Cardiff City 0-2 West Ham United FT




Final score - Cardiff City 0-2 West Ham United

95: It's all over! Fantastic result. The ten men prevail in Wales! The defensive resilience was something special, before and after Tomkins' red card. It was a game of fine margins, but West Ham had the greater quality - and fortune - when it mattered. In the first half, both sides hit the post before Cole expertly steered West Ham in front. Then, it was a defensive display capped by Adrian's outstanding handling. His first Premier League clean sheet and victory and fully deserved. At the end, it was Carroll's quality that created the clincher for Noble. That's our first away win since Spurs back in October and lifts us out of the bottom three. A massive boost of confidence ahead of next week's visit of Newcastle United to the Boleyn. Thanks for joining us! And a massive thanks to the 1,800-odd who travelled to Wales at the end of a difficult week. This win is for them all. Come on you Irons!

93: GOAL! NOBLE! How good was that by Carroll! He controls Adrian's long clearance with a cushioned pass for Noble. He lays off for Downing, who lofts the ball down the right for Carroll. He looks up, squares for Noble, who steadies himself and drives a low shot to Marshall's right and into the net! Massive celebrations from the players and travelling fans!

93: That'll do. The cross comes in from the right and Cornelius powers a header well wide.

91: Johnson wins the header and hacks out for a throw. Cardiff keep the pressure on and Kim volleys straight into the arms of Adrian from 25 yards. He holds on.

90: Bellamy skips past Diarra and the Frenchman trips him. Diarra is booked. No complaints. Free-kick 35 yards out. We'll have FOUR added minutes.

89: Great stuff. Carroll runs onto Noble's pass and beats his man superbly. He stands up the cross and Taylor flings himself at it ahead of Theophile-Catherine. No foul, but the ball hits a defender and goes out for a corner. West Ham take it short. They don't have a man in the box at all! Carroll concedes a goal kick.

88: How is that not a booking? Adrian collects a bouncing ball and slides on the turf to prevent himself going outside the penalty area. Noone kicks the ball out from Adrian's hands! Free-kick, but only a free-kick.

86: Another Noone cross, headed out and Downing clears. Carroll tries to hold it up, but is crowded out. Moments later, Noone cuts back for Eikrem, who takes a shot from 22 yards straight at Adrian.

84: Noone crosses and the ball is cleared as far as Bellamy, whose shot is blocked by Noble superbly. It finally spins away for a corner. The kick is taken short and Bellamy crosses low. A hacked clearance, then the ball is hooked back into the box and Adrian can allow it to bounce away for a goal kick.

83: Carroll does well to turn and loft the ball into space for Noble. He holds play up, then McCartney supports, but gives away a throw-in after his pass to Downing had been cut out.

82: Bellamy shoots from distance. The ball skips off the turf and Adrian catches assuredly. Good hands from the Spaniard.

80: The game is being played almost exclusively in the West Ham half. The Hammers are going to have to work immensely hard to keep their hosts at bay. John crosses and Adrian makes a superb catch under pressure from Kim and Cornelius. The Dane fouls the goalkeeper. Free-kick.

78: Bellamy is trying his best here. He runs forward, plays a give-and-go and shoots. The ball dips wide. Before the re-start, striker Andreas Cornelius replaces centre-back Hudson.

78: It's going to be a LONG final 15 minutes or so. I'm sure we'll have at least four added minutes, but that seems a long way off at present. Cardiff probing...

75: Diarra replaces Collison. The No10 applauds the away supporters as he makes his way off. Diarra to centre-back. It's 4-4-1 with Taylor and Noble in central midfield, Downing wide right and Jarvis wide left. Carroll is going to need to put a shift in here.

74: The free-kick is cleared by Taylor. Diarra will be on soon. Taylor is at left-back at present with Johnson in the middle alongside Rat.

72: You cannot make this up. Tomkins lets the ball bounce, Campbell nips in, Tomkins kicks the forward in the face and is shown his second yellow card. He's sent-off.

71: Bellamy curls up, over the wall, down...and a foot wide of the post. Carroll replaces Cole. A welcome sight for all Hammers and an ovation for Cole as he wanders off.

