CARDIFF CITY 2
CAMPBELL (33), BO-KYUNG (90)
MANCHESTER UNITED 2
ROONEY (15), EVRA (45)
SUNDAY 24 NOVEMBER 2013 CARDIFF CITY STADIUM | ATTENDANCE: 28,016
A last-minute equaliser from substitute Kim Bo-Kyung snatched a draw for Cardiff City and dealt United a frustrating setback in the Barclays Premier League title race
First half goals from Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra came either side of Fraizer Campbell’s equaliser for the hosts, who tested the champions throughout but rarely threatened goalkeeper David De Gea prior to Kim’s late leveller.
United might still have pinched the points in injury-time when Rooney was played in on goal, but the striker scuffed his attempted pass to substitute Danny Welbeck and City stopper David Marshall pounced on the loose ball.
Shorn of several key players through injury, including top scorer Robin van Persie, manager David Moyes made five changes to the side which overcame Arsenal prior to the recent international hiatus, and that sizeable reshuffle contributed to a disjointed first half display from the champions.
Rooney provided the majority of the game’s talking points, kicking out at Jordon Mutch early on after the City midfielder had blocked the striker’s forward surge. Referee Neil Swarbrick brandished a yellow card, to Cardiff’s ire, and the home contingent’s sense of injustice was heightened when Rooney soon opened the scoring.
Antonio Valencia and Chicharito combined to tee up United’s no.10, who took his time before unleashing a near-post effort which nicked Gary Medel and looped over the stranded David Marshall. Though the City goalkeeper was soon required to fend away a Marouane Fellaini header, it was the hosts who took the initiative for the remainder of the half.
Mutch was heavily involved as Campbell deservedly levelled the scores, releasing the former United striker with a fine through-ball which teed up a simple finish past the exposed De Gea. The Spaniard’s goal repeatedly came under threat in the remainder of the half, with Campbell, Don Cowie and Peter Whittingham all firing off target, only for United to snatch the lead before the break when Evra powered Rooney’s left-wing corner past Marshall.
The Scottish stopper was impressively equal to headed efforts from Fellaini and Chris Smalling in the opening minutes of the second half, but Cardiff soon rallied to disrupt the visitors’ flow and almost levelled when Campbell raced onto Tom Cleverley’s errant pass, only to chip a delicate effort against De Gea’s crossbar.
Scares were few and far between for the champions, and the victory might have been assured if Marshall hadn’t smartly saved at the feet of substitute Welbeck, who subsequently half-volleyed just over the bar after a classy one-two with Rooney.
Those misses ultimately proved costly as City substitute Kim headed home Peter Whittingham’s left-wing free-kick in the final minute to send the home fans wild with delight. Their celebrations might have been cut short twice in stoppage time, but Rooney’s scuffed pass to Welbeck and Smalling’s subsequent wayward shot ensured a share of the spoils and a frustrating end to a battling afternoon for the Reds.
Marshall; Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Turner, Taylor; Cowie, Mutch (Bo-Kyung, 77), Medel, Whittingham, Odemwingie (Noone, 65); Campbell (Cornelius, 84).
Booked: Caulker, Whittingham.
Subs not used: Lewis, Hudson, Gunnarsson, Bellamy.
De Gea; Smalling, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Cleverley, Fellaini; Valencia, Rooney, Januzaj (Welbeck 68); Hernandez (Giggs, 73).
Booked: Rooney, Cleverley.
Subs not used Lindegaard, Anderson, Nani, Young, Büttner.