Cardiff City suffered a frustrating 2-0 loss against Preston North End at Deepdale. Sabri Lamouchi made four changes to the side that beat Bristol City, with Jak Alnwick, Callum O’Dowda, Andy Rinomhota, and Kion Etete coming into the starting lineup.
Etete had the first real opportunity after five minutes, but Freddie Woodman was out to block his shot. Woodman sustained a head injury, which led to a lengthy delay. Etete had another chance to score, driving forward towards the edge of the box and firing from 20 yards, but the ball went just wide of the post.
Preston’s best chance of the first half fell to Jordan Storey, who struck wide moments before the interval. The half-time whistle blew, sending the sides in with the score goalless after an even first half.
City started the second half brightly, with a number of early chances. Philogene had two opportunities to score, but his shots went just over the crossbar and wide of the post. O’Dowda won a free-kick in a dangerous area, which was taken by Perry Ng, but Woodman made a strong save. Woodman was called into action again moments later, as Sory Kaba fired on goal, but the goalkeeper tipped the ball around the post.
Against the run of play, the hosts took the lead after 68 minutes. Thomas Cannon got the better of Cédric Kipré from an awkward aerial ball and fired past Alnwick from close range. Brad Potts had a chance to extend the lead minutes later but could only stab the ball wide of the goal.
The Bluebirds looked to hit back through Philogene, who brought another save from Woodman after dribbling into the penalty area. The winger tried his luck again minutes later from the edge of the box, but put the ball wide.
Deep into injury time, Alnwick was shown a red card after rushing out of his box to make a tackle, which he mistimed. Rohan Luthra came off the bench for his senior debut. However, from the resulting free-kick, it was Preston who scored the second goal of the game. Luthra parried the initial effort from Ben Whiteman, with Ched Evans reacting first to tuck home the rebound.
The final score was Preston North End 2-0 Cardiff City.
Preston North End: Woodman, Storey, Diaby, Cunningham, Whiteman, Potts, Woodburn (Brady 60′), Johnson (Onomah 82′), Fernández (Ledson 82′), Cannon, Parrott (Evans 60′).
Subs not used: Cornell, Bauer, Delap.
Cardiff City: Alnwick, Ng, Kipré, McGuinness, O’Dowda, Sawyers, Wintle, Rinomhota (Harris 72′, Luthra 90+4′), Philogene, Kaba (Ojo 64′), Etete.
Subs not used: Romeo, Sang, Colwill, Davies.
The defeat at Deepdale was a disappointing result for Cardiff City, who had hoped to build on their recent victory against Bristol City. Lamouchi’s decision to make several changes to the starting lineup did not pay off, as the team struggled to create clear-cut chances throughout the game.
Despite their lackluster performance, there were some positive moments for Cardiff City, particularly in the second half. They looked dangerous going forward and created several opportunities to score. However, they were unable to convert their chances into goals and were punished for their defensive lapses.
The red card for Alnwick was a particularly unfortunate moment for Cardiff City, who have now lost two goalkeepers to suspension in as many matches. This will be a major concern for Lamouchi, who will need to find a solution to this problem before their next match against West Bromwich Albion.
Overall, there are clearly some areas that Cardiff City need to improve if they are to be successful this season. They will need to be more clinical in front of goal and more disciplined at the back if they are to challenge for promotion. Lamouchi will be working hard in training to address these issues and ensure that his team is ready for the challenges that lie ahead.