Aston Villa 2 Cardiff City 0 match report: Leandro Bacuna free-kick ends the goal drought to send Villa on way to victory against Cardiff
Leandro Bacuna scored a spectacular free-kick to open the scoring
Sunday 10 November 2013
Aston Villa’s goal drought stood at seven hours and 31 minutes when Leandro Bacuna stepped up and lifted a 25-yard free-kick over the visitors’ wall and into the bottom corner of the Cardiff net, as goalkeeper David Marshall looked on motionless.
Relief swept around Villa Park and Paul Lambert’s side were on their way to a much-needed home success. It was a win that had not looked like coming until right-back Bacuna, moved upfield in a tactical shuffle, burst forward to win the free-kick from which he scored.
The Dutchman, a summer signing from Groningen, had struck a dead-ball goal in Villa’s only previous home victory of the campaign against Manchester City, but Lambert said this effort was even better. “His free-kick against Manchester City was world class but I thought that one surpassed it,” he said. “It was a terrific free-kick.”
Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay shouts instructions from the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Cardiff City at Villa Park
Libor Kozak made sure of the victory with six minutes remaining, heading in after Matthew Lowton had directed an Aleksandar Tonev cross back into the six-yard box.
There was an early sign that Cardiff would be a tough nut to crack after five minutes, with the excellent Steven Caulker’s interception stopping Christian Benteke pouncing after a parried Karim El Ahmadi shot.
Marshall produced good saves from a Benteke shot in the first half and Kozak header in the second, but Villa – missing forwards Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann – struggled to create openings.
A frustrated Craig Bellamy of Cardiff reacts after a missed chance against Aston Villa
Cardiff’s only threat came in the first half when hesitancy between Nathan Baker and goalkeeper Brad Guzan almost let in Aron Gunnarsson, but the American recovered to save.
“We were looking good value for getting something,” said Malky Mackay, the Cardiff manager, who responded to the question whether he might follow Iain Moody, his former head of recruitment, to Crystal Palace by saying: “I am the manager of Cardiff City and I am proud to be that.”
Aston Villa (4-3-1-2): Guzan; Bacuna, Vlaar, Baker, Clark; El Ahmadi (Lowton, 74), Westwood, Sylla; Tonev; Kozak (Bowery, 88), Benteke.
Cardiff (4-2-3-1): Marshall; Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Turner, Taylor; Medel, Whittingham; Cowie, Gunnarsson (Mutch, 65), Bellamy (Maynard, 82); Odemwingie (Campbell, 55).
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Man of the match: Bacuna (Aston Villa)
Match rating: 6/10
Latest in Sport
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao begin and what channel is it on?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao live: Mayweather puts on defensive masterclass to win by unanimous decision
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao begin on Sky Sports Box Office?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does the fight start and what channel is it on?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Only 132 pubs in the United Kingdom will show the fight - so where can you watch it?
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 3 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds