Cardiff City punished a lacklustre West Ham performance to earn a vital victory that keeps them in touch with their relegation rivals. Cardiff left Manuel Pellegrini’s mid-table side shell-shocked at the start of each half as goals from Junior Hoilett and Victor Camarasa ended a three-match losing streak.
The crucial triumph looked like it would take them out of the relegation zone until Southampton turned the tables on Spurs to maintain their two-point gap advantage in the race to beat the drop.
Three straight defeats with an aggregate score of 10-1 has sucked the optimism out of south Wales to leave Neil Warnock’s side firmly back in the bottom three.
They had been blunt in attack and sloppy at the back in their barren run but they were a team transformed in the opening stages, largely down to mercurial midfielder Camarasa.
The Real Betis loanee gives Cardiff an extra dimension, and it was his through ball that unlocked the Hammers defence after four minutes. Josh Murphy sprinted onto the pass and whipped a cross to the front post for Hoilett to latch onto and steer high into the net past Lukasz Fabianksi.
It was almost 2-0 moments later when Oumar Niasse pounced on a mixup between Fabianksi and Issa Diop but his lobbed effort went just over.