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

it wasn’t.

“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

that experience.

“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

bottom-right corner.

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

the net.

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

left-wing cross.

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.