70: Seriously. West Ham give the ball away after intercepting it, then Johnson slides in and concedes a foul 25 yards out with an ill-advised lunge on Campbell. Yellow card. Danger...

69: A pressure-relieving free-kick as Tomkins is fouled by Campbell. Carroll is called back to the bench as Cole is penalised for a push.

68: Downing races onto Collison's pass. He checks outside John and crosses left-footed towards Collison, who spins and fires a rising shot over the crossbar.

67: The home side are having all of the ball. A cross from the right from Theophile-Catherine is headed behind by McCartney superbly at the far post. Bellamy takes the corner, Adrian comes and doesn't get there, but Caulker heads wide. West Ham simply need to keep the ball and relieve the pressure. A second goal wouldn't go amiss...

65: Cardiff bring on new boy Eikrem for Medel in central midfield.

64: West Ham intercept on the edge of their own box and Taylor finds Jarvis in space on the left. He runs at his man, cuts inside and fires a low shot wide of the far post. Carroll is warming up on the touchline.

63: West Ham really need a period of possession because they won't be able to hold out forever. Another chance comes and goes as Whittingham shoots, Johnson gets a touch and Adrian collects. This cannot go on.

62: Noone's delivery goes behind for a goal kick. We can all draw breath.

61: Cardiff are properly knocking on the door. Tomkins should clear, but allows Campbell to get in front of him. The No5 fouls the striker and is booked for either that or his reaction, which is to berate the assistant.

60: Another Cardiff attack. Whittingham collects and shoots but it deflects and is a routine catch for Adrian. The earlier save was even better as a replay showed Campbell's shot got a slight deflection.

58: Cardiff are really pushing. Adrian makes a fantastic save as Bellamy cuts back and Campbell shoots first-time, tipping over the bar for a corner. From that, the ball is somehow scrambled away and Downing heads out for another corner. This time Hudson wants a penalty, but nothing is given.

57: A hush descends again as Medel ends a move by seeing his shot blocked wide by Collison. Corner. Bellamy takes and Campbell goes to ground. He wants a penalty for being held by McCartney. Nothing given.

56: The West Ham fans are singing their hearts out. We've had a bit of 'Miklosko' and now we're being treated to 'We all follow the West Ham'.

55: West Ham have a goal kick. Hudson stretches and heads a long free-kick wide. It's been so frantic and incident-packed.

53: Incisive stuff. Downing into Cole, lay-off to Noble, who lofts a pass over the top for Jarvis to chase. He controls on his chest and then fires the shot wide of the left-hand post. Decent flowing move.

51: It all goes a bit quiet as Cardiff probe for an opening. Noone tries to cross and the ball hits McCartney on the shoulder or upper arm. It wasn't handball, but the home fans want a penalty. Mr Mason gives nothing. West Ham break, but Collison's clipped ball is too strong for Cole. He wins a throw, but the cross is straight into the hands of Marshall.

50: McCartney is booked for sliding in late on Noone on halfway.

49: Close to an own-goal! Noble wins the ball back, Taylor crosses and Hudson goes close at the other end, poking the ball a couple of yards wide. Downing's corner is too short and headed clear.

48: It's a fantastic chance wasted by Hudson, who escapes his marker and flicks a header wide. He was in acres of space. Looks like the offside trap broke down there from the set piece.

47: Tomkins catches Kim as he tries to nick the ball away from the Korean. Bellamy to take the free-kick 35 yards out.

46: The game is back underway. Cardiff kick-off.

Craig Bellamy is on for Odemwingie at the break.

I can update you with regard to Guy Demel's condition. He has been taken to a local hospital for assessment with a suspected head injury.

Half-time score - Cardiff City 0-1 West Ham United

56: That's half-time. Cole's 42nd-minute goal gives West Ham the advantage but everyone's concerns are naturally with Demel, who was stretchered off early on after being caught by a stray arm from team-mate Johnson as he challenged Campbell. We will try to get an official update for you at the break. Action-wise, Cardiff came within six inches of going in front when Kim's deflected shot came down onto the line off the underside of the crossbar. Small margins, and all that. West Ham also hit the woodwork very early on when Downing's cross bounced up and hit the far post. Join us again in a short while for the second half.

55: That's a bit silly. Taylor catches Medel accidentally with a high boot. The Chilean doesn't like it and remonstrates with Taylor. He is booked for his reaction. The home fans are not impressed at all.

53: Another Jarvis cross from the left is headed out but not properly cleared. Taylor cleverly back-heads to Downing, then collects again before shooting over the top from about 30 yards. Worth a pop, I suppose.

51: West Ham have a corner after efforts from Jarvis and Cole are cut out. Jarvis to take the corner. The ball is cleared back to Jarvis, whose cross is collected by Downing. He crosses and Johnson tries to send a looping header into the top corner. It doesn't have the direction and Marshall catches. He might have been better heading that down as he had support.

49: Another nervous moment as Theophile-Catherine's cross is allowed to bounce. McCartney elects to chest and control before clearing, but Noone closes him down. The No3 wins the tackle and West Ham clear amid penalty claims. It wasn't a penalty.

48: West Ham are creaking a bit. John tries a one-two with Whittingham and Downing puts in a challenge that just about puts off the left-back. McCartney clears for a throw on the far side.

46: We will have TEN added minutes. I should add that we have no official update on Guy Demel's injuries. We'll do our best to speak to the medical staff at half-time.

45: Cardiff build patiently before Theophile-Catherine collects on the byline and Taylor heads his cross behind. The corner comes over and is cleared by Tomkins. Noble volleys upfield and is caught by corner-taker Noone.

43: Inches from a second as Taylor shoots and his right-foot effort just eludes the same corner. So close! Head in hands from Taylor. The home fans are agitated.

42: GOAL! COLE! Cardiff fail to clear properly after Cole had initially been denied after going clear. Taylor clips the ball over John for Jarvis, who has popped up on the right. He crosses first-time and Cole finishes smartly and high into the net from eight yards!

40: Adrian makes a save, diving low to his left to parry after Noone had collected a pass from Campbell on the left of the penalty area. West Ham win it back and break.

38: We probably still have 15 minutes to play here. Tomkins lifts the ball forward and Theophile-Catherine rises with Jarvis and concedes a throw. He catches Jarvis with his arm. Slight delay before Cole mis-controls the throw-in.

36: That was bang on the line from Kim's effort. I've just seen a replay.

35: That's got things going. A few wholehearted tackles lead to Taylor getting in behind. He crosses and it's blocked behind for another corner. Noble to take. Johnson rises and heads wide of the far post. This is on a knife-edge.

32: Wow! Kim shoots from 25 yards as Johnson backs off and the ball hits the defender, loops over Adrian and bounces down off the underside of the crossbar. It's RIGHT on the line. Campbell follows up and pushes Adrian into the net as he catches. Foul. It looked in, but it clearly wasn't as the Goal Decision System would have awarded it. It was mighty close though!

31: Cardiff go close again. Campbell heads Noone's cross over from eight yards. More worrying was the fact nobody tracked Kim's run into the box and the Korean was completely unmarked had Noone spotted him. A let-off.

30: Caulker comes forward into space and finds Odemwingie on the right. He crosses first-time ane McCartney goes safety-first and heads behind. Corner. Cole heads clear, Jarvis collects and finds Downing, who leads a counter which ends with Collison's ball for Rat being cut out.

27: Rat finds Taylor in space on the edge of the box. He lays back to Jarvis, who beats his full-back and crosses. The ball is headed out to the edge of the D, where Noble stretches and fires wide under pressure from Kim. Cardiff look so nervous.

25: Odemwingie jinks past Noble and then Rat before cutting back for Campbell at the far post. McCartney shuts down the space quickly and blocks the shot behind. The corner comes over and Hudson heads over the top from 12 yards.

24: Tactically, Johnson is playing as the right centre-back, with Tomkins to his left. McCartney is at right-back. I'd love to know how many different back fours we have put out this season.

