Sunderland lead the charge to stay in the Premier League defeating relegation rivals Cardiff City
by Nick D
Apr 27, 2014 8:55 AM EDT
Gus Poyet has lead his side to yet another victory as Sunderland continue to fight to remain in the Premier League. Goals from Wickham, Giaccherini and Borini were enough to ensure the Black Cats another three points as they climb their way out of the relegation zone. Cardiff City on the other hand went home losing 4-0 and possibly sealing their return to the Championship division.
Sunderland kicked off the game brightly and let their intentions be known from the get go, they were going to attack. Good passing and some positive moves forward and Sunderland were applying the pressure on the Welsh side. Though Marshall was in fine form and was making sure he kept his side in the game as he made some crucial touches in his penalty area to keep Sunderland from getting that final touch. He has easily been Cardiff's best player this season and also one of the best keepers in the EPL too. Sunderland pressed on as they knew that nothing but victory would see them survive another season in the Premier League. Cardiff though slowly started to settle and started to enjoy some possession of their own. They broke well on the counter but Poyet had his men well organised and they dropped back in numbers to ensure protection of their goal. Campbell was full of energy and was proving to be a handful when moving forward. Though Wes Brown knew his duties and made sure the youngster was well marked. Then finally after all the possession and the pressure the deadlock was broken in the 26th minute. Sunderland won a corner and the ball was whipped in by Larsson and the looping ball made its way to the back post where the man of the moment for Sunderland, Connor Wickham was there to head home. 1-0 and this was exactly what the Black Cats needed at the most critical time of the season.
Connor Wickham scores in the 26th minute to give Sunderland hope for survival
Cardiff City now in trouble as they too were stuck in the relegation zone and needed to get a result from this game to keep their Premier League dreams alive. Sunderland though were full of confidence after their last few games and after the goal were hungry for more. They continued their push forward as Cardiff City struggled to get any momentum going. As the game progressed so did the heat as both teams increased the physicality. The frustrations started to show as Mutch was the first to be yellow carded after he fouled Cattermole. Though before that the two players were exchanging some words and it looked like Mutch wanted some revenge. Vergini was next to be booked after his late challenge on Mutch this time. Then Medel was soon booked after that as he was judged to have brought down Colback. Though he got a yellow he did stop Sunderland from advancing on his goal. Then the game got worse for Cardiff as Cala was sent off for pulling back Wickham and the ref also awarded the penalty kick too. Borini stepped up and slotted the ball into the bottom right corner as the half ended and Sunderland found themselves in the drivers seat with a two goal advantage.
Cala sent off as Borini makes it 2-0 at the stroke of half time
The second half kicked off and Cardiff City with 10 men and two goals down, now have the impossible mission to get a result from this game. City knew that they needed to defend and hope to be able to catch Sunderland on the counter attack. Sunderland would enjoy a lot more possession as the game wore on as Cardiff put all their players behind the ball and looked to absorb as much pressure as they could. Borini would be the first to try his luck from the corner of the box, as he tried to curl the ball into the far bottom corner. Though his shot would go well wide of the mark and not trouble Marshall's goal. Cardiff's frustrations continued as Fabio would be booked for his shove on Larsson as he rushed to get the ball back into play. Larsson too was booked for his attempt to time waste and cause Fabio to shove him in the back. Sunderland continued to push forward but credit must go to Cardiff City who defended well and limited the opportunities up front for the Black Cats. Though the constant pressure by Sunderland would prove to be too much for the Welsh side as Sunderland found their third goal in the 76th minute. Giaccherini who came on as a substitute only moments before made a great run as the through ball was fed to him and he easily got behind the defenders and side footed the ball under the keeper to give Sunderland a 3-0 lead. Sunderland weren't done yet as Wickahm would get his second of the game from the corner kick. The striker would outmuscle his marker and have a simple header to give Sunderland their fourth of the match. Cardiff managed to hold on and not concede anymore goals but the writing was on the wall, performances like this would not be enough to keep them in the Premier League.