Last-gasp Kim holds Manchester United in Cardiff
Cardiff (United Kingdom): Wayne Rooney scored one, made one and was perhaps fortunate not to be sent off as Manchester United were denied a fourth successive league win by Kim Bo-Kyung`s last gasp 2-2 equaliser in Cardiff on Sunday.
The England striker opened the scoring in the 15th minute and delivered the perfect corner for Patrice Evra in the 43rd, after Cardiff City had equalised through the former United youngster Fraizer Campbell.
However, Rooney was, perhaps, a touch fortunate to be on the pitch at the time after kicking out at Jordon Mutch in the eighth minute.
Referee Neil Swarbrick brandished a yellow card after speaking with the United star, but would have been wholly justified in showing him red.
In the end, Rooney and United returned home after their first visit to the south Wales outfit with only a point after substitute Kim headed home a 91st minute free kick.
There was plenty of bite, on and the field, as the game unfolded.
Cardiff, as they had against Swansea prior to the international break, closed down United’s space and made life increasingly difficult for the likes of Marouane Fellaini and Tom Cleverley in a seriously congested midfield third.
However, when Antonio Valencia picked out Rooney on the penalty spot in the sixth minute, United might have been a goal to the good.
Unfortunately, for the 3,000-strong group of travelling fans, Rooney took a touch too many and his shot was easily blocked by Ben Turner.
At the opposite end, a typically precise free kick from Peter Whittingham saw Mutch head straight at David de Gea. Moments later, Rooney appeared to lose his cool after being dispossessed. He took an unnecessary swipe at Mutch and looked mighty relieved when the choice of card was yellow.
He might have been a touch fortunate to be on the pitch, but he finished with aplomb to put United ahead. Ben Turner gave away the ball in his own half and when Valencia`s cross was flicked on by Xavier Hernandez, Rooney cut back inside and beat Marshall with a shot that deflected off the body of Gary Medel.
United had found their stride by now and with Cardiff beginning to find the pace and movement of Rooney and Hernandez difficult to cope with, there might have been a second shortly after.
A Fellaini header was beaten away by Marshall before Cleverley’s back post volley was blocked by Andrew Taylor.
Cardiff stuck to their task and 12 minutes before the interval came up with the move of the game and an equaliser through Campbell.
Whittingham and Mutch combined in midfield before the latter threaded