22: Cole helps the ball on from Johnson's header and Downing forces John to concede another throw. It comes to nothing, but Downing is definitely worrying the Cardiff left-back.

21: A minor to-do as the referee tries to decide which side should start with possession. In the end, we have an old-fashioned drop ball, which Cardiff win. Cheers from the home fans. A Cardiff player knocks his pass straight into touch. Cheers from the visiting fans.

19: Unbelievable scenes. McCartney goes in and wins a strong header above Campbell and falls awkwardly. Both men are down. The physios race on again. This time, both men are thankfully back to their feet quickly. McCartney landed on his shoulder, while Campbell is feeling his back. I would say both are going to be OK to continue, though. That could have been nasty.

17: Demel is wheeled across the pitch and down the tunnel to warm applause. McCartney is on and Adrian re-starts with a goal kick. We'll of course get you an update on Guy's condition as and when it is appropriate to do so.

16: A number of West Ham players have gone over to check on their team-mate now. Rat, Cole, Taylor and Tomkins are there to give support to Demel. The players and fans of both sides applaud as Demel is lifted onto a stretcher.

15: We are going to have a lot of added time, but of course the only concern at present is for Demel, who has been fitted with a neck brace. Of course, that will be a precaution whenever anyone goes down with a head or neck injury in the way Demel did a few moments ago.

The players keep warm while Guy Demel receives treatment

13: Demel still has to be lifted onto the stretcher. He is being placed on a backboard as I type. Campbell and Adrian are over there, but the remaining players are trying to keep warm. We will re-start with a West Ham goal kick, but not just yet.

10: The club doctor and a number of medical staff are tending to Demel, who is being placed on a stretcher. McCartney will be on, but it could be a fair while until we re-start.

8: Cardiff come close. First, the cross the left flashes over the six-yard box and eludes Campbell. The cross comes in from the right from Noone and Johnson accidentally elbows Demel in the face. Cardiff want a penalty for a push by Demel on Campbell. Nothing given. Demel is lying flat on his back. The stretcher is being taken over to the Ivorian. McCartney could be on at right-back here.

7: West Ham have started brightly, but they need a goal to go with this pressure. As it is, Cardiff are now enjoying a spell of possession.

5: Another corner as Jarvis crosses and Theophile-Catherine heads behind. It produces another scramble and Caulker slices behind again for another corner. It's cleared out to Noble, who finds Downing. He elects to try and beat his man but runs the ball out for a goal kick.

4: West Ham hit the post! Downing's initial corner is cleared. Noble finds Downing again and his cross is a wicked in-swinger that eludes everyone and bounces up and hits the upright! Tomkins is there to collect the loose ball but Marshall is out to smother his effort and Cardiff escape.

3: John is forced to head behind for a corner as Downing chases Noble's lobbed pass.

2: West Ham have started fairly well here. Demel delivers a cross which is cleared. Rat crosses and that's cleared but Taylor chests the ball to Noble, who is fouled by Kim 40 yards out. Noble floats the free-kick to the far post, where Tomkins rises but can only glance the header out for a goal kick.

3pm - We're off...

2.58pm - Roger Johnson gets a round of applause from the Cardiff fans. He was Player of the Year here in 2008 and 2009. West Ham will kick-off through Downing and Collison...

2.57pm - After the handshakes, new Cardiff manager Solskjaer takes the microphone and introduces himself to the home faithful. Nice touch. He wants a Cardiff win. I don't.

2.55pm - The crowd applaud after the Welsh marching song 'Men of Harlech' is played over the PA system. Here come the teams...

2.52pm - It's a big day for Solksjaer, who manages at home and in the Barclays Premier League for the first time. Not that it has any relevance, by the Baby Faced Assassin scored seven goals for Manchester United against the Hammers, as many as he did against any top-flight club. To counter that, West Ham have won their last five games against Cardiff. The Hammers are in the tunnel.

2.50pm - The Claret and Blue Army have taken their seats in the stand over to my right. There are just shy of 2,000 West Ham fans here this afternoon. Loyal support as always. Speaking to fans on the train on the way down, you have to admire them for their support. It's been a long and expensive week for many and, fingers crossed, they will be rewarded with a point at least this afternoon.

Andy Carroll

Russell Brand warms-up for today's game...

2.30pm - Click on the FACEBOOK link above for dozens of exclusive images from the Cardiff City Stadium!

2.15pm - You can watch Jack Collison's exclusive pre-match interview for free on our YouTube channel in about ten minutes' time. The Wales international loves it down here, having scored both goals in our 2-0 Championship Play-Off semi-final first-leg win here in May 2012.

2.05pm - The team news is in. Andy Carroll returns to the bench for the first time this season. James Tomkins starts, as does Razvan Rat, Jack Collison, Matt Jarvis, Carlton Cole and league debutant Roger Johnson. Five changes to the side which lost at Manchester City, with McCartney, the injured O'Brien, Diame, Joe Cole and Maiga dropping out. For Cardiff, McNaughton, Gunnarsson, Turner, Cowie and Cornelius are out, with Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Medel, Noone and Campbell in.

West Ham United: Adrian, Demel, Rat, Tomkins, Johnson, Noble (c), Collison, Taylor, Downing, Jarvis, C.Cole
Subs: Jaaskelainen, McCartney, Diarra, Diame, J.Cole, Maiga, Carroll

Cardiff City: Marshall, Theophile-Catherine, John, Caulker, Hudson (c), Kim, Medel, Whittingham, Noone, Odemwingie, Campbell
Subs: Lewis, Turner, Eikrem, Cornelius, Gunnarsson, McNaughton, Bellamy

Good afternoon and welcome to Wales!

West Ham United take on Championship title winners Cardiff City today and, without beating around the bush, this is undoubtedly a huge game for both clubs.

For Sam Allardyce's Hammers, three points are vital to their survival hopes, while Cardiff will be marking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first home game in charge of the Bluebirds. The Norwegian kicked-off his management career in English football with a 2-1 FA Cup third-round win at Newcastle United last weekend.

West Ham have endured a difficult week during which they have suffered an FA Cup third-round exit at Nottingham Forest and a 6-0 Capital One Cup semi-final first-leg humbling at Manchester City.

But those results are in the past and Big Sam and his squad - which today includes Andy Carroll for the first time this season following the centre forward's long-term foot injury and a fit-again James Tomkins - will be going into an important game determined to gain a confidence-boosting victory.

If West Ham win and Crystal Palace fail to win at Tottenham Hotspur today, then the Hammers will climb out of the bottom three, which is definitely within the realms of possibility. Elsewhere, a draw between Fulham and Sunderland at Craven Cottage would not go amiss either!

To give West Ham fans further encouragement, the Hammers have won their previous five meetings with Cardiff, including three victories during the 2011/12 Championship promotion season and two already this term - a 2-0 opening-day win in the Barclays Premier League and a 3-2 Capital One Cup third-round win at the Boleyn Ground.

Cardiff have won just three of their ten home league matches so far, scoring just ten goals. In their most-recent home league fixture - Malky Mackay's final Cardiff City Stadium game in charge - the Bluebirds threw away a two-goal lead to Sunderland in the final ten minutes.

Team news-wise, Big Sam will be delighted to welcome Carroll and Tomkins back to his squad, meaning just Winston Reid (ankle), James Collins (calf) and Joey O'Brien (leg) are absent today through injury. Captain Kevin Nolan serves the third match of his four-game ban for being sent-off at Fulham on New Year's Day. Loanee Roger Johnson is set to make his league debut for the club alongside Tomkins, but the game has come too soon for Ricardo Vaz Te, who featured for the Development Squad on Friday night following three months out with a dislocated shoulder.

Solskjaer has already been active in the January transfer window and could hand a debut to compatriot Magnus Wolff Eikrem, who won the Norwegian title with his new manager at Molde and joined from Dutch side Heerenveen in the week. Former Hammers striker Craig Bellamy is available again after missing two months with a knee injury.

We will have the team news confirmed at 2pm, but in the meantime you can enter our matchday Twitter #WHULINEUP and #WHUGOAL competitions. You could win some signed memorabilia!