Cardiff outclass poor Clarets

Cardiff extended their run of successive home victories to seven and moved to the top of the Championship with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Burnley.

Last Updated: 29/10/12 at 11:04 Post Comment

Joe Mason: Opened the scoring for Cardiff on three minutes

Joe Mason: Opened the scoring for Cardiff on three minutes

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Recalled striker Joe Mason became the first of four players to get his name on the scoresheet after just three minutes after Craig Noone had hit the bar, and the winger grabbed the second himself from long range before the interval.

Matthew Connolly and Aron Gunnarsson both scored in the final eight minutes to wrap up an impressive three points for the in-form Bluebirds.

Injuries to attackers Craig Bellamy and Tommy Smith meant a full debut for South Korean Kim Bo-kyung and a recall for Mason. Both sides snatched last-gasp wins on Tuesday night and Burnley caretaker boss Terry Pashley, having overseen two victories since Eddie Howe's departure, replaced the suspended Ben Mee with Joseph Mills.

But that rejigged back four, who came into this game with the second-worst defensive record in the division, conceded after just three minutes when Noone's left-footed effort hit the post and Mason was there to slot the ball home from just inside the box.

The former Plymouth striker was inches away from doubling Cardiff's lead when put through by Peter Whittingham in the 21st minute, but his low drive from the edge of the box rattled the post with Lee Grant beaten.

Kim, Whittingham and Heidar Helguson all had opportunities for the Bluebirds as they enjoyed a lively opening half-hour, while Charlie Austin's first real sniff of goal after 34 minutes was blocked by defender Mark Hudson.

Just seven minutes later a flowing move from Cardiff saw them deservedly double their lead. Noone let rip from 25 yards and although Grant got a hand to the former Brighton man's effort, he could not keep it out and the winger celebrated his second of the campaign.

The Clarets started the second half the stronger and Austin was close to his 15th league goal of the season when he thumped a shot towards goal that Hudson did extremely well to turn over his own crossbar.

At the other end Noone's curling left-footed effort came back off the bar as Cardiff looked to extend their impressive home record against the visitors, having not tasted defeat against the Clarets in south Wales since 2000.

David Marshall had enjoyed a relatively quiet afternoon for the home side until the 76th minute when the Scotland international made a fine save to deny half-time substitute Sam Vokes after he met Danny Ings' low cross.

With eight minutes to go though, Cardiff grabbed a third when Connolly nodded home Whittingham's inswinging corner at the far post for this third of the season.

And just two minutes later substitute Gunnarsson grabbed his second goal of the week in emphatic style after Whittingham's ball was knocked down by fellow sub Rudy Gestede to wrap up a thoroughly impressive victory for Malky Mackay's table-topping team.

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1 Derby 13 13 26
2 Watford 13 11 25
3 M'boro 13 7 23
4 Wolves 13 5 23
5 Norwich 13 10 22
6 N Forest 13 9 22
7 Charlton 14 1 22
8 B'mouth 13 6 21
9 Ipswich 13 4 20
10 Cardiff 14 1 19
11 Blackburn 13 -1 19
12 Brentford 13 -1 19
13 Sheff Wed 13 0 18
14 Millwall 14 -2 17
15 Rotherham 13 -3 16
16 Leeds 13 -3 16
17 Huddsf'ld 13 -6 16
18 Reading 13 -8 15
19 Fulham 14 -6 14
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21 Brighton 13 -3 12
22 Birm'ham 13 -8 11
23 Bolton 13 -13 8
24 Blackpool 13 -11 6

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