Before this game Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had revealed how Hull counterpart Steve Bruce had told him not to go into management. The Norwegian may be starting to wish he had taken that advice in the wake of this hideous defeat.
On the eve of owner Vincent Tan’s 62nd birthday the Bluebirds slumped to the lowest ebb of a tumultuous season to deepen their relegation fears.
The nature of the performance was enough to prompt Solskjaer to cancel a warm-weather training camp in Abu Dhabi, which the squad were due to fly out to today.
Tom Huddlestone’s deflected effort put the Tigers on course for the points, with a brace from Nikica Jelavic and Jake Livermore’s cool strike completing the rout.
The home side have won just one of Solskjaer’s seven league games in charge since succeeding Malky Mackay and are now three points from safety.
“Everyone realises the situation we are in,” said the Norwegian. “We can’t hide from the fact that we’ve lost to a team near us in the table and have now pulled away.
“We are going to need a monumental run to catch some teams, but I still believe we can get the 15 points I think we need to stay up.”
“It wasn’t the best birthday present we could have given the owner. It’s also my birthday on Wednesday so it would have been nice to get three points.”
After a bright start, Cardiff fell behind on 18 minutes when Livermore retrieved David Marshall’s save from Jelavic to tee up a drive for Huddlestone ’s drive, which flew in.
Fraizer Campbell wasted a gilt-edged chance as he planted a free header over the bar, and Hull made the most of the hosts’ profligacy.
Jelavic and Shane Long linked up, with the ex-Everton man beating Marshall from the edge of the area with four defenders watching on.
Cardiff frustrations increased when Howard Webb ignored a strong penalty appeal, as Jelavic clambered all over Kenwyne Jones before the break, and matters soon got worse.
Cardiff failed to deal with a Long cross, and when Liam Rosenior was given time to put the ball back in, Jelavic was in oceans of space to steer a header into the far corner.
Livermore completed the scoring from Ahmed Elmohamady’s forward raid to leave Cardiff down and their fans streaming out of the stadium, with those that remained staging a protest against Tan.
The result left a delighted Steve Bruce praising his £13 million strikeforce of Long and Jelavic. “We are always going to be dangerous when you have the sort of quality we now have up front,” he said. “The ability to score goals that those two lads bring really proved the difference.”
Cardiff City (4-4-2): Marshall; Fabio, Caulker, Cala, Taylor (John, 75); Noone, Cowie, Eikrem, Zaha (Daehli 46,); Campbell (Berget, 79), Jones.
Hull City (4-4-2): McGregor; Rosenior, Bruce (Chester, 70), Davies, Figueroa, Meyler, Huddlestone (Boyd, 62), Elmohamady, Livermore; Long (Quinn, 79), Jelavic.
Referee: Howard Webb.
Man of the match: Jelavic (Hull)
Match rating: 6/10