Cardiff rout Blackburn Rovers to romp away at the top

Blackburn Rovers 1 Cardiff City 4

Ewood Park

Superstition casts a shadow over many football lives to the extent that during his playing days Kenny Dalglish thought it mattered in what order he ate his pre-match milk and plain chocolate biscuits.

The decision by Cardiff City's owners to change their strip from blue to red was therefore as significant as if the government had ordered a cull of the ravens at the Tower of London.

This was Cardiff's 14th win of the season and all but one have come in red. The latest lifted them four points clear of Crystal Palace at the top of the Championship and suggested that Malky Mackay's side possess a momentum that would take some stopping.

Their progress was halted for five minutes by a Blackburn side that was humiliated on its own ground. Once Josh King, the epitome of a young, modern footballer – born in Oslo, signed up by Manchester United, loaned out to Borussia Monchengladbach – had equalised beautifully, one wondered how Cardiff might respond. By the end with, first, Joe Mason and then Kim Bo-kyung walking through a disintegrating Blackburn defence, the result was a rout.

The critical goal was the second. It arrived after the ball was flicked between the heads of Craig Bellamy and Heidar Helguson before the Welshman smashed it into the net behind which were draped five of his nation's flags.

There were to be more scares before the points were taken back across the border, notably when Mauro Formica, who with the goal gaping, somehow managed to strike the crossbar. It was the same bar that Bellamy, his arms pumping in a way Ewood would have remembered from his days under Mark Hughes, had hit earlier.

By then, Cardiff were already a goal up thanks to a header from Mark Hudson, a defender whom the Rovers manager Henning Berg thought lucky to stay on the pitch when he appeared to bring down Jordan Rhodes.

But in the end Berg was left to reflect on his eighth match in charge from which his return has been half a point per game. Just as crucially, he has failed to staunch the haemorrhaging of attendances at Ewood Park. This crowd – 12,460 – was the lowest since before Dalglish began Blackburn's great revival, but those few who remained certainly knew how to boo.

Blackburn Rovers (4-4-1-1): Robinson; Henley, Hanley, Dann, Martin Olsson; Formica (Nunes, 70), Etuhu (Rochina, 81), Lowe, Markus Olsson (Kazim-Richards, h-t); King, Rhodes. Substitutes not used: Kean (gk), Givet, Nunes, Pedersen, Rochina. Vukcevic.

Cardiff City (4-4-2): Marshall; Connolly, Hudson, Turner, Taylor; Noone (Kim, 69), Whittingham, Cowie, Conway; Bellamy (Mason, 80), Helguson. Substitutes not used: Lewis (gk), McNaughton, Kim Bo-kyung, Gestede, Gunnarsson, Mason, Lappin.

Referee: S Hooper (Wiltshire)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable