Cardiff City v Manchester United –
Final Score/Result: Cardiff 2-2 Man United
Man Of The Match: Wayne Rooney
Cardiff City held Manchester United to a draw as Kim Bo-Kyung scores a late equaliser for the home side.
Manchester United missed a golden opportunity to close the gap on Liverpool, who dropped points in the Merseyside derby. The reigning Premier League champions are currently 6th in the league table and seven points behind league leaders Arsenal. David Moyes made a lot of changes to the side as United missed three of their key players due to injuries – Robin van Persie, Vidic and Carrick. With an away trip to White Hart Lane in their next match United needed to win this to provide a cushion for that fixture.
Wayne Rooney was involved in nearly everything and everywhere in this game and his first impact was a cynical foul on Jordon Mutch. Rooney was lucky to escape with just a yellow card in the incident as he clearly lashed out at the midfielder. To make things worse for Cardiff, it was Wayne Rooney who scored the opening goal few minutes later. The goal came from a mistake at the back as Turner’s pass to Taylor was intercepted by Valencia. It left Cardiff short in numbers at the back and Valencia’s low pass towards Hernandez reached Wayne Rooney as the Mexican left it. The England international made a wonderful turn and his shot was deflected into the goal.
But Cardiff didn’t let their heads drop after conceding that goal and came back with Manchester United with a lot of intent. Finally in the 33rd minute Fraizer Campbell scored an well-deserved equalizer as Jordon Mutch played him through on goal with a delightful pass in behind the back four. United’s midfield failed to get a grip on the match as both Fellaini and Cleverley had a very disappointing game. It once again highlighted how much United are dependent on Carrick.
Just before the half-time Manchester United grabbed the lead once again. Wayne Rooney’s corner was met with a wonderful header by Patrice Evra. The Frenchman was left unmarked at the near post as Gary Medel lost his man. It was another disappointing goal to concede for Cardiff, who gave a good account of themselves in the first half.
The second half spanned out in similar fashion as Cardiff pushed for the equalizer and slowly grew into the game. United failed to extend their lead and the home side were in with a shout. David Moyes brought on Danny Welbeck and Ryan Giggs in place of Januzaj and Hernandez and the former Wales international didn’t get a warm welcome at Cardiff.
Then in the dying moments of the match Cardiff did to Manchester United what they have been doing to other teams for ages – they scored a later equalizer. Substitute Kim Bo-Kyung scored the all-important goal with a powerful header as Peter Whittingham delivered a delightful ball into the box. Cardiff were lucky in many ways to score that as Gary Medel could have easily received a booking had the referee spotted the slap he threw at Fellaini in the box. But Cardiff won’t complain as they were at the receiving end of a similarly wrong decision in the first half with Wayne Rooney.
David Moyes was left disappointed with the draw and insisted that they can’t keep dropping points like this if they are to keep up with other clubs at the top.
“I am disappointed. Like Southampton, we had it under control with a minute to go but we conceded from a set piece and it cost us.
“We have been on a pretty good run, but that is a blow. We cannot keep dropping two points with where we are.
“We could have played better. We didn’t have a lot of rhythm in the second half. I would probably have taken a result however it came today. I would have liked it to be better, but it wasn’t to be.” – The Manchester United manager told the press.
Moyes also defended Wayne Rooney and he didn’t believe that the striker should have been sent off.
“The boy (Mutch) runs across his path and there’s a bit of a tussle, but I didn’t think it deserved any more than a yellow card.
“I don’t think it was a lashing-out, I think it was more that he felt hard done-by with the boy running across his path with the ball.
“I didn’t think it was a lash out to cause any harm, I think it was more of a disappointment that he lost the ball.” – Moyes added.
However, he did feel that the Referee should have taken some action against Medel for the incident with Fellaini before Cardiff scored the goal.
“If he slaps someone in the face, then you’d expect some action to be taken. We actually lost our concentration because we were set up for the freekick, the referee then spends a minute or so talking to everyone and then sets it back up.
“We still should do better but it gave them two bites of the cherry as they did actually deliver the first ball.
“It gave (Peter) Whittingham another chance to get his sighters in and he certainly put in a good ball.” – The former Everton manager explained.
Cardiff City v Manchester United – Statistics
Wayne Rooney was Manchester United’s best player on the pitch, as he has been on so many of the games this season. Rooney was involved in everything on the pitch right from the start. He scored the opening goal with a wonderful turn and shot and assisted Evra for the second with a wonderful corner. Rooney has now scored six goals and provided five assists in 10 starts in the league and has almost single-handedly kept United’s title hopes alive so far this season. The above graph depicts the areas he has influenced on the pitch against Cardiff.