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Slow start frustrates Martinez


Cardiff’s Ben Turner battles for the ball with Everton’s Gerard Deulofeu

Cardiff’s Ben Turner battles for the ball with Everton’s Gerard Deulofeu

Cardiff’s Ben Turner battles for the ball with Everton’s Gerard Deulofeu

After the Lord Mayor's Show? Malky Mackay insisted it wasn't, but a goalless draw, however meritorious, was in marked contrast to that OMG result when Manchester City lost in the Welsh capital last Sunday.

The Cardiff manager was happy enough with a point, Everton's Roberto Martinez thoroughly dissatisfied after they were denied a penalty and left without a first league win.

Their change in style since Martinez replaced David Moyes has led to arch disciples of the direct creed suddenly passing for the sake of it and the club that finished sixth last season will have expected more than three points from matches against Norwich, West Brom and this one.

In mitigation they would probably have won given the penalty they deserved when Gary Medel brought down Leighton Baines without making contact with the ball. Martinez said: "It was as clear a penalty as you will ever see, and I feel we dropped two points. The draw puts more pressure on our next game."

After a tentative start, Everton emerged as the better, more cohesive team and did the bulk of the attacking, with Baines prominent down the left flank. Cardiff defended assiduously and in depth.

Warned what to expect by Manchester City's defeat on the same ground, Martinez had his charges fully prepared, but they were found wanting in the final third of the pitch Nikica Jelavic has now managed one goal in 23 hours of league football. They ought to have been in front at half-time but Kevin Mirallas wasted an inviting cross from Jelavic with a feeble header, Baines was denied the penalty and David Marshall produced a stunning save in the 45th minute when a Jelavic header was redirected by Ben Turner.

The temperature had a stoking after 54 minutes when Fraizer Campbell, on a run through the middle, was barged over by Marouane Fellaini, provoking a minor fracas.

Questioned about United's joint bid for Baines and Fellaini, the Everton manager launched into a tirade about the iniquities of the transfer window: "They are both terrific professionals and provide a great example for football in general. It is an unfair situation, not just for us but for every club. We need to stop the window.

"This is the first time Cardiff have played Everton in the Premier League, an incredible moment, but all we are talking about is this window.

"I want to keep my best players, but under this system I am not in control of what's going to happen. I want Marouane and Leighton to play for us for many years."

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So would they be leaving? "At the moment the situation is the same as yesterday."

That said, he admitted he was looking for replacements: "We are working hard for one or two who could come in and help us, but I'll not talk about names because that would be disrespectful to their clubs." Significantly, he did not deny interest in Gareth Barry at Manchester City and Wigan's James McCarthy.

Cardiff improved in the second half, without looking like scoring, leaving Mackay to praise the collective effort behind a first clean sheet at elite level. He added to his defensive options yesterday by signing 23-year-old Kevin Theophile Catherine, a French under-21 international, from Rennes for £2m.

The manager said of an acquisition who takes his summer expenditure to £30m: "He is someone we've tracked for the last year. He is an aggressive defender with pace who has experience in the top division in France."


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