Cardiff City Struggle To 1-0 Win Against Milwall

Hamish Woodward

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Dimitrios Goutas’ late header earned Cardiff City a gritty 1-0 win over Millwall, as the Bluebirds struggled to victory over the London.

After a fantastic run left Cardiff in the hunt for the play-offs, boss Erol Bulut challenged City to “find our winning spirit” to overcome Joe Edward’s side, who sat near the relegation zone before kick off.

The first half was a tough watch, with very little quality from either team on show, and very few chances to speak of. This changed after the half-time break, with Yakou Meite, Duncan Watmore, Zian Flemming and Kevin Nisbet carving open some scoring opportunities for both sides.

It was a tense affair for two sides staring at different ends of the table, with different pressures on each manager. The Bluebirds boss let out of a sigh of relief as centre half Dimitrios Goutas – signed by Bulut this summer – fired home a header in the 78th minute in one of the few good chances of the match to send Cardiff home with the three points.

After the game, Cardiff boss Erol Bulut said:

“When we see the whole game, it wasn’t the best quality game.

“It was an aggressive game. We needed to manage it better, take better passing options [because] we lost a lot of balls.

“It was one of those games where if you score the first goal you win the game. We scored it and got the three points.”

Meanwhile, in-danger Millwall boss Joe Edward’s commented, saying:

“In general the game was poor, lacking in quality from both teams.

“It looked like a bit of a stalemate at times. We just weren’t able to gain any momentum in attack.

“It was a disappointing performance, not for the want of application. We were well organised, but a lack of quality has cost us.”

The scrappy victory for Cardiff City launches the Bluebirds into seventh place in the Championship, only sitting outside the play-offs behind Sunderland on goal difference. They previously lost the last three matches against the Lions, with their last win against Millwall coming in August 2021.

Joe Ralls spoke to the press after the win, saying:

“It certainly wasn’t one for the purists. But it was in tough conditions today, and it was tough to get going, but we got there in the end and that’s the main thing.

“We knew how important this game was off the back of two defeats. All that mattered today was getting the three points and we got there in the end, so we’re buzzing with that.”

“Of course,” said Joe. “The home fans turned up again in their numbers and we didn’t give them a lot to shout about today, but like I said they stuck with us and we got there in the end.

“It was a massive win for us and we take that now into Wednesday, where hopefully we can put in a better performance. All in all, what we care about is winning games, and that’s what we’ve done today, so everyone will be buzzing.

“I think we played into their hands a little bit early on in the game, inviting them onto us a little bit, which got them a little head of steam when we should’ve taken the game to them.

“We’ll look at it in the video room and we’ve got a couple of sessions now before Wednesday, and we’ll be better. It wasn’t our best performance by any means, but after two defeats, all that matters was a win, and we got that so we can be happy.”

Meanwhile, goalscorer Dimitrious Goutas told the local reporters:

“For us, it was very important, the three points. I think in the first half, we were not so good, but the most important thing is the reaction, which we saw on the pitch in the second half.

“It’s very important for us, on our bad days, to take the three points and I’m very happy for my goal also, and for the three points.

“In these kind of games, when the opponent has everybody behind the ball, it’s very difficult to score, but as I said before, in the second half, we showed our character on the pitch.

“We pushed them, we created more opportunities to score and finally, we scored and took the three points.”

“Now, I adapt more, we have more time with my teammates. It is very important when you change team to be more with them on the pitch and I’m very happy that I have adapted.”

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