Sunday 22 September 2019

Camarasa clicks at perfect moment for Cardiff

Leicester City 0 Cardiff City 1

Victor Camarasa of Cardiff City (C) celebrates his goal. Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images
Victor Camarasa of Cardiff City (C) celebrates his goal. Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Stuart James

It was one of those moments that take your breath away and for Cardiff City and their supporters provided the perfect end to 2018. Víctor Camarasa picked the ball up around 25 yards from goal, looked up and curled a wonderful right-footed shot that arced over the head of Kasper Schmeichel and into the top corner. Cue pandemonium in the away end and wild celebrations among the Cardiff players.

The game was already in injury time and Cardiff were not going to relinquish their grip on the most precious of victories. It is their first on the road this season, only their third in 29 Premier League away games - the last was back in April 2014 - and lifted Cardiff four points clear of the relegation zone.

James Maddison of Leicester City (R) reacts after missing a penalty. Photo: Getty
James Maddison of Leicester City (R) reacts after missing a penalty. Photo: Getty

Camarasa, who has been superb since joining on loan from Real Betis, was the hero but Neil Etheridge more than played his part by making a string of impressive saves, including denying James Maddison from the penalty spot. It is the third time this season that Etheridge has saved a penalty and added to the dismay felt by the Leicester fans. After unexpected victories over Chelsea and Manchester City, the visit of Cardiff always promised to provide a totally different test. The home team knew that they would have a lot more of the ball for a start and that Cardiff would sit deep and defend in numbers. By the time the interval arrived, Leicester's shot count was into double figures but they were still searching for a breakthrough.

Leicester's best first-half move was four minutes before the break. Maddison found a pocket of space and slid a pass into the path of Jamie Vardy, who found himself one-on-one with Etheridge. Vardy tried to deftly lift his shot over Etheridge but the Cardiff 'keeper was off his line quickly and the ball struck him in the face.

Apart from that Cardiff, for whom Aron Gunnarsson and Harry Arter returned to add some ballast to central midfield, did a reasonable job of containing Leicester.

As Leicester lost momentum after the break, Claude Puel responded by withdrawing first Marc Albrighton and then Vardy, neither of whom looked particularly happy. It was hard to see where the goal was going to come from, especially after Maddison missed from the spot. Simon Hooper, the referee, had no hesitation in awarding a penalty after Sean Morrison tugged at Maddison's arm, but the Leicester player's kick was weak and Etheridge kept it out. Maddison still looked set to score from the rebound but Bamba got across to make a brilliant block. Then came Camarasa's bolt from the blue.

Neil Warnock, manager of Cardiff City reacts during the game. Photo: Getty
Neil Warnock, manager of Cardiff City reacts during the game. Photo: Getty

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