Football Features

Controversy pushes Cardiff closer to relegation: the 3pm action you might have missed in the Premier League

By Harry Edwards

Published: 16:58, 13 April 2019

With the Premier League entering its final weeks, fans were treated to four games on Saturday afternoon with action across the table.

In arguably the most important match of the day, Cardiff City travelled to Burnley knowing only a win would realistically keep their slim hopes of Premier League survival alive.

Seventh-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers were looking to overcome the pain of their FA Cup semi-final exit when they hosted relegation-battling Southampton.

Brighton and Hove Albion faced Bournemouth with both sides looking to confirm their Premier League safety, while Everton travelled to already-relegated Fulham.

But what went down in the four games, and what might you have missed?

Brighton & Hove Albion 0-5 Bournemouth

The match summed up in one stat… Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson have combined for 11 Premier League goals this season, the most by a pairing since Alan Shearer and Mike Newell in 1995/96.

What does this mean for the Premier League? After initially appearing safe, Brighton’s fall continues with the Seagulls now 17th, albeit with a game in hand on those around them. Bournemouth, meanwhile, have moved up to 12th.

Man of the match? Callum Wilson, who scored once and recorded two assists as part of the humiliation of Brighton.

Spare a thought for… Arsenal. The Gunners have been linked with a summer move for Bournemouth’s impressive Ryan Fraser, and after the Scot’s performance on Saturday, they may need to allocate more funds for the transfer. Fraser added to his already impressive assist record, moving to 12 for the season – level with Eden Hazard and Christian Eriksen at the top.

In the managers’ words…

“We knew what we had to do in the second half but once the second goal goes in and we go down to 10 men the spaces become bigger and they picked us up.” – Chris Hughton, Brighton manager.

“It’s a really good win but the longer term thing is finding that consistency.” – Eddie Howe, Bournemouth manager.

Burnley 2-0 Cardiff City

The match summed up in one stat… No player has scored more Premier League goals for Burnley since the start of last season than Chris Wood.

What does this mean for the Premier League? A big clash at the bottom of the table, Burnley have surely all-but confirmed their safety. The Clarets are now 11 points clear of 18th-placed Cardiff, who slip closer to relegation.

Man of the match? Chris Wood, who scored the two goals which may have confirmed Burnley’s Premier League safety.

Spare a thought for… The officials. Not for the first time this season, Neil Warnock is unhappy with refereeing decisions. Just two weeks after Cardiff were beaten by Chelsea in controversial circumstances – with Warnock’s post-match interviews earning him FA Charges – the Bluebirds will feel hard done by again.

At the start of the second half, Cardiff were awarded a penalty when the assistant referee felt the ball had hit Ben Mee’s arm. But, after initially pointing to the spot, Mike Dean went over to consult his assistant and reversed the decision, sending Warnock irate.

And if that wasn’t enough, Cardiff were denied another late potential penalty appeal for handball on James Tarkowski just before Wood killed the game.

In the managers’ words…

“You can’t guarantee it [safety] but I think were in a very, very healthy position.” – Sean Dyche, Burnley manager.

“Our lads keep getting kicked in the teeth really, week after week.” – Neil Warnock, Cardiff manager.

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Fulham 2-0 Everton

The match summed up in one stat… Ryan Babel has been directly involved in seven Premier League goals since joining Fulham in January, five more than any other Cottagers player in that time.

What does this mean for the Premier League? Everton missed out on the chance to momentarily take control of the race for seventh, remaining ninth with their shock defeat. Fulham look destined to finish 19th despite the win.

Man of the match? Ryan Babel, who scored and recorded an assist as Fulham produced a shock.

Something you might have missed… Being without a job can be boring, especially as a football manager. So you can understand why Jose Mourinho wanted to take in some Premier League football on Saturday. But, perhaps more surprisingly, the Portuguese opted for Fulham against Everton – though it proved to be a lucky charm for the Cottagers.

In the managers’ words…

“We have a duty to them and ourselves to put in a performance today and exemplify how good this squad can be.” – Scott Parker, Fulham manager.

“It was a disappointing result, we did not perform in the way we want.” – Marco Silva, Everton manager.

Southampton 3-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

The match summed up in one stat… Wolves hit the target with just two of their 15 shots against Southampton.

What does this mean for the Premier League? Southampton have taken a big step towards safety, moving eight points clear of 18th-placed Cardiff with five games remaining. Wolves, meanwhile, remain eighth, behind Leicester on goal difference.

Man of the match? Nathan Redmond, who scored twice in the first half to put Southampton in control.

Spare a thought for… Wolves fans. This time last week, Wolves were preparing for an FA Cup semi-final and dreaming of a Europa League place. But Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have since lost a 2-0 lead to Watford and fallen to relegation-battling Southampton in consecutive games. It continues Wolves’ bizarre season of performing well against the Big Six, but struggling against everyone else.

In the managers’ words…

“It’s the most beautiful moment of the weekend if you can win and celebrate with the fans.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl, Southampton manager.

“Today they were better than us and we have to regroup and bounce back immediately.” – Nuno Espirito Santo, Wolves manager.