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?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence