Cardiff City made a winning start to life under Neil Warnock with a 2-1 Severnside derby win over Bristol City in front of the Sky TV cameras on Friday night. The form book was torn up as Peter Whittingham’s first half penalty and Sol Bamba’s debut goal gave Cardiff an unassailable two goal lead.
The visitors responded with a fine goal from Lee Tomlin, and Bobby Reid will feel he could have salvaged a point for the travelling Bristolians, but he missed from close range in the last few minutes. The result dragged Cardiff out of the bottom three on the night, and meant that Bristol City could not gain any ground on the top sides.
Here are three things we learnt from Cardiff City vs Bristol City:
The “Warnock effect” exists
As I somewhat prophetically predicted in my preview of the game the appointment of Neil Warnock had an enormous impact on the game. If Paul Trollope was still in charge, one could argue, without too much of a challenge, Bristol City would have won the game. However, he isn’t and they didn’t.
Warnock has only had the job for a matter of days, but already looks to have had a huge influence on the way Cardiff play. The Bluebirds looked defensively solid, with the signing of Sol Bamba seemingly inspired. The former Leeds man scored and kept teenage hotshot Tammy Abraham quiet all evening.
A very competent defensive display all round, which I am attributing to the “Warnock effect”.
Bristol City are not the finished article quite yet
One defeat will not de-rail Lee Johnson’s and Bristol City’s season. However, this game was a whispered reminder that they are in a very competitive league and you simply cannot turn up and expect to win – especially away from home in a derby. Bristol City have a very talented, young squad.
However, that lack of big game experience, at this level, did show last night, as the occasion clearly got to some of the players, and they did not do themselves justice. No doubt this will be a good learning curve for some of the players in the City ranks, and they will bounce back stronger from this. Bristol City are not quite the finished article yet, but if they learn from games like this they will go a long way towards becoming the finished article.
Tammy Abraham is human after all
I know it seems incredulous, but the 19 year old actually didn’t score last night. Nor did he have a particularly good game as he seemed ‘in the pocket’ of Sol Bamba. I do not want to appear overly critical of the young on-loan Chelsea forward, in fact I, like many others, believe the Londoner has a bright future in the game.
After scoring twice earlier this week for England U21s (bringing his total number of goals scored this season to 13 in 16 games) Abraham looked a little off the pace at the Cardiff City Stadium. This is understandable, considering the amount of minutes he has played recently without a sustained break, compounded by an illness he was suffering from according to Lee Johnson.
Bristol City (and Chelsea) fans will be hoping this experience of playing against a big strong bruising centre half like Sol Bamba will be one that can only improve the young striker. So far at least, his Championship experience has been great for his development.