City 0 - 2 Cardiff City
26.02.2011 - 15:00
Hull City suffered their first league defeat of 2011 and first since a 1-0 loss at home to Leicester City when promotion chasing Cardiff City left Hull with all three points.
A win for Nigel Pearson`s team move to within two points of sixth placed Leeds; but the defeat left City with no further ground to make up but slipped to 9th following Burnley`s move up the table.
Nigel Pearson made just one change as expected with Jay Simpson replacing Tijani Belaid, and switching to an attacking 4-3-3 formation that had worked effectively during the second half of City`s win at Derby in midweek.
The change in formation stifled City`s attacking threat from wide areas while the three-man attack force could not find the accurate killer pass needed to really test yesterday`s organised opponents.
Half chances came and went for City, with Evans and Harper both having opportunities from the edge of the area as City were allowed time and space to play as Cardiff stood off.
The visitors thought they had taken the lead early in the first-half but Bothroyd`s effort was ruled out for offside while penalty appeals came and went as England striker Bothroyd and record signing Michael Chopra both saw their protestations unsuccessful after both strikers went down easily in the area.
Towards the end of the first-half, Corry Evans headed off the City line as the teams went in level. Cardiff however emerged with renewed vigour and took the lead when Chopra headed in McNaughton`s cross; the former Newcastle striker finding space ahead of Jack Hobbs who had replaced the injured Anthony Gerrard at half-time.
Nick Barmby should have levelled shortly after his introduction but shot over Heaton`s crossbar before Matty Fryatt was unlucky not to connect with a right—wing cross as City pressed for a goal. However, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas sealed the win for Cardiff in the 93rd minute as his juggling effort managed to squirm past Brad Guzan at his near post.
No ground was lost on the play-off pack, but the defeat has temporarily halted City`s progress ahead of a daunting trip to Nottingham Forest next week.