Cardiff blunt blades and go top of the league
Cardiff City have won their opening three league games of a season for the first time in the Championship club’s 107-year history.
Goals either side of the interval by Sean Morrison and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing gave the Bluebirds a 2-0 win over Sheffield United.
Winger Mendez-Laing took his season’s tally to four with a superb strike.
The Blades went close through Billy Sharp and had a penalty shout turned down, but were comfortably beaten.
Cardiff came into the game on a high after an impressive 3-0 win over Aston Villa, with manager Neil Warnock relishing the challenge of the team he supported as a child – and managed for eight years.
Sheffield United suffered their first defeat in 20 games when beaten 1-0 by Middlesbrough at the weekend, and found the Bluebirds in irresistible mood on a calm Cardiff night.
The Bluebirds joined the Football League in 1910 and are top of the early-season table after ending a 107-year wait for maximum return from their opening three games.
They have nine points along with Ipswich and Wolves, who Cardiff play at Molineux on Saturday.
The Blades matched Cardiff in the early stages, but had a let-off when Jazz Richards hit bar from 30 yards and then Kenneth Zohore slid the ball past the post after being put through by Junior Hoilett.
The breakthrough came in the 44th minute when skipper Morrison headed in Joe Ralls’ corner.
Mendez-Laing’s stunning finish to a sweeping team move in the 55th minute put Warnock’s team firmly in charge, and the Blades did well not to concede a third.
Ched Evans made an appearance off the bench for the Blades, but it was Sharp and David Brooks who had their best efforts, and Leon Clarke headed a good chance wide.
But it was United supporter Warnock who had the biggest smile as his Cardiff side kept their third successive Championship clean sheet.
Cardiff manager Neil Warnock told BBC Radio Wales:
“To start with three league wins on the bounce is great – I think it’s lovely as a record like that because it takes the pressure off.
“I remember not winning for seven games and it was horrible.
“It’s great for the fans, but we’ve got to go up to Wolves now and see if we can perform up there.”
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder:
“We’re going to endure some tough nights, we totally understand that coming into the division after six years out of it, but we haven’t been overrun against players who can hurt you.
“We’ve had two really tough games against Middlesbrough and Cardiff, but we haven’t embarrassed ourselves.
“We competed well enough against the league leaders, we never folded and kept going to the end, but we do need to get better.”
Damour 6.5 (69 mins for Tomlin)
Ward 6 (79 mins for Hoilett)
Halford (89 mins for Zohore)