Cardiff City’s unbeaten start to life under Mick McCarthy continued this evening as they drew 0-0 with Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium.
McCarthy – celebrating a new contract and 1000 games in management – will have been a relieved man, though, with Yaya Sanogo missing a second-half penalty that would have picked up just a second win of 2021 for Carlos Corberan.
Mick McCarthy celebrated a new contract and 1000 games in management this week. His best gift? Probably this point tonight after Huddersfield miss the chance to end his unbeaten start #HUDCAR
— AGB (@BurnsAlfie) March 5, 2021
The form side, Cardiff, had the game’s opening chance, with Sean Morrison on the end of a knockdown following a cross from the left. Ryan Schofield was out quickly to deny the Bluebirds skipper, though.
Dillon Phillips was busy in the Cardiff goal too, with Lewis O’Brien’s deflected effort and Juninho Bacuna’s free-kick testing his glove work in the first 15 minutes.
Both were lacking cutting edge to create anything clear heading into the half-hour, with the best opportunity falling Aden Flint’s way following a deflected Harry Wilson shot. The centre-back crashed his effort off the crossbar as the assistant flagged for offside.
Had that Flint shot bounced in, Cardiff complaints would have followed as television replays showed he had held his run.
Cardiff would come stronger towards the end of the first-half, pressing Rarmani Edmonds-Green into an error, with Josh Murphy’s shot deflected off Naby Sarr for a corner. Will Vaulks’ stinging volley from the second phase of that set-piece brought Schofield back into the game.
There was no breakthrough but the game had plenty about it with crucial points on the line. Flint left a tackle on Sanogo’s shins, prompting Bacuna to raise his hands into the defender’s face. However, referee, Tim Robinson, refrained from dishing out further punishments.
McCarthy’s side came out for the second-half with a little bit more purpose in their play than Huddersfield, but the game was still lacking real chances and the two goalkeepers were nothing more than spectators heading towards the hour.
Curtis Nelson – alongside Morrison and Flint – in Cardiff’s defence was vocal and commanding, looking for the Bluebirds to keep up their intensity. However, slack marking from a Bacuna free-kick allowed Richard Keogh a headed chance. He couldn’t swivel to find the target, though.
Another lapse from Nelson presented Huddersfield with a golden opportunity to open the scoring, after the Cardiff defender was clumsy with his challenge on Aaron Rowe. Sanogo could only pull his penalty wide without testing Phillips, continuing Town’s woeful penalty record under Corberan.
Good drive from the impressive O’Brien had earned the Terriers that penalty, with Huddersfield’s captain for the night good with everything he did, even challenging with Alex Vallejo to deny Thomas Sang a shot on goal in the 78th minute.
O’Brien was then the man pushing Huddersfield forwards a couple of minutes later, setting Pipa running free onto Phillips’ goal. The Spaniard couldn’t quite lift the ball over the Cardiff goalkeeper, who smothered well.
Chances were coming for Huddersfield, who had Cardiff on the ropes by the 84th minute. An O’Brien cross from the left was headed down by Sarr, but Fraizer Campbell could only volley over with the goal gaping.
Cardiff applied late pressure, as you might expect from a side chasing play-off football and on a 10-game unbeaten run, but Huddersfield remained strong heading into injury time.
The draw leaves Cardiff potentially losing further ground in the play-off race this weekend, whilst Huddersfield will continue to scan results below them in the Championship as the threat of relegation still looms.
FT: Huddersfield Town 0-0 Cardiff City.