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Cardiff City maintained their unbeaten home record in the Barclays Premier League with a 0-0 draw against Everton. In a game that lacked many clear-cut opportunities David Marshall made the game’s best save in final seconds of the first-half. The 28-year-old reacted quickly to palm away a deflected header from Nikica Jelavic.
Both Roberto Martinez and Malky Mackay named unchanged sides from their opening Barclays Premier League outings, as Fraizer Campbell continued up front for Cardiff and Ross Barkley lined up in support of Jelavic for the visitors. Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines both started for Everton.
Peter Whittingham had the first chance of the game as he sent an inswinging corner towards the front post and Tim Howard was forced to come through a crowd of players to claw the ball away.
Everton slowly came back into the game and felt claimed a penalty in the closing five minutes of the half. Leighton Baines charged into the penalty area and was challenged by Gary Medel only for referee Anthony Taylor to award a goal-kick.
Marshall then kept his side on level terms with an instinctive save from a Jelavic header in first half stoppage time. The Croatia forward met a Seamus Coleman cross strongly, only for the goalkeeper to react brilliantly and deny the striker after his effort had taken a deflection off Ben Turner.
The 28-year-old could have opened the scoring for the visitors seven minutes after the break, however he blazed over the crossbar after a neat through-ball from Fellaini.
Martinez introduced Arouna Kone for Jelavic just after the hour, and the Ivorian had a fantastic chance to win the game in the closing 10 minutes. He reacted quickly to volley a shot towards goal after a scramble in the penalty area, Marshall saved well but Kone was flagged offside.
Baines and Fellaini combined on the edge of the penalty soon after but the full-back's right-foot shot skewed high and wide of goal as the game petered out into a dull draw.
Cardiff manager Malky Mackay: "We played a top team here today, a team that finished sixth in the Premier League last year. That what I was reinforcing to my players before the game. There was no way we could make this after the Lord Mayor's show today and if we had at all come off our game we'd have been beaten and turned over today by a good team. Make no mistake we were at it, they were at it and it was two teams matching each other stride for stride. Shots on target I believe it was maybe 3-2 to us but it was very, very tight. It was a game of few chances but we were playing against very good players here today.
"The other thing was that we kept a clean sheet today, which was absolutely deserved I felt. I looked at my back four and my goalkeeper especially - we defend from the front and our boys worked hard as a unit - but there were two or three exceptional performances in defence."
Everton manager Roberto Martinez: “We need to give credit to Cardiff, they worked extremely hard and they came in off the back of an impressive result against Manchester City. For us, I knew if we kept a clean sheet we had a great opportunity to win the football match and I felt that we dropped two points."
"In the final third we couldn't find the right pass but I thought that we grew into the game. The second half we controlled it much better and it was just a matter of making good decisions in the opposing box to collect the three points. It's a little bit mixed feelings because I know how hard you have to work to keep a clean sheet against this Cardiff side, from the dead-ball situations to the counter-attack football, and I thought we handled their threat really, really well.
"Just in the other side I thought that because of the performance we should have found a way to score a goal that would give us the three points."
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|08 Mar 2014||v Fulham (H)|
|03 Nov 2013||v Swansea (H)|
|15 Mar 2014||v Everton (A)|
|19 Apr 2014||v Stoke (H)|
|07 Dec 2013||v Crystal Palace (A)|