Given Cardiff City's lackluster debut in the Premier League and Manchester City's demolition of Newcastle on Monday, few would have predicted a positive result for the Bluebirds on Sunday. Incredibly, even after they let City score first, Cardiff stormed back and scored three goals in a row, taking advantage of some poor defending by the visitors. Alvaro Negredo found a late goal to make things interesting, but Cardiff managed to hang on for a 3-2 victory.
While City dominated possession throughout the game, Cardiff had the better of the chances early. Peter Whittingham just barely missed wide on a free kick in the 6th minute and had a shot saved by Joe Hart 10 minutes later. City struggled to get anything on target in the opening half and did very little to test David Marshall.
The game was sparked to life in the 52nd minute when Edin Dzeko scored with a long-range strike that took a wicked deflection. His shot from 25 yards looked like it might give Marshall problems, but the Cardiff goalkeeper was given absolutely no chance to make a save when it took a slight deflection to send the ball into the top corner.
Cardiff were forced to get a bit more aggressive down a goal and it took them just eight minutes to create an equalizer. The makeshift central defense partnership of Joleon Lescott and Javi Garcia fell apart and let Cardiff create back to back chances. Frazier Campbell had his close-range shot saved by Hart, but no one picked up Aron Gunnarsson, who finished off the rebound.
The goal that put Cardiff ahead was the best one of the day, scored by Campbell on a cross by Whittingham. He dove into the ball on the top of the six-yard box with reckless abandon, completely unmarked, and powered a spectacular header past Hart and David Silva, who was standing on the line but had no chance to block the shot.
Campbell struck again in the 87th minute, scoring a goal that looked like it would easily clinch the result for his team. He took advantage of poor marking again, this time on a corner kick, and nodded past Joe Hart on substitute Don Cowie's delivery. Hart looked indecisive on the corner, taking a step forward as if he was going to come out for the ball before he produced minimal reaction to Campbell's shot.
Things got interesting in stoppage time when Alvaro Negredo nodded in a cross by David Silva, but City never found a third goal. There were seven minutes of stoppage time total, in which City threw everyone forward in search of an equalizer, but Cardiff defended well to hold on to the win.