Mackay buoy­ant af­ter Cardiff stuns Man City

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE in Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff City cel­e­brated its re­turn to the top flight with a 3-2 vic­tory over Manch­ester City that left man­ager Malky Mackay in un­der­stand­ably buoy­ant mood.

Sec­ond- half goals from Aron Gun­nars­son and a Fraizer Camp­bell brace proved too much for a City side that led through Edin Dzeko, but looked any­thing other than a ti­tle con­tender. Its sec­ond, from Al­varo Ne­gredo, ar­rived two min­utes into stop­page time.

Mackay, who spent 28 mil­lion pounds ($ 43.6 mil­lion) over the sum­mer in a bid to fight rel­e­ga­tion, said: “I am absolutely de­lighted. For ev­ery­one at this football club, this day was a long time in com­ing. But what a day it was.

“It meant a lot to a lot of peo­ple so at the end of the game, I have to ad­mit that I felt very proud for those peo­ple. Of course I felt proud for the play­ers, but the fans too and the mem­bers of staff who work here. They have been through some tough times.”

Not such a joy­ous af­ter­noon for op­po­site num­ber Manuel Pel­le­grini, al­though he wasn’t blam­ing a sur­pris­ingly por­ous de­fense.

“I don’t think our de­fense cost us to­day. There was no prob­lem in cen­tral de­fence,” he said.

“Cardiff didn’t cause us many prob­lems, but the game was de­cided by two cor­ners.

“De­fend­ing set-pieces is a duty for the whole team, not just the goal­keeper or the de­fend­ers. It doesn’t mat­ter who is guilty.

“When we scored the first goal I thought it could be easy for us be­cause we were play­ing a team that had 10 play­ers in their box. But we didn’t play well. How­ever, we didn’t play badly ei­ther.

“It’s im­por­tant for Edin to score. He played well. We also have Ne­gredo who also scored. As an at­tack­ing team it’s very good to score two goals away from home. But we had an­other prob­lem.”

Dzeko gave the vis­i­tors the lead seven min­utes into the sec­ond half with a 25- yard strike that left Cardiff goal­keeper David Mar­shall clutch­ing at thin air.

How­ever, Gun­nars­son’s 60th-minute equal­izer, af­ter Joe Hart had kept out Camp­bell’s near-post shot, and Camp­bell’s headed goals on 77 and 83 min­utes gifted the Blue­birds a first vic­tory in top-flight soc­cer since 1962.

“I was de­lighted to get Fraizer from Sun­der­land for 600,000 pounds,” said Mackay. “It was a great bit of busi­ness on our part. He has worked so hard over the sum­mer. I know he has had one cap but there is no rea­son that he can’t force his way back in. He was just what we needed and I knew that he would cause prob­lems.

“He knew he had to get fit­ter than he was, but he has and he’s some­one who can go from strength to strength. He is a strong, strong boy. He is brave and hon­est. He has got all of that.”

REBECCA NADEN / REUTERS

Cardiff City fans turn their backs to the Manch­ester City play­ers af­ter Fraizer Camp­bell (un­seen) scored his sec­ond goal dur­ing the English Pre­mier League match at Cardiff City Sta­dium on Sun­day.

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