Vital away win leaves Bluebirds on the brink of the premiership
Cardiff City secured a vital win at Hull City to ensure their automatic promotion hopes remain in their hands.
Two goals from skipper Sean Morrison mean Cardiff will join Wolves in the Premier League if they match third-placed Fulham’s result next Sunday.
Cardiff host Reading while Fulham visit Birmingham, with both opponents still in danger of being relegated.
Morrison headed Cardiff ahead before rounding off a breakaway move that made the result safe for the Bluebirds.
The Tigers had lost just one of their last nine home league matches against Cardiff. But in truth they never threatened the Welsh side, who kept their nerve when it mattered.
Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor played for Hull despite being linked with a summer move to Rangers. For the Bluebirds, midfielder Aron Gunnarsson started – but his injury-hit campaign continued as he was withdrawn with a knee injury inside 10 minutes.
The onus was certainly on Cardiff to force the pace but it was the hosts who created the better of the early chances, with former Cardiff forward Frazier Campbell breaking clear, only to be denied by a Sol Bamba tackle.
However, despite Hull’s last match ending in a 5-5 draw and Cardiff knowing that nothing less than three points would do, the opening half hour was extremely cagey and low on opportunities.
Cardiff desperately needed something to settle their nerves in front of a large travelling contingent and their big moment arrived just after the half hour mark when skipper Morrison rose to head home Joe Ralls’ teasing corner.
It was a big moment for Morrison, particularly after his error led to Derby’s third goal in their 3-1 midweek win over the Bluebirds.
Ralls almost doubled Cardiff’s lead in first half stoppage time, but his speculative free-kick drifted just wide of the post before McGregor produced a double save to deny Junior Hoilett.
Cardiff were growing in confidence and should have made it 2-0 when Callum Paterson had the goal at his mercy, but McGregor denied him before Hull scrambled clear.
McGregor was in fine form and pulled off a double save when he denied first Kenneth Zohore and then Morrison from another header.
Hull saw a penalty appeal waved away when Frazier Campbell appeared to be fouled by Lee Peltier, but Cardiff made the result safe when Zohore and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing combined and Morrison swept the ball home.
Hull City manager Nigel Adkins:
“I’m really disappointed.
“But (assistant manager) Andy Crosby’s just said ‘listen, remember what we’ve come here to do, to make sure we stayed in the division and we’ve done that’.
“The big picture is we’re in the Championship next season.”
Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock:
“It’s as big a game probably in my career when you look at it. Everybody keeps expecting us to fall away.
“I know we’re limited and not everybody’s cup of tea but we’re not going away, we’re like a rash. I’m ever so proud of them, they just don’t know when they’re beat.
“They keep going, they’re a good group. They’re hard games, not pretty but at this stage of the season you can’t expect anything else.”
Mendez Laing 7
Grujic 6.5 for Gunnarsson (10-45 mins)
Brayson 7 for Grujic 45mins
Madine 6.5 for Zohore 90 mins