Championship
CardiffCardiff City0West BromWest Bromwich Albion4

Cardiff City 0-4 West Bromwich Albion: Baggies power to top of Championship

By Michael PearlmanBBC Sport Wales at the Cardiff City Stadium
Karlan Grant's opening goal
West Brom's win at Cardiff was their first in the league since October 1974.

West Bromwich Albion moved top of the Championship by thrashing a woeful Cardiff City 4-0 in the Welsh capital.

Karlan Grant hammered Albion ahead in the fifth minute with a powerful effort from the edge of the penalty area.

Curtis Nelson's calamitous own goal doubled Albion's lead on a night when the Cardiff fans booed their side off the field at half-time and full-time.

Alex Mowatt crashed home a sumptuous third with 15 minutes remaining and Matt Phillips tapped home a fourth.

Albion are top of the Championship with 22 points after their stroll in south Wales, while Cardiff slip to 16th after a fourth straight defeat that prompted an angry reaction from the home fans.

Cardiff boss Mick McCarthy took a pragmatic approach to try to halt the worst run of form he has experienced as their manager, selecting five central defenders as Mark McGuinness and Ciaron Brown were deployed as wing-backs.

Cardiff came into this contest having lost four of their past five league games - including a 5-1 thrashing at Blackburn last time out - one more defeat than they had endured in their previous 26 games under McCarthy. It was soon clear their fortunes would not change here.

It took West Brom less than five minutes to open the scoring with Grant given too much time and space on the edge of the penalty area as he was able to shift the ball onto his right foot and fire into the bottom corner.

It capped a wonderful few days for Grant, who scored twice in Friday's win over QPR, having previously only scored once in his past 27 appearances.

Callum Robinson, one of two players recalled by Baggies boss Valerien Ismael, saw a shot blocked and Jake Livermore fired wide as the visitors looked much the sharper side throughout.

Robinson's effort on 26 minutes was goal-bound but Cardiff goalkeeper Dillon Phillips tipped the ball around the post.

The Bluebirds, by contrast, failed to muster a shot on target until the 35th minute when Leandro Bacuna's header was cleared off the line by Darnell Furlong.

Robinson again tested Phillips before the break, with Cardiff's only other effort on goal in the first half resulting in James Collins volleying over after a Marlon Pack long throw.

Cardiff went two behind within 10 minutes of the restart as they failed three times to clear a Grant cross which culminated in Curtis Nelson smashing the ball into his own net, off the post.

That prompted an angry reaction from the Cardiff fans who made their displeasure clear as West Brom threatened a third, with Jordan Hugill firing just wide.

The third goal arrived with 15 minutes left as Mowatt smashed home a half-volley that was fully merited on a night West Brom were a class above the hosts.

Cardiff's woeful display was completed when they were caught on the break and substitute Grady Diangana crossed for Phillips who could not miss from close range as Albion powered to the top of the table.

Cardiff City manager Mick McCarthy told BBC Sport Wales: "I've got no complaints about the fans at all. They come here to support us, to watch us and to expect better performances, so I share their frustrations.

"Whether we'll get back to the same form we were in last year I don't know, but we're going to have to try that's for certain.

"We need a result and we need a result fast because confidence starts to ebb out of the place and that makes it difficult for everybody."

West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael said:

"I want to give a massive thank you to the players for the performance and the three points.

"When you make sacrifices to your family, it is performances like that that make it feel worth it. It was a great evening for us.

"We are now moving more towards my vision for this team. I want us to stay confident and move further in the right direction."

Line-ups

Cardiff

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Phillips
  • 4Morrison
  • 5Flint
  • 16Nelson
  • 2McGuinnessSubstituted forMooreat 67'minutes
  • 6VaulksSubstituted forColwillat 75'minutes
  • 21Pack
  • 30Brown
  • 7Bacuna
  • 26Giles
  • 19CollinsBooked at 39minsSubstituted forM Harrisat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Bagan
  • 8Ralls
  • 10Moore
  • 25Smithies
  • 27Colwill
  • 29M Harris
  • 38Ng

West Brom

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Johnstone
  • 6Ajayi
  • 5BartleyBooked at 42mins
  • 3Townsend
  • 2Furlong
  • 8LivermoreSubstituted forMolumbyat 81'minutes
  • 27Mowatt
  • 20Reach
  • 7RobinsonSubstituted forPhillipsat 63'minutes
  • 17Hugill
  • 18GrantSubstituted forDianganaat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Phillips
  • 11Diangana
  • 14Molumby
  • 21Kipré
  • 22Bryan
  • 25Button
  • 29Gardner-Hickman
Referee:
Graham Scott
Attendance:
17,363

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamWest Brom
Possession
Home40%
Away60%
Shots
Home6
Away11
Shots on Target
Home0
Away6
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home14
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Cardiff City 0, West Bromwich Albion 4.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Cardiff City 0, West Bromwich Albion 4.

  3. Post update

    Conor Townsend (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Curtis Nelson (Cardiff City).

  5. Post update

    Darnell Furlong (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Rubin Colwill (Cardiff City).

  7. Post update

    Hand ball by Grady Diangana (West Bromwich Albion).

  8. Post update

    Foul by Jayson Molumby (West Bromwich Albion).

  9. Post update

    Mark Harris (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Goal!

    Goal! Cardiff City 0, West Bromwich Albion 4. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the top right corner. Assisted by Grady Diangana with a cross following a set piece situation.

  11. Post update

    Grady Diangana (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Leandro Bacuna (Cardiff City).

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Jayson Molumby replaces Jake Livermore.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion).

  15. Post update

    Kieffer Moore (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Offside, Cardiff City. Ciaron Brown tries a through ball, but Mark Harris is caught offside.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Darnell Furlong.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Aden Flint (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Kyle Bartley (West Bromwich Albion).

  20. Post update

    Kieffer Moore (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1West Brom106402081222
2Bournemouth9630167921
3Coventry9612126619
4Stoke105321411318
5Fulham95221981117
6Blackburn104421812616
7Huddersfield105141614216
8QPR104331914515
9Bristol City93421110113
10Reading94141618-213
11Middlesbrough103341111012
12Sheff Utd103341314-112
13Birmingham103341012-212
14Blackpool10334913-412
15Preston102531012-211
16Cardiff103251218-611
17Luton92431316-310
18Swansea9243811-310
19Millwall9162911-29
20Barnsley9153610-48
21Peterborough92161020-107
22Hull10136615-96
23Nottm Forest9126813-55
24Derby924368-2-2
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