Cardiff City ended their longest run without a league win in five years, as headers from Curtis Nelson and Kieffer Moore saw them win 2-0 at Bristol City.
The Bluebirds crossed the Severn Bridge without a victory in seven games but were good value as Mick McCarthy earned his first three points as Cardiff boss.
Nelson headed home from Harry Wilson’s free-kick, before Moore converted after Sheyi Ojo’s precise cross.
Bristol City had plenty of possession but Cardiff were never really troubled.
The Welsh side were without deadline-day signing Jonny Williams who was injured in training, but his international team-mate Wilson was recalled as McCarthy sought a first win since replacing Neil Harris.
Henri Lansbury made his Bristol City debut, with Dean Holden’s side chasing a fourth consecutive home win for the first time in two years, but they were without Owura Edwards after he came into contact with someone with coronavirus.
The contest was marred early in the first half by worrying scenes when Cardiff goalkeeper Alex Smithies indicated to the referee that he was feeling unwell, with a stoppage of eight minutes as he was tended to by paramedics as a precaution.
Smithies had his blood pressure tested before leaving the field sat upright on a stretcher, with manager McCarthy saying after the match that the player was feeling better, having left the field “feeling ill, feeling sick.”
Dillon Phillips was sent on for his Cardiff league debut and he was instantly called into action when he was forced to parry Lansbury’s dipping free-kick, before the Bluebirds took the lead with their first effort on goal with an effort that was quintessentially Cardiff.
Wilson’s free-kick delivery was perfect, allowing Nelson to flick home a header from inside a crowded penalty area on 18 minutes.
It was a great start for a Cardiff side who have fallen behind more often than not this term, but they hit dream territory as they doubled their advantage on 25 minutes when Moore powerfully headed home Ojo’s pinpoint cross for his third goal in as many games under McCarthy.
It was a familiar feeling for Bristol City fans, with the Robins losing three of their past four home league games against Cardiff.
Chances for the hosts were at a premium and they saw Famara Diedhiou slip at the vital moment after a nice move found him with time and space to shoot, with most efforts from the hosts blocked by a resolute rearguard display from Cardiff.
The Bluebirds could have stretched their lead before half-time, however, with Daniel Bentley producing a fantastic save to deny Ojo’s header after Will Vaulks’ cross.
Both sides felt they had a strong penalty claim within 10 minutes of the restart, but referee Jarred Gillett waved away the protests after Aden Flint and Diedhiou felt they had been fouled.
Holden made four substitutions in a bid to change the tone of the contest but Cardiff’s shape and discipline meant they protected Phillips – who had little to do other than collect a yellow card for time-wasting – while Moore missed a good late chance to score a second as he fired over the bar after a fine run.
- 2HuntBooked at 71mins
- 5MawsonBooked at 45mins
- 19MariappaSubstituted forMooreat 61′minutes
- 42MassengoSubstituted forPatersonat 60′minutes
- 20WilliamsSubstituted forPalmerat 60′minutes
- 17LansburyBooked at 45minsSubstituted forVynerat 70′minutes
- 12SmithiesSubstituted forPhillipsat 11′minutesBooked at 75mins
- 16NelsonBooked at 90mins
- 23WilsonSubstituted forPackat 72′minutes
- 27OjoSubstituted forBacunaat 80′minutes
- 29M Harris
Match ends, Bristol City 0, Cardiff City 2.
Second Half ends, Bristol City 0, Cardiff City 2.
Attempt missed. Nahki Wells (Bristol City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Tomas Kalas.
Attempt missed. Kieffer Moore (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Perry Ng.
Curtis Nelson (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card.
Hand ball by Curtis Nelson (Cardiff City).
Jack Hunt (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Kieffer Moore (Cardiff City).
Attempt saved. Kieffer Moore (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Offside, Cardiff City. Joe Bennett tries a through ball, but Leandro Bacuna is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Leandro Bacuna (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Joe Bennett.
Foul by Antoine Semenyo (Bristol City).
Will Vaulks (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Alfie Mawson.
Substitution, Cardiff City. Leandro Bacuna replaces Sheyi Ojo.
Dillon Phillips (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card.
Hand ball by Nahki Wells (Bristol City).
Attempt blocked. Kieffer Moore (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Will Vaulks.
Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Famara Diédhiou.
Substitution, Cardiff City. Marlon Pack replaces Harry Wilson.
-- to www.bbc.co.uk