruise to play-offs and Hull relegated

Junior Hoilett angles shot across goal
Junior Hoilett's goal was his seventh of the campaign

Cardiff City reached the Championship play-offs with a comfortable 3-0 win that consigns Hull City to League One.

An early goal from Junior Hoilett put the Bluebirds ahead and Sean Morrison's free header from a corner gave them a 2-0 half time lead that could have been more.

The Bluebirds, who might have had a penalty given against them with the score at 1-0, added a third in the second half when Danny Ward controlled and fired past Long after he could only parry Lee Tomlin's free-kick.

The win means Cardiff finish fifth and will play Fulham in the play-offs with the first leg at the Cardiff City Stadium on Monday, 27 July and the return game at Craven Cottage on Thursday, July 30, while Hull finish bottom of the Championship.

While Hull entered this contest seemingly doomed to relegation, it seems likely the issue of who drops into League One at the end of the longest season will be settled in a court room or by administrators, rather than on a football pitch.

However, the visitors knew they would need to win to stand any chance of an unlikely revival, while the Bluebirds simply needed a point to guarantee a play-off spot that seemed extremely unlikely when Neil Harris took over in November with Cardiff 14th in the division.

Harris' side started the game with an intensity that suggested they would not merely look to contain the visitors and they might have scored twice inside the opening five minutes through striker Robert Glatzel.

He forced George Long to tip over from 25 yards inside the first minute, before racing clear and rounding Long, only to miss the target from a narrow angle after Lee Tomlin's superb through ball.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing also fired over as Cardiff looked to exert pressure, but Hull, unlike in recent matches, looked compact and resolute.

Glatzel again tested Long with a looping header from Joe Bennett's cross, before the pressure finally told and Hoilett crashed home an angled drive after a fine run down the left touchline.

It was easy to wonder at this point just how many Cardiff might score, but actually it was the visitors who perhaps should have been level when Malik Wilks twisted away from Bennett who clearly fouled the Hull man in the penalty area, only for referee James Linington to wave away the furious Hull protests.

The penalty reprieve sparked Cardiff and it was not long afterwards they went 2-0 up with an unforgivably easy goal as Morrison rose unmarked to head home Joe Ralls' corner.

Sean Morrison scores Cardiff's second goal
Sean Morrison's goal was his fourth of the season

It could have been 3-0 before the break but Long impressively denied Mendez-Laing as he ran clear, saving from close range.

The Tigers tried their best to find a goal to get them back into things and they threatened on 53 minutes, but Morrison blocked James Scott's effort and Alex Smithies produced a fingertip save to deny Wilks.

Cardiff drifted in the second period, perhaps understandably for a side with an eye on the play-offs, and Hull did show some fighting spirits, but six successive defeats to end the season proved to be fatal to their hopes of avoiding the drop.

They shaded the second half before Ward's thumping finish added gloss to the finish on another incredible final day of drama in the Championship.

Cardiff City manager Neil Harris told BBC Sport Wales:

"There was a little bit of nervousness. But it was another professional job from us.

"Robert Glatzel should have had the match ball at half-time, but Hull kept fighting.

"It's a great credit to the group to have made it, though.

"It's a huge achievement. I am fully aware every bit of praise for myself and my staff has been earned. I came in as not a huge name and I had to prove myself every week.

"I would have liked our fans to have been there tonight. We would have had a sell-out tonight and they would have carried us through. They deserve a special mention."

Hull City manager Grant McCann said:

"It has been disappointing for a few months really. It has been really frustrating.

"Now we need to regroup and work hard to try and get back and re-build.

"League One is a difficult division, but that has to be the aim.

"The owners have been brilliant with me and I hope I get the chance to stay with the club. I know League One inside out and I believe I am the right man.

"The club gives the players and the staff everything we need and we just haven't repaid them.

"People look at the club like it's in crisis, but bigger clubs than Hull have gone down to League One."

Line-ups

Cardiff

  • 12Smithies
  • 7Bacuna
  • 4Morrison
  • 16Nelson
  • 3Bennett
  • 15Pack
  • 8RallsSubstituted forPatersonat 85'minutes
  • 19Mendez-LaingSubstituted forMurphyat 72'minutes
  • 17TomlinSubstituted forB Smithat 85'minutes
  • 33HoilettSubstituted forVaulksat 63'minutes
  • 9GlatzelSubstituted forWardat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Etheridge
  • 2Sanderson
  • 5Flint
  • 6Vaulks
  • 11Murphy
  • 13Paterson
  • 22Bamba
  • 23Ward
  • 24B Smith

Hull

  • 1Long
  • 37Da Silva Lopes
  • 15MacDonald
  • 3Tafazolli
  • 26ElderSubstituted forMcLoughlinat 75'minutes
  • 8Batty
  • 6Stewart
  • 43Wilks
  • 18HoneymanSubstituted forToralat 59'minutes
  • 44ScottSubstituted forLewis-Potterat 59'minutes
  • 9EavesSubstituted forSamuelsenat 59'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Burke
  • 10Toral
  • 13Ingram
  • 17McLoughlin
  • 19Bowler
  • 25Pennington
  • 27Magennis
  • 31Lewis-Potter
  • 42Samuelsen
Referee:
James Linington

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamHull
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home14
Away8
Shots on Target
Home7
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away5
Fouls
Home16
Away16

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Cardiff City 3, Hull City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Cardiff City 3, Hull City 0.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Hull City. Kevin Stewart tries a through ball, but Mallik Wilks is caught offside.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Martin Samuelsen (Hull City) header from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Kevin Stewart with a cross.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Callum Paterson (Cardiff City).

  6. Post update

    Angus MacDonald (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Callum Paterson (Cardiff City).

  8. Post update

    Sean McLoughlin (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Keane Lewis-Potter (Hull City) with an attempt from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Martin Samuelsen.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Will Vaulks (Cardiff City).

  11. Post update

    Jon Toral (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Marlon Pack (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a set piece situation.

  13. Post update

    Callum Paterson (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Leonardo Da Silva Lopes (Hull City).

  15. Post update

    Offside, Hull City. Daniel Batty tries a through ball, but Mallik Wilks is caught offside.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Cardiff City. Callum Paterson replaces Joe Ralls.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Cardiff City. Brad Smith replaces Lee Tomlin.

  18. Post update

    Offside, Hull City. Ryan Tafazolli tries a through ball, but Keane Lewis-Potter is caught offside.

  19. Goal!

    Goal! Cardiff City 3, Hull City 0. Danny Ward (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner following a set piece situation.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Joe Bennett (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leeds46289977354293
2West Brom462217777453283
3Brentford462491380384281
4Fulham4623121164481681
5Cardiff4619161168581073
6Swansea461816126253970
7Nottm Forest461816125850870
8Millwall461717125751668
9Preston461812165954566
10Derby461713166264-264
11Blackburn461712176663363
12Bristol City461712176065-563
13QPR461610206776-958
14Reading461511205958156
15Stoke46168226268-656
16Sheff Wed461511205866-856
17Middlesbrough461314194861-1353
18Huddersfield461312215270-1851
19Luton46149235482-2851
20Birmingham461214205475-2150
21Barnsley461213214969-2049
22Charlton461212225065-1548
23Wigan461514175756147
24Hull46129255787-3045
View full Championship table

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