Delighted Warnock’s got Ralls of steel
NEIL WARNOCK said Cardiff eventually got what they deserved as they returned to winning ways.
But Sunderland, without a victory on home soil since last December when they were struggling in the Premier League, slipped into the bottom three.
The Black Cats had briefly threatened to claim a point when Lynden Gooch scored his first league goal for the club with a penalty seven minutes after half-time.
But Cardiff, who had opened the scoring in the seventh minute through Craig Bryson, reclaimed the lead with a penalty of their own through Joe Ralls 17 minutes from the end.
Cardiff boss Warnock said: “I thought we deserved it. We had a knockback when they scored, which was a silly goal to give away.
“But instead of going under we just got stronger and we really started playing again.”
Neil Etheridge took a quick goal-kick into the Sunderland half, striker Kenneth Zohore made the first flick and the lively Nathaniel MendezLaing helped it on again into the path of Bryson, who struck his first-time shot beyond Robbin Ruiter.
Sunderland sparked briefly into life after the restart when Gooch took matters into his own hands.
After forcing Etheridge into a save he was hauled down in the area eight minutes into the second half by Cardiff skipper Sean Morrison and Gooch sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot.
But Morrison made amends with 17 minutes remaining. He was gifted a penalty when he was shoved to the floor by Lamine Kone and then Ralls smashed it home to claim all three points.
Sunderland boss Simon Grayson said: “I’m frustrated again. You look at things, prepare for a game, at 2pm today we showed them a presentation what Cardiff will do – flick-ons, runners from midfield, showed them what was required.
“Then six minutes in and you are one down precisely from what we showed them.
“They have to take responsibility, stay with runners, do what is required.”
THREE AND EASY: Alavro Morata taps in for his hat-trick to finish off a great Chelsea move ■ EARLY START: Morata scores after 83 seconds ■
JUST TWO GOOD: Morata clips in his second after running half the length of the pitch
SPOT PRIZE: Joe Ralls