Kim earns battling point for Cardiff against United
Substitute heads home late equaliser against Premier League champions
Kim Bo-Kyung scores Cardiff City’s late equaliser against Manchester United during the Premier League match at Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff. Photograph: Rebecca Naden/Reuters
Cardiff City 2 Man Utd 2: Manchester United extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches in all competitions but it was Cardiff City who came away happiest with the result, gained in added time by the substitute Kim Bo-kyung.
Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra had given United a 2-1 lead, but Cardiff were competitive throughout, and had their reward when Kim, on as substitute, headed home Peter Whittingham’s free-kick at close range. The Welsh team’s other scorer was Fraizer Campbell, playing against his old club.
Rooney should probably have been sent off before he scored. In the seventh minute he kicked Jordon Mutch from behind and was fortunate indeed to escape with only a yellow card.
United were without their most commanding defender, Nemanja Vidic, and leading scorer Robin Van Persie, both injured, and were never at their best.
No player in the league has made more defensive blocks than Steven Caulker, and he was soon at it again as United assembled an assertive start that was rewarded in the 15th minute by the opening goal. It was something of a gift from Caulker’s centre back partner, Ben Turner, who passed the ball straight to Antonio Valencia. The winger’s cross, from the right, was transferred by Javier Hernández to Rooney, whose shot from 12 yards was inadvertently helped in by Gary Medel’s last-ditch intervention.
Conceding represented a major problem to Cardiff, who average less than a goal per game. Nevertheless they were level again in the 33rd minute, when Mutch’s through pass enabled Campbell to evade Johnny Evans before shooting accurately into the far corner, from right to left.
Two minutes later he was back, shooting over on the turn. The goal breathed confidence into Cardiff and they were coming nicely into it, but in the 45th minute they were rocked back on their heels again when Rooney’s corner from the left was headed home close in at the near post by Evra, whose marker, Medel, had gone awol.
It took a top-notch save from Scotland’s David Marshall to repel a backheader from Marouane Fellaini early in the second half, but Cardiff were still very much in contention and in the 54th minute Campbell was desperately unlucky when his clever chip beat David De Gea, only to hit the crossbar at its junction with the goalkeeper’s right-hand post.
Seeking an injection of pace, Cardiff introduced Craig Noone for his Premier League debut on the left wing, in place of Peter Odemwingie, and he made an immediate impact, going past Evra, who fouled him.
United brought on Ryan Giggs in the 73rd minute, and the Welsh international veteran, back in the city of his birth, was greeted by a storm of partisan booing.
Danny Welbeck, also on as substitute, threatened to widen the margin late on, but the last word belonged to Kim and Cardiff.