Belfast Telegraph

Cardiff give their survival quest a real boost

Brighton 0 Cardiff City 2

Net gains: Sean Morrison
Net gains: Sean Morrison

By Ed Elliott

Cardiff boosted their hopes of a Premier League great escape with a vital 2-0 victory which increases the relegation fears of fellow strugglers Brighton.

Goals either side of half-time from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Sean Morrison moved the 18th-placed Bluebirds to within two points of the Seagulls.

Toothless Brighton, who have managed just two top-flight goals at the Amex Stadium in 2019, once again struggled to create as they suffered a fourth successive league loss.

Glenn Murray headed against the woodwork in stoppage time but the Seagulls offered little in attack and remain anxiously looking over their shoulders.

With title-chasing Liverpool and Manchester United still to come, anything but a win on the south coast would have left the visitors with an improbable chance of avoiding an immediate return to the Championship.

Bluebirds manager Neil Warnock reacted to Saturday's defeat at Burnley by making three changes, including recalling attacking duo Mendez-Laing and Oumar Niasse.

That decision was rewarded within 22 minutes as Mendez-Laing drove forward on the counter-attack, exchanged passes with Junior Hoilett and proceeded to curl a superb strike into the top right corner from 20 yards.

Referee Andre Marriner then waved away Brighton penalty appeals when Lewis Dunk appeared to be wrestled to the ground by Bruno Ecuele Manga after a Pascal Gross free-kick.

Cardiff secured victory five minutes after the restart when Victor Camarasa delivered a free-kick deep into the Albion area where Morrison headed home.

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