Bluebirds move clear after win

Mark Hudson, Craig Bellamy, Joe Mason and Kim Bo-Kyung were on

target as Cardiff moved four points clear at the top of the

Championship table after a 4-1 win at Blackburn on Friday

night.

Having earlier collected a fifth booking of the season to rule

himself out of City’s next game against Peterborough, captain

Hudson headed the visitors into a 30th minute lead from Craig

Noone’s cross.

Bellamy, who counts Rovers among his vast collection of former

clubs, struck the crossbar towards the end of a first half where

Blackburn produced a woeful 45 minutes – a worryingly familiar

theme of their recent outings.

One of Rovers’ few bright sparks, on-loan Manchester United

forward Josh King, brought them level in the 51st minute, only for

Bellamy to restore Cardiff’s advantage four minutes later.

Substitutes Mason and Kim completed Blackburn’s misery, leaving

Henning Berg to survey a fourth defeat from eight games in charge

that leaves his side 15 points behind the leaders after 21 games

and, perhaps more significantly, four shy of the play-off places

ahead of the weekend fixtures.

The visitors started the brighter and after Jason Lowe’s

yellow-card challenge on Bellamy in the 29th minute and an

associated bout of handbags, Peter Whittingham punted the resulting

free-kick hopefully forward. Rovers could only clear as far as

Noone and his left-footed delivery from the right was planted past

Paul Robinson by Hudson.

As Rovers pressed forward, Bellamy raced clear of a vacant

backline and clipped against the bar.

Kazim-Richards was introduced for Markus Olsson as Berg looked

to spark fresh impetus at the break and the change proved to be

inspiredas the Turkey international controlled a Rhodes’ flick on

and released King to slot under onrushing Cardiff goalkeeper David

Marshall.

Moments later Kazim-Richards saw a rasping 20-yard effort

deflected behind, but no sooner had Blackburn briefly assumed the

ascendancy they were behind once more.

Again a long, hopeful free-kick was not dealt with and Bellamy

finished emphatically after cleverly exchanging headers with

Helguson.

In the 63rd minute Mauro Formica spurned a glorious opportunity

for a second equaliser. Marshall saved magnificently after Etuhu’s

shot deflected off King’s back but, when Rhodes selflessly cut the

loose ball across, the Argentinian attacker should have done far

better than to blaze against the top of the bar with the goal at

his mercy.

Bellamy departed to applause from all sides of the ground and

replacement Mason made the points safe six minutes from time,

catching Grant Hanley flat-footed to slip Helguson’s header on

beyond Robinson.

Fellow replacement Kim then got in on the act, sweeping home

Helguson’s return ball after capitalising on a terrible pass from

Scott Dann that served to sum up Blackburn’s evening.