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Cardiff 0 Saints 3
Updated 4:52pm Thursday 26th December 2013 in Sport
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- Saints bring their six-match winless run to an end
- Jay Rodriguez scores twice for the visitors
- Rickie Lambert added a third before half-time
- Schneiderlin faces one-game ban after picking up fifth booking of season
Saints cruise home to a first win in seven games. It's also their first clean sheet in the last nine matches. Mauricio Pochettino's men remain ninth in the table, four points behind Spurs and Manchester United immediately above them, and six ahead of Stoke, who are tenth. Thanks for joining us. We'll be back on Sunday for Saints' trip to Everton.
CARDIFF 0 SAINTS 3
SAINTS SUB (86 mins): Jay Rodriguez off, Gaston Ramirez on.
SAINTS SUB (80 mins): Adam Lallana off, James Ward-Prowse on.
Few chances to speak of in the last 20 minutes, which suits Saints' perfectly. The game is meandering towards a conclusion, and the visitors will not want any late nerves.
Here's newlywed Adam Lallana in action.
CHANCE (52 mins): Jay Rodriguez slides a ball through the Cardiff defence for Luke Shaw to run onto. David Marshall rushes out of his goal to close the left-back down and, from a tight angle, Shaw cannot squeeze his shot past the keeper. Marshall then gathers Jack Cork's low drive from 25 yards after the resulting corner routine was cleared to the midfielder.
Morgan Schneiderlin booked for tripping Fraizer Campbell. Schneiderlin now faces a one-match ban for picking up his fifth yellow card of the season (48 mins).
The second half is underway...
Cardiff 0 Saints 3
And here is Jay Rodriguez making it 2-0 Saints...
Jay Rodriguez slides in to give Saints the lead at Cardiff...
(Pic: Adam Davy/PA Wire)
CARDIFF 0 SAINTS 3 (Rickie Lambert 27)
This just gets better and better for Saints. Calum Chambers clips a cross into the area after a short corner is eventually worked back to him. Jay Rodriguez wins the header, with the ball dropping to Lambert. He chests it down and rams in a finish with his right foot.
Luke Shaw booked for a tackle on Craig Noone. Looked a harsh decision. (25 mins)
CARDIFF 0 SAINTS 2 (Jay Rodriguez 20)
Malky Mackay won't be happy with his side's defending again. Rickie Lambert swings in a cross from deep towards the back post. No one picks up Rodriguez, who produces a cool first-time finish with his right foot to beat David Marshall.
CARDIFF 0 SAINTS 1 (Jay Rodriguez 14)
Morgan Schneiderlin plays a glorious through-pass down the inside-right channel to set Adam Lallana clear. The Saints skipper squares the ball towards Rodriguez, who slides in to convert.
CHANCE (11 mins): Cardiff should be 1-0 up. Craig Noone's in-swinging cross from the right picks out Peter Whittingham, whose run had taken him away from Calum Chambers. It looks a simple side-footed finish from six yards for the midfielder, but he gets his feet in a complete tangle and somehow tamely lofts the ball wide of Paulo Gazzaniga's goal.
A quiet opening few minutes here in Cardiff, with no chances to speak of. Saints threatened once when Steven Davis set Jay Rodriguez racing away down the left, but the forward miscontrolled the ball and the home side cleared.
The teams are out here at the Cardiff City Stadium. Cardiff in their red home kit today. Saints in their black away shirts. Kick-off is due to take place in just under five minutes. Stick with us for updates throughout the game.
The teams are going through their warm-ups here at the Cardiff City Stadium. Kick-off now 25 minutes away.
Saints captain Adam Lallana is hoping to cap a memorable Christmas with a win today. The midfielder got married on Christmas Eve, altering his original plans to wed next summer, meaning his big day will not clash with a potential World Cup call-up. Three points today would surely make this a tough Christmas for the 25-year-old ever to beat.
Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino arrives, as Cardiff fans in the background protest against the Welsh club's owner, Vincent Tan.
(Pic: Adam Davy/PA Wire)
In terms of an update from Cardiff regarding their recent troubles, an interesting backdrop for today's game...
A small group of Cardiff fans gathered outside Cardiff City Stadium ahead of the Boxing Day fixture against Southampton to protest against Vincent Tan's ownership of the club.
Around 200 supporters displayed banners and chanted their disapproval at the owner's treatment of manager Malky Mackay, as well as the changing of the club's colour from blue to red.
Fans were vocal in their support for their manager while there plenty of 'Tan Out' and 'We'll Always Be Blue' banners to be seen near the entrance for players and officials.
Malaysian businessman Tan has proved a controversial figure during his spell in the Welsh capital.
In addition to changing the club colours, he has become embroiled in an unseemly conflict with manager Mackay.
Tan got rid of the Scot's head of recruitment Iain Moody in October, and last week handed the former Watford boss an ultimatum to resign or be sacked.
Mackay has since been given a reprieve of sorts by chairman Mehmet Dalman but upcoming talks between manager and owner are likely to decide the Scot's immediate future.
That's three changes for Saints with Luke Shaw, Jose Fonte and Maya Yoshida in with Danny Fox, Dejan Lovren and Jos Hooiveld dropping out.
Breaking team news is that Dejan Lovren is missing from the Saints squad due to illness. Jos Hooiveld is out of the side meaning that Jose Fonte will return to the team to partner Maya Yoshida at the heart of the defence.
SAINTS: Gazzaniga, Chambers, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Schneiderlin, Cork, S Davis, Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert.
Subs: K Davis, Fox, Hooiveld, Reed, Ward-Prowse, Ramirez, Gallagher.
CARDIFF: Marshall, Taylor, Caulker, Turner, Theophile-Catherine, Whittingham, Gunnarsson, Mutch, Noone, Odemwingie, Campbell.
Subs: Lewis, Hudson, Cornelius, Kim, Cowie, Maynard, John.
Ref: Andre Marriner
Good afternoon and welcome to the Daily Echo's coverage of this afternoon's game between Saints and Cardiff at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Mauricio Pochettino is hoping his side will be able to end a run of six games without a victory in the Premier League.
We are expecting the team news shortly but Pochettino is hoping to be able to draft in several first team stars who have been missing through injury in recent weeks.
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