It was a feisty and controversial affair as Cardiff City hosted Chelsea who were looking to solidify their top four berth and get back to Champions League football next season. After a drab and scrappy first half, it was Cardiff’s Victor Camarasa who broke the deadlock and handed the Bluebirds a crucial lead in their battle against relegation.

However, just when it was looking like a famous win for the hosts Cesar Azpilicueta equalised on the 84th minute from an offside position. To Chelsea and Maurizio Sarri’s surprise, the goal stood as the linesman failed to identify a clear offside.

Things went bad to worse when substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek scored right at the dying moments of the game to steal all three points from the Bluebirds. Cardiff boss Neil Warnock slammed the referees for their poor decision as this could lead to serious consequences in the Premier League especially it can also have a huge effect on relegation battle.

3. Cardiff City showed genuine intent to churn out a positive result

The Bluebirds started the second half brilliantly as Arter’s cross via Aron Gunnarsson’s long throw was cleared back to the Icelandic midfielder. With Victor Camarasa reaching the low ball and calmly slotted it past Kepa on the volley from near about 15 yards scoring his fifth goal of the season.

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The Bluebirds kept on attacking as Chelsea lacked substance and the away fans jeer Maurizio Sarri and his tactics throughout the match. It was more likely that the hosts will increase their lead and kill the game, but Cardiff did squander some chances for which they eventually paid. But Neil Warnock’s men were daunting with the second half determination at the beginning and will hope to keep that spirit alive in their Premier League survival fight.

2. Controversial offside call, as Chelsea fans unhappy with Sarri again

It was very drab, scrappy and poor outing from the Blues as Maurizio Sarri decided to rest Eden Hazard and hence the rest of the team also seemed to on rest. The Italian failed to inject any pace and energy to the ranks as the team looked out of ideas against the hosts and even more after conceding the goal early in the second half.

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With Chelsea trailing by a goal, the away fans kept on jeering Maurizio Sarri and even hurled abuses and threaten him to leave the club. There were derogatory chants indicating Sarri’s incompetent system of play- Sarriball. The former Napoli man has not shown any promise from his Italian days to the transition to the Premier League and here in London, he seems like a fish out of the water- a man out of ideas. However, Ceasar Azilicueta scored but from an offside position and the goal should not have stood but the linesman failed to judge it clearly which resulted in the lucky equaliser for Chelsea. Cardiff boss Neil Warnock showed his wrath against the referees, as the decision can affect a lot of things to follow, one of which is Cardiff’s relegation battle.

1. Timely Substitutions make the difference for the Blues

Eden Hazard who was rested for this fixture was summoned after the Blues found themselves trailing. The Belgian replaced Pedro on the 53rd minute in the game and he totally changed the complexion of the match to Chelsea’s favour. The next change came in when Sarri decided to bring in more attacking midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek in place of Jorginho near the 64th-minute mark. This substitution changed the course of the game completely.

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The hosts were mentally depleted after the unfortunate offside goal from Azpilicueta which stood as an equaliser. And now another header on the back post of Peltier’s goal went in with Loftus-Cheek turning hero for Sarri’s men on the night, bailing them out from a potential draw. The England international scored the goal right at the dying moments of the match rubbing salt into Cardiff’s wounds.