Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Gardner gives Palace the advantage in all Championship battle

It was tight and for the majority a dull encounter, but Crystal Palace lead at half time as Cardiff fail to make possession count in their Carling Cup semi final first leg clash. 

In a terrific atmosphere the Bluebirds dominated much of the first half as Ben Turner and Joe Ralls went close, but over the course of the game they failed to work Julian Speroni.

The turning point, and the games only goal, came two minutes from the break when former Spurs centre half Anthony Gardner, got on the end of Darren Ambrose’s cross, after former Manchester United keeper Tom Heaton failed to deal with the danger. 

Darren Ambrose 
The hero of Old Trafford was by far the most creative on the field although he will be disappointed that his side do not hold a greater advantage after spurning numerous set piece opportunities.

Dougie Freedman will have been delighted in the defensive show his side put on and the way they restricted Cardiff to so few openings.

Malky Mackay will be quietly confident that in two weeks time his side will be able to turn around the result and make their fourth appearance at the new Wembley. In Kenny Miller he has a man who he can call on to deliver, the Scottish international will have to have more of an influence on matters, after being left frustrated by Palace’s determined backline.

Kenny Miller and Malky Mackay 
At the end of the day first legs are difficult to judge because no one wants to be out of it, in this case both sets of fans will be confident of making their way to Wembley in February and potentially head off on a European adventure next season.  

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