Bolton Outclassed By Cardiff
Cardiff City Stadium
Bolton went down 2-0 to Cardiff on what was a thoroughly disappointing night. Both goals were scored by defenders in the shape of Armand Traore and Sean Morrison, they could have had more, and we failed to register a shot on target.
A lot of the pre-match attention was focused on Gary Madine, but in the endhe was absent from proceedings. There was talk of a gentleman`s agreement, but it was probably more to do with the fact he had a broken nose.
Anyway, Cardiff dominated. We had a few chances, but none of them on target, with the only real excitement coming from a few Antonee Robinson forays forward. Ben Alnwick had to make a few good saves, before we eventually relented, and Armand Traore opened the scoring, before Sean Morrison doubled things not long after.
While a defeat was expected, and is no shame, what was poor was the performance, as multiple players didn`t show up. Reece Burke struggled on his first start since returning from West Ham, while the midfield seemed completely absent. While Alnwick had a good game overall, making a few saves to keep us in it, he came off his line on more than one occasion and got it all wrong, and was culpable for a goal.
Burke was indeed pulled off for Wheater at half-time, and although you could argue Cardiff had won the game by then and didn`t have to attack, we looked far more composed and solid. It`s easy to come out and demand why Wheater didn`t start. He`s a player with past injury problems and Phil Parkinson probably didn`t want him to play three full games in eight days, or even four games in 11 looking ahead (and if you have to target a game, it surely has to be Saturday`s trip to QPR rather than last night) - but we were still better for him being on the pitch.
The result leaves us two points above the drop-zone, with two key games coming up in the next week against QPR and Sunderland.