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Cardiff City 3-1 Fulham Prem 29 1314 Daily Star

last updated Monday 10th March 2014, 7:12 PM
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Ralph Ellis at Daily Star

Cardiff City (1) 3 Fulham (0) 1

Fulham and Cardiff have endured a torrid time of late with Cardiff having won only one of their last 12 and Fulham just one from their last eight.

Victory was the only acceptable result for Fulham and boss Felix Magath used Cauley Woodrow in a two-man strikeforce led by the £12million Greek Konstantinos Mitroglou, but he was missing the inspirational Scott Parker in the middle of the field.

And it was in that central area where Fulham had control, with Steve Sidwell and Holtby enjoying their fair share of possession.

Cardiff's big problems have stemmed from a lack of goals and they were strangely subdued in the final third with Jones once again a passenger.

Fulham had the first chance.

Some neat approach play gave Ashkan Dejagah a chance that he sent crashing into the side-netting.

Maarten Stekelenburg's save to deny Campbell in the 17th minute was the first time he touched the ball.

Five minutes later he was rooted to the spot when Craig Noone waltzed his way through before missing the target from 20 yards.

The breakthrough in this shocking game came in the only minute of first-half stoppage time.

Noone, unmarked on the far post, crossed through a crowd of players and Caulker was on hand to convert.

It was just what Solskjaer needed - and scrappy though it was - it was the hosts' first goal in 445 minutes.

Fulham now had little choice but to come out and Holtby brought out the best in David Marshall with a 25-yard effort.

Half-time substitute Alex Kacaniklic missed the target after sloppy play from Jordon Mutch and that was about as good as it got for the visitors as Cardiff began to show some self belief.

Jones headed wide, when he should have done better, and Mutch went wide as another Fulham hole opened up.

The visitors levelled on the hour after a corner from Karagounis was headed on by Johnny Heitinga and Holtby was at the far post to side foot home.

Cardiff were back in front in the 66th minute when Caulker popped up to convert a far post corner.

"We have players that are not used to a relegation fight so we have to talk," said Magath. "In the next week we will have training sessions on defending, especially now on corner kicks because that is the first time I have seen we are so bad from corners."

If Magath didn't know his team were bad at defending set pieces then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer clearly had it worked out and Caulker was the man to punish them.

The 22-year-old got the big goal in the south Wales derby against Swansea, and took charge again when it mattered most.

Solskjaer admitted his captain had been disappointed not to get game time for England against Denmark last Wednesday, and said: "He came back and wanted to do some technical work and get better.

"He has a great character. I just want him to perform for me, because if he does that the rest will take care of itself.

"He is a guy who hurts when we lose and don't get results, and emotional, sensitive guy. I am very pleased for him."

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