It's just like watching Wales. City 4 - 0 Mackems

Last updated : 21 February 2004 By Michael Morris
Myth 1. We can't beat a team from the top 10.

Myth 2. We are in relegation danger.

Myth 3. We can't possibly reach the play offs.

Myth 4. We are a one man team.

Well, todays demolition of Sunderland blew all of those myths out of the water.

The day started poorly for fans of football with the death of John Charles. The "Gentle Giant" passed away in Yorkshire.

Cardiff City reacted immediately to organise a minutes silence for John Charles and it was a shame to hear a pocket of Sunderland fans abusing the silence which then provoked a few City fans to shush them down. I hope those who were disrespectful stand still for a moment and realise just how idiotic they have behaved.

When the game kicked off it was Cardiff who looked the most likely to score. The Black Cats were limited to few chances in the first half and I felt they believed that they were underdogs coming into the game and played as though they were second best.

Sunderland were in the Premiership last season. They fielded a team that included Poom, Arca, McAteer, Kyle and Stewart - together they could command multi millions of pounds in transfer fees. Instaead of coming to Cardiff as the stronger aggressor they were hanging on from the opening minutes.

City were rampant with the flowing attacking football that we saw against Derby and Gillingham earlier in the season.

City took the lead when Bjorklund was sent off for pulling back Richard Langley. Watching in real time I though it was a penalty for a foul but the refreee decided that Bjorklund was the last man and punished him with the red card. City were given a free kick as compensation. Graham Kavanagh took the kick and his low right footed curler went in off Poom's left hand post.

City therefore were 1 up and playing against 10 men. To be honest if Sunderland still had 11 men they would have been hard pressed to contain City. The second goal came when Richard Langley took possession in midfield, he played the ball wide to Weston who moved along the line and squared a perfect ball for Langley to stroke home.

Half time came and it was 2 - 0 to Cardiff. If it was 5 - 0 I think it would have been fair as Sunderland hardly made Margetson work at all in the first half.

Any doubts that City would throw it away were soon cast aside when Daniel Gabbidon scored early in the second half. The ball ran loose wide right and Earnie managed to keep it in play and hook it back over his head for Gabbidon to appear to back heel it towards goal, a combination of cross bar and keeper failed to stop the ball crossing the line. 3 - 0 and dream time.

If there is any critisism to be made is that City took their foot off the gas and allowed Sunderland a little more space. BUT that would be harsh to offer any sort of negative in such a wondeful day for the Bluebirds.

Margeson saw more of tha ball and City were pressed back at times but it was a token effort from a well beaten side.

Lennie Lawrence replaced the three City players who played major contributions for their international sides in midweek. Off came Earnshaw and Parry to be replaced by Campbell and Robinson and then skipper Graham Kavanagh came off. He was replaced by Eire team-mate Alan Lee and it was the big Irish centre forward who took just 2 mins to score for the second Saturday in a row. Lee showed all his strength to hold off his marker and burst into the box and finish cooly past the deflated Poom.

Lee could have scored again when his delicate header landed on the cross bar after more good City work.

The scoreline does not flatter City, it is fully deserved and it keeps a play off hope alive as City are now just 3 points away from the top 6. As I mentioned at the top of the piece we've now exorcised the demon of not beating a top 10 team. Hopefully we can do the same next week when we travel to West Ham United.

In a week where we have played and narrowly lost to W.B.A., we have seen Wales crush the Scots with Earnie getting a hat-trick, we've mullered Sunderland 4 - 0 and we can look foward to West Ham and Coventry City it makes you realise that our footballing lives are not that bad at all.

Well done to Willie Boland who won man of the match. A non stop midfield performance with Boland not giving Sunderland a minutes rest.

The game ended with 10 men apiece when Peter Thorne was retired with an unknown injury.

Cheer up Mick McCarthy.