BLUEBIRDS UNSTUCK AT TOFFEES THANKS TO SIGURDSSON
CARDIFF City’s struggles away from home in the Premier League continued as they were beaten 1-0 by Everton at Goodison Park.
The Bluebirds frustrated Marco Silva’s side for long periods, but the Toffees’ pressure eventually told as Gylfi Sigurdsson struck a 59th-minute winner to inflict a ninth league defeat of the campaign on the Bluebirds.
Neil Warnock made just one change from the side that defeated Brighton before the international break, with Harry Arter returning from suspension to replace Josh Murphy in the starting lineup.
The hosts started brightly, although Cardiff looked dangerous on the break, with Callum Paterson drilling an effort wide in between half-chances for Michael Keane and Idrissa Gueye for Everton.
But in truth, clear-cut opportunities were few and far between for the away side as the Toffees dominated possession, although they struggled to test Neil Etheridge in the Cardiff goal.
Andre Gomes fired into the side netting just before the half-hour mark, while the Portuguese shot wide soon after.
And the home faithful were demanding a penalty on the stroke of half-time as Lucas Digne went down under a challenge from Kadeem Harris, but referee Paul Tierney waved away the Toffees’ protests as Cardiff went into the break on level terms.
Normal service was resumed after the restart as Everton continued to control possession.
And they carved out an opening five minutes into the second half as Richarlison picked out Sigurdsson on the edge of the area, but the Iceland international shot well over the bar.
That opportunity briefly sparked the game into life as both sides looked to hit their opponents on the break, and Cardiff had Sol Bamba to thank for clearing off his own line after Sigurdsson latched onto Bernard’s through ball.
And Everton’s pressure finally told as Etheridge palmed away Theo Walcott’s low shot, but Sigurdsson was on hand to lash home the rebound just before the hour mark.
Tempers flared as Kadeem Harris clattered into Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford soon after, with the winger earning a booking for his troubles.
Cardiff briefly responded well to going behind as Warnock sent on Murphy and Junior Hoilett for the latter stages of the game.
And Pickford was called into action in the 73rd minute, with the England international diving low to his right to turn Victor Camarasa’s drilled effort to safety. Before referee Tierney turned down Cardiff’s appeals for a spot-kick after a Seamus Coleman challenge on Greg Cunningham.
Etheridge did well to deny substitute Ademola Lookman late on as the home side pushed for a second.
Cardiff did have one final chance to snatch a draw as Joe Ralls whipped in a free-kick from the byline, but Paterson headed over from just four yards out.
Everton twice went close at the death through Richarlison and Cenk Tosun while Murphy had a shot blocked deep into injury-time, although a frantic ending produced no goals as Cardiff slumped to yet another away defeat.
Kadeem Harris clashes with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford