Loftus-Cheek scores winner as Chelsea beat Cardiff
Cezar Azpilicueta, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Cardiff, Chelsea, Victor Camarasa, Maurizio Sarri, Europa League,
Chelsea staged a remarkable late revival to snatch a controversial 2-1 victory at relegation-threatened Cardiff City and ease the intensifying pressure on boss Maurizio Sarri.
Ponderous and painfully slow, Chelsea controlled possession but did little with it as they were comfortably shackled by a disciplined Cardiff side during a goalless first half.
The hosts took the lead less than a minute into the second period thanks to Victor Camarasa’s delicate curling volley, prompting cries of “we want Sarri out” from Chelsea’s travelling fans.
With five minutes left, Cezar Azpilicueta nodded in an equaliser from a clearly offside position and then, in added time, substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek headed the winner to break Cardiff hearts.
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The result is a major blow to Cardiff’s bid for Premier League survival, leaving them five points adrift of safety with seven games remaining.
For Chelsea, however, it is a major reprieve for their hopes of securing Champions League football next season, keeping them within a point of Manchester United in fourth place.
And nobody will be feeling more relieved than Sarri after he faced repeated calls to be sacked from the travelling supporters.