Premier League: Southampton beat Cardiff City 3-0 at the Cardiff City Stadium
Last Updated: 27/12/13 8:14am
Rickie Lambert: On target against Cardiff City
Malky Mackay's reprieve as Cardiff manager may prove shortlived after three goals in 13 first-half minutes saw Southampton compound the embattled Scot's problems after a 3-0 win at the Cardiff City Stadium.
The Saints claimed a first win in seven games thanks to a double from Jay Rodriguez and a Rickie Lambert strike as the home side were torn apart.
Peter Whittingham had missed a great early chance for the Bluebirds but, aside from a brief rally early in the second half, they were outplayed by their visitors.
Best of the match
- Goal of the match: Rodriguez's second was tucked away beautifully after a lovely ball from Lambert.
- Moment of the match: Whittingham missed an easy chance from close range minutes before Southampton took the lead.
- Man of the match: Lallana. Unplayable at times. His movement and passing was a joy throughout.
- Talking point: Lallana to join Lambert on the plane to Brazil?
The on-field performance added to the sense of off-field discontent caused by the civil war between Mackay and owner Vincent Tan which has put the manager's position in real jeopardy.
The lingering uncertainty over Mackay's future, despite a statement from chairman Mehmet Dalman that he would be in charge for the "foreseeable future", fuelled a pre-match protest where a group of supporters voiced their disapproval of Tan's running of the club.
Chants of 'Don't sack Malky Mackay' and 'We'll always be blue' also rang around the stadium during the game.
But the woeful nature of the performance was such that by the full-time whistle not all of the boos from the remaining home fans were for the Malaysian owner, who himself left his seat five minutes before the end.
Southampton simply strolled to victory, although it could have been a different game had Whittingham not missed a sitter in the 11th minute.
Craig Noone whipped in a wonderful cross from the Cardiff right to pick out Whittingham's late run into the box, but the midfielder fluffed his lines and diverted the ball over the bar from close range.
The miss proved costly as Saints took the lead three minutes later.
Steven Davis freed Adam Lallana on the right and the midfielder teed up Rodriguez for a tap-in with an inch-perfect ball across the box.
Rodriguez had been in an offside position when Davis' pass was played but was not interfering and play was correctly allowed to go on for him to slot home.
The travelling support chanted 'You're getting sacked in the morning' to Mackay, and the Scot's plight became even worse in the 20th minute.
Lambert picked out Rodriguez, who had lost Kevin-Theophile Catherine with ease, for the striker to roll the ball through David Marshall's legs.
It was soon 3-0 and Rodriguez was involved again. The striker beat Aron Gunnarsson in the air and Lambert pounced on the loose ball to fire past a helpless Marshall.
Cardiff almost hit back immediately when Andrew Taylor's shot took a deflection off Jose Fonte, but Paulo Gazzaniga readjusted to palm the ball away.
Southampton looked comfortable, but Peter Odemwingie should have made the most of being incorrectly ruled onside.
The Nigerian forward dithered as he headed into the box and Maya Yoshida got back to make the tackle.
It was little surprise when the former West Brom player was withdrawn at the break with Andreas Cornelius taking his place.
The big Danish striker had two chances soon after coming on, but Gazzaniga punched away one header before a second flew wide.
Saints gave a reminder of their threat on the counter as Luke Shaw burst forward and had a shot saved by Marshall, while Campbell fired over wildly at the other end.
The game petered out during the final quarter and boos greeted the home side as they left the field, not that Tan would have heard them.
Barclays Premier League
Thu 26th Dec
Hull City2 - 3Man Utd
A Villa0 - 1C Palace
Cardiff0 - 3Southampton
Chelsea1 - 0Swansea
Everton0 - 1Sunderland
Newcastle5 - 1Stoke
Norwich1 - 2Fulham
Tottenham1 - 1West Brom
West Ham1 - 3Arsenal
Man City2 - 1Liverpool
Barclays Premier League
|11||West Ham United||3||3|
|12||Queens Park Rangers||3||3|
|18||West Bromwich Albion||3||2|
Cardiff v Southampton
Mauricio Pochettino admits his side regained their defensive confidence in the 3-0 win over Cardiff.
After Cardiff's 3-0 loss to Southampton, Malky Mackay admits his future is still uncertain with no meeting set up with owner Vincent Tan.
Malky Mackay blamed mistakes on Cardiff's 3-0 defeat by Southampton and plans to be in charge against Sunderland.