Toulouse held by battling Bastia
Cardiff manager Malky Mackay lavished praise on Craig Bellamy
and Heidar Helguson after the veteran duo inspired the Championship
leaders to a resounding 4-1 win over Blackburn at Ewood Park.
Bellamy scored Cardiff’s second, while Helguson provided late
assists for Lee Mason and Kim Bo-Kyung as the Bluebirds made it
five wins in six unbeaten games.
Mackay said: “You can’t treat everyone exactly the same in terms
of how we train them.
“The 19 and 20-year-olds are trained slightly differently to the
34 and 35-year-olds – I wish it had been like that in my time but
“Craig and Heidar will have a day during the week where they’ll
go to the pool and do some stretching and not go out on the grass
but come 7.45pm on a midweek night and 3pm on a Saturday they show
“Craig’s been out for four weeks this season with a swollen
ankle and a couple of weeks with a knock to his knee but I want
“He shows it every day in training. He wants to train every day
and I have to pull him back and say ‘no, you’re going to the pool
“The work that him and Heidar did for the second goal was
incredible – he flicks it on to Heidar, Heidar flicks it back to
him and he puts a magnificent finish in.
“They’ve both got their heart on their sleeves and that’s what I
The Spain striker has been linked with a move away from Sevilla,
with president Jose Maria Del Nido warning players may have to be
sold to make up for a deficit in the cash-strapped club
But the 27-year-old proved his worth by coming off bench in the
65th minute, having missed the previous three games with a
hamstring problem, and converting a Coke cross to silence the
Estadi Cornella-El Prat.
The draw represented a huge opportunity missed for the Catalan
side, who led twice through Joan Verdu’s early penalty and Simao’s
header after an hour and were a man up from the 39th minute
following the dismissal of Jose Antonio Reyes.
Ivan Rakitic’s penalty midway through the first half made it 1-1
at the break, but it was Negredo’s last-gasp leveller which really
hurt the hosts, denying them the chance to move out of the bottom
Espanyol had their goalkeeper Cristian Alvarez to thank for
preventing them falling behind after only five minutes as he
produced a fine parry to keep out Emir Spahic’s angled shot from
the right side of the area.
And the hosts went in front after 13 minutes when Fernando
Navarro fouled Verdu in the area and the midfielder took full
advantage by coolly placing the penalty low down the middle.
The lead lasted just 11 minutes, though, as Espanyol handed
their opponents a penalty of their own.
Christian Stuani was adjudged to have fouled Baba Diawara at a
free-kick and Rakitic sent the resulting spot-kick into the
But, just when it looked as though the momentum had swung in the
visitors’ favour, they shot themselves in the foot.
Reyes was sent off after being shown his second yellow card in
the space of seven minutes.
Espanyol appeared to sense this was an opportunity they could
not afford to pass up and Verdu volleyed weakly wide from inside
the area soon after the restart.
But they went back in front on the hour mark as 5ft 7in Simao
headed an inswinging Wakaso Mubarak corner from the right low into
At the other end Alvarez had to save with his feet to keep out a
fierce Rakitic effort.
But, just as it looked as though they would hold on for victory,
Coke crossed from the right and Negredo – on for Diawara – powered
a header high into the net.
Before the match, Toulouse coach Alain Casanova stated his
belief that his team do not impose their game enough on their
opponents and on Friday night they failed to make the
Bastia also came close to scoring but a draw did little for
either side with the rest of the teams yet to play this
It was the visitors who started well, Anthony Modeste holding
off Jonathan Zebina before unleashing a shot only for Steeve Yago
to block the ball out for a corner.
Then it was Toulouse’s turn. Pavle Ninkov’s first-time shot was
blocked, as was his follow-up, before Moussa Sissoko fired
Wissam Ben Yedder then squandered a good chance for the hosts,
controlling Zebina’s ball before blazing over.
Modeste’s shot from a tight angle was gathered by Ali Ahamada on
his line before the hosts threatened again, Sissoko controlling
Adrien Regattin’s pass and switching the ball on to his left and
firing a shot from the edge of the area inches wide.
The game continued apace after the break with Francois Sireix
inches from heading Toulouse into the lead from Franck Tabanou’s
Bastia then had a couple of attacks in quick succession.
Modeste’s powerful low shot from Tofilu Maoulida’s pull-back
forced Ahamada into an excellent reflex save before the goalkeeper
then pushed away Florian Thauvin’s awkward effort.
With 10 minutes left Tabanou curled a left-footed free-kick from
25 yards which shaved the top-left corner of the goal, but the game
concluded without a goal.