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Ole out of his depth

Cardiff City Apr 7, 2014
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A mess on and off the field

Cardiff City Mar 4, 2014
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Apr 3, 2014

Daehli goal gives Cardiff reason to believe


Norwegian Mats Moller Daehli scored his first Cardiff City goal in the most dramatic fashion to secure a 3–3 draw against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Saturday. Daehli struck in the 96th minute with the last action of an incredible game of football. Albion themselves had scored in the 95th minute to seemingly snatch a winning goal that would have all but condemned Cardiff to relegation. - Report: Solskjaer applauds battling Cardiff The fall-out from the game has carried on in the days after the final whistle with revelations that West Brom striker Saido Berahino was assaulted by a teammate in a dressing room bust-up. After West Brom had taken their injury-time lead through a goal set up by Berahino, they were given the chance to put the game to bed. A desperate late Cardiff attack was broken up and West Brom countered. Berahino led a break that saw Albion with a four-against-one advantage, but instead of Berahino making a crucial pass to a teammate or just heading for the corner flag to soak up the final seconds, he lost possession to the one Cardiff defender. Within a few seconds City had the ball in the Albion net to make it 3-3 and that was the end of the game. Berahino was reported to be the target of verbal abuse and physical confrontation by his own players. He has made a statement denying that he was going to take legal action after allegedly being struck by a fellow Albion player who was furious that the England U21 international lost possession that cost them a victory. Berahno said: "I am not taking legal action against any team-mate. I am only focussing on Saturday's game at Norwich." The incident has been acknowledged by a West Brom spokesman who said: "What happened is not uncommon in a dressing room and shows that the players care. The players involved have apologised. The club has drawn a line under the matter." Defeat for City would have meant a six-point gap to safety and with just six games to go it would have been an almost impossible task. Keeping West Brom just three points away makes Cardiff's task a little more achievable. The game burst into life in the second minute. Morgan Amalfitano scored an incredible goal from the corner of the penalty area; he left David Marshall motionless as his stunning lob shocked everyone. Albion were rampant and went 2–0 up with a close-range finish from Graham Dorrans in the ninth minute. But when you are struggling, you lose confidence and the hosts allowed Cardiff back into the game. Jordon Mutch scored from a similar position to Amalfitano's goal to reduce the deficit at halftime. Cardiff grasped the nettle and started to dominate the stuttering Baggies. Steven Caulker brought the sides level with a header from a Gary Medel free kick and it looked like there was only going to be one winner. But in stoppage time substitute Thievy Bifouma squeezed the ball past Marshall to send the home crowd into premature celebrations. A minute later it was level as Daehli finished off a move that started when Berahino lost possession. The young Norwegian turned to fire high into the net past Ben Foster. It was time for the Cardiff fans to go ballistic as the stunned home stands stood in disbelief. The emotions spilled onto the touchlines with both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Pepe Mel laughing and hugging each other in an astonishing reaction to Cardiff's goal. Solskjaer had every right to be ecstatic but Mel's reaction was driven by shock and instead of appearing angry at blowing the victory he was overcome by the amazement of the situation. It was a massive point for Cardiff and keeping West Brom in touching distance was crucial. Results elsewhere saw Crystal Palace pick up and unexpected victory over Chelsea. That takes Palace five points ahead of Cardiff but Palace have to visit Cardiff City Stadium this weekend. Time is running out for Cardiff and defeat at home this Saturday is unthinkable. The relegation battle is fast becoming a scrap between five teams. Fulham, Sunderland, Cardiff, West Brom and Crystal Palace are all vulnerable. Daehli's goal may just have given Cardiff the belief though that they can escape relegation. With 10 goals in the last four games Cardiff have given themselves something to build on. A win over Palace on Saturday is a must though. If Cardiff can't win their home games against fellow relegation strugglers they don't deserve to stay up.