Cardiff twice hit the woodwork in a goalmouth scramble before Sol Bamba’s 90th-minute winner, but Brighton argued the goal was offside. Cardiff City moved out of the bottom three thanks to a dramatic last-minute winner against 10-man Brighton.
Callum Paterson had headed the Bluebirds level after Lewis Dunk’s early opener before Dale Stephens’ straight red card for a lunge at Greg Cunningham altered the contest. This was the Bluebirds’ second win of the season as Brighton surrendered a winning position for the first time this season.
Century up for Warnock
On his 100th game in charge of the Bluebirds, veteran boss Warnock made clear that he did not consider the visit of Brighton a “must-win” game. Cardiff have played all of the Premier League’s top five in their opening 11 fixtures back in the top flight and was beaten by Leicester City last weekend.
A home contest with Brighton seemed to be an opportunity for Cardiff to change their fortunes, but they continued an unfortunate trend of conceding early to give themselves a tough task. Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool and now Brighton have all scored against the Bluebirds inside the opening 11 minutes this season.
Already criticised by their manager for conceding “sloppy goals“, Cardiff surrendered the advantage to Brighton within six minutes and in the simplest of manners, the eighth time in 12 league games this term they have conceded first.
The goal was a well-delivered set-piece; a free-kick from Solly March headed home emphatically by Dunk who lost his marker Bamba with ease.
It was a fitting response from Dunk to the news he has been called up by England manager Gareth Southgate. Brighton could have extended their lead when it was still 11 versus 11, but Glenn Murray’s snap shot was held by Neil Etheridge as Cardiff looked to respond.
The Bluebirds received a slice of luck with their equaliser, with Kadeem Harris’ powerful run resulting in a cross that deflected off Gaetan Bong and perfectly into the path of Paterson, who nodded home to level.
This was the first time this season that Brighton have given up an advantage from a winning position, leaving Manchester City as the Premier League’s only side who have yet to surrender a lead.
Stephens sees red to boost Bluebirds
Albion won all of their league fixtures in October 1-0 against Wolves, Newcastle and Southampton.
However, after conceding an equaliser and a contentious red card, the match then spun in Cardiff’s favour in the 33rd minute. Stephens lunged at Cardiff defender Cunningham. Contact was minimal, but the velocity of the tackle prompted Martin Atkinson to show a straight red card.
Brighton then battled to hold on as Victor Camarasa twice tested Mat Ryan, and it appeared the Bluebirds would be denied before their dramatic winner in the last minute of normal time. Bamba created chaos in the penalty area with a bicycle kick that struck the post, with Ryan brilliantly tipping Paterson’s rebound onto the crossbar.
However, Bamba reacted quickest, blasting home to earn Cardiff a vital win.
Man of the match – Kadeem Harris
After the international break, Cardiff travel to Everton before hosting Wolves. Brighton will host Leicester in two weeks before travelling to Huddersfield.