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Cardiff deny Swansea in goalless south Wales derby

Leandro Bacuna of Cardiff City and Swansea City’s George Byers battle for possession

Cardiff City denied Swansea City a slice of south Wales derby history after the 62nd league meeting of the clubs ended in a goalless draw.

Swansea arrived at the Cardiff City Stadium with a chance to claim the first league double in 108 years of this fixture.

But they had to be content with a share of the spoils in a game which was long on endeavor but short on quality.

The woodwork rattled twice, with Bersant Celina hitting the post for Swansea before Cardiff’s Callum Paterson headed against the bar late on.

But a stalemate was probably the right result on a day when both sides had their moments but neither could conjure the sort of moment of quality required to break the deadlock.

A goal from Ben Wilmot had settled the reverse fixture at the Liberty Stadium in October, though Swansea might have won that game more comfortably having been in control for long periods.

Neil Warnock was in charge of Cardiff at that stage, but it was a different story as Neil Harris sampled this fixture for the first time.

Harris made five changes to the side which started Cardiff’s last league game, a 5-1 mauling at Queens Park Rangers, with goalkeeper Neil Etheridge among those dropped.

Swansea handed a debut to on-loan Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster, whose first act of any note was to pick up a yellow card for a sliding challenge on Lee Tomlin.

Such is the way on derby day when commitment is a minimum requirement.

Both sides were full of desire from the outset and there were chances at both ends.

Celina goes close

It was Swansea who came closest to a first-half goal, with George Byers breaking from halfway to feed Celina.

The Kosovan cut inside on to his right foot and curled a shot beyond Alex Smithies, but was left with head in hands as the ball bounced to safety off the post.

Wayne Routledge volleyed over after Cardiff made a hash of dealing with a throw-in, and the veteran winger saw another effort blocked by Curtis Nelson.

Though Swansea had opportunities, it was Cardiff who was the more menacing side in the first period.

Steve Cooper’s team was guilty of giving the ball away cheaply and as a result, found themselves on the back foot too often for their head coach’s liking.

Robert Glatzel, who had nodded wide early on, saw another header saved by Freddie Woodman.

Nelson then sent a header straight at Swansea’s goalkeeper before Glatzel pulled a shot badly off target when well placed.

There was a mass bout of pushing and shoving after Ben Cabango’s challenge on Glatzel, while Celina was fortunate to escape sanction after an off-the-ball tussle with Sean Morrison.

Moving up the table

After all that, it was Swansea who was happier to be level at the break.

If the start of the second half was a little less frenetic, there was no drop in tension.

Swansea gained a little more control, though it was Cardiff who threatened again as Tomlin lifted a shot over the bar and Junior Hoilett dragged wide from 20 yards.

Brewster then followed suit at the other end before Harris sent on Josh Murphy and Paterson in a bid to pep up his attack.

The changes almost made the difference, as Paterson rose above Wilmot to meet Murphy’s center, but saw his header come back off the bar.

That was to be the last incident of any serious note, the draw lifting Swansea to seventh in the table and Cardiff to 12th.

Cardiff City manager Neil Harris said:

“It was blood and thunder at times. The game had everything.

“The woodwork was hit a couple of times, there was a melee in the middle of the pitch and an electric atmosphere. I really enjoyed it.

“We had to respond to our last league outing against QPR [Cardiff lost 6-1] and I’m really pleased with the clean sheet.”

Source: BBC Sport – Football | NewsColony: Sports News

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