Over half a century since Cardiff last played in England’s top flight, a triumphant debut in the Premier League was not in the cards last weekend with a 2-0 loss away at West Ham. Their second match in the Premier League was not going to be any more welcoming as they would face off against Manchester City on Sunday. Oddsmakers had Cardiff City in the loss column. Hell, practically everyone, including most Cardiff supporters had pegged the Bluebirds to go down. But this was going to be at Cardiff City Stadium – and 51 years of pent up energy burst into an electric upset of one of the world’s richest teams.
After conceding the first goal to Man City, Kim Bo-Kyung, playing a central midfield role, weaved in and out, dodging multiple defenders, and with technical brilliance, worked his way to the right of Joe Hart, a short pinpoint cross to Frazier Campbell to score. Only, Campbell didn’t score -his quick footed shot bounced off Hart. Fortunately Aron Gunnarsson swept up the rebound -knocking it into the back of the net. The entire Cardiff City Stadium, already having established a euphoric atmosphere, simply exploded into pandemonium.
Most probably would be fine with a hard earned draw with Manchester City. Cardiff dared to dream a bit – and 2 corner kicks and subsequent Frazier Campbell headers later, a hard-to-be-credible dream turned into reality (Kimbo’s work set up the corner for Campbell’s go ahead game winner). Cardiff City wasn’t just going to be fighting for Premier League survival as a newbie waiting to be hazed by the big boys – they were going to be kicking ass and taking names.
Hats off to Kim -solid game, great tenacity on the ball, linked well with teammates, finesse on his touches, his performance got a lot of attention, including Rio Ferdinand, who tweeted:
Told ya, the boy Kim is a player….1-1
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) August 25, 2013
Hats off to the rest of the Bluebirds -in red uniforms on the pitch -despite the fact most of the supporters turned up in blue (see my musing in the New York Times Goals for background info). 3 points earned against Manchester City today: Bluebird Army indeed. Here’s a recap of Kim’s performance (note – an odd video but it does the trick):
Before we get to the overall Roundup, first – Jae Chee just started the Tavern’s first poll! Go there first- do your duty and vote- then return promptly here.
We should note Ki Sung-Yeung was physically present at White Hart Lane for Swansea’s 0-1 defeat by Tottenham -only he was reportedly with Swansea’s media team -and not in the 18 man squad. It gives further evidence that Ki’s time with Swansea, despite all the good times and a League Cup trophy last season, may be at a close. New rumours link him to Everton. We know Sunderland already has been in the hunt for Ki’s services. Or is this falling out with Ladrup a temporary spell? We’ll likely know the conclusion before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.
Other than Park Ji-Sung‘s timely goal for PSV Eindhoven (an emphatic ‘fuck you’ to Harry Redknapp and other detractors) last Saturday, Ji Dong-Won‘s 45 minute 2nd half appearance for Sunderland in a match against Southampden has Tavern goers wondering: what’s in Paulo Di Canio’s head? Last weekend was the first time Ji had been trotted out on the pitch in Blackcats uniform in over a season (last January he was loaned out to Augsburg, helping them survive afloat in the Bundesliga with several crucial goals for them). This time he’s out there for the full 45 minutes of the 2nd half – subbing in for Sessegnon. With some exceptions, his overall performance was fairly decent – his through ball for Jozy Altidore was textbook perfect -but despite being 1 on 1 with the keeper- Jozy shot was denied. Ji gave Adam Johnson an opportunity – he also did not deliver – shooting high above the crossbar. Ji also got his chance early on to extend a 1-0 lead – but his center box shot was blocked. A late goal conceded denied the Blackcats 3 full points and they settled for a miserly 1-1 draw. Will Ji stay or will Paulo let him go? If he stays- will he get his chance to play? Time to press play on some old Clash CDs via my aging boombox to settle my transfer deadline nerves.
Roundup in Europe:
Sunderland F Ji Dong-Won: 45 minutes+ in 1-1 draw at Southampton
Cardiff City MF Kim Bo-Kyung: 90 minutes in a 3-2 victory over Manchester City
Swansea MF Ki Sung-Yeung: not in the 18 for 0-1 loss at Tottenham
Bolton MF Lee Chung-Yong: 90 minutes in 1-0 loss to QPR
QPR D Yun Suk-Young: in the 18 man squad, didn’t play in 0-1 win at Bolton
Mainz D Park Joo-Ho: 90 for 2-0 victory over Wolfsburg *Note ESPN FC doesn’t have listed Park Joo-Ho. Get with it ESPN FC!
Wolfsburg MF Koo Ja-Cheol: 69 minutes in 0-2 loss at Mainz
Bayer Leverkusen F Son Heung-Min: 88 minutes in 4-2 win over Borussia M’Gladbach
PSV Eindhover MF Park Ji-Sung: 24 minutes in 1-1 draw at SC Heracles Almelo [Scored Goal]
Almeria F Kim Young-Kiu: in 18 man squad, didn’t play in 2-2 draw at Getafe