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Cardiff City's first Premier League game ended in a 2-0 defeat at West Ham, thanks to a goal in either half from Joe Cole and Kevin Nolan.
Cole's early strike set the home side on their way at Upton Park and, despite periods of Cardiff pressure, the hosts never looked like losing. Sam Allardyce's side were assured of the three points when Nolan doubled the advantage with 15 minutes left.
Cardiff were without one close-season signing in the form of striker Andreas Cornelius, who missed out with an ankle injury, but fellow new boys Gary Medel and Steven Caulker made their debuts for the Welsh side. James Collins started for the hosts despite fitness worries, while recent additions Stewart Downing, Adrian and Razvan Rat were all on the bench.
The home side began brightly and were rewarded after 12 minutes when Cole slotted home well from inside the area. The midfielder was played in after good work from Matt Jarvis on the left, with the former Liverpool man turning and firing past David Marshall.
Despite their rude awakening to Premier League life, Cardiff fought back well and had a penalty appeal turned down shortly afterwards when Fraizer Campbell went down under Winston Reid's challenge, but referee Howard Webb waved play on.
With West Ham pouring forward, Mohamed Diame saw his deflected effort edge past Marshall's left post seven minutes from the break as they enjoyed a period of pressure late in the half.
Diame also had the first chance of the second half, shooting over from the edge of the area after 26 seconds, before Marshall tipped Modibo Maiga's strike narrowly past the far post after 61 minutes.
However 14 minutes later Nolan wrapped up the points for the Hammers when he swivelled to curl the ball home inside the area after a pass from Mark Noble. Nicky Maynard almost pulled a goal back five minutes from time, but his shot flew over from close range.
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce: "We've perhaps not taken as many chances as we would have liked but that doesn't matter. It's a 2-0 victory, it's a clean sheet and it's two very good goals. Sometimes we play one up front when we play Manchester United, most teams do, but when we play here we play with a front three.
"That was abundant today, so let's hope that continues at Newcastle next week and we pick more points up. It was pretty exciting what Downing contributed and he's glad to be here, which is the most important thing."
Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay: "I thought we started the first 15 to 20 minutes slowly. We knew we had to start better than we did and in that first 15 minutes they were clinical with their finishing. After that, in the last half an hour of the first half I thought we had plenty of possession without any penetration.
"Overall I can't be too harsh on my players because on a day at Upton Park I thought we had an awful lot of posession and gave a good account of ourselves. It needs to be better but we're away from home against a good team. They were clinical with their two finishes and we weren't. I don't think it's a lesson because we knew before that we had to be clinical, it's about choices and that final pass."
|18 Jan 2014||v Newcastle (H)|
|15 Sep 2013||v Southampton (A)|
|06 Oct 2013||v Spurs (A)|
|21 Dec 2013||v Man Utd (A)|
|26 Dec 2013||v Arsenal (H)|
|26 Apr 2014||v West Brom (A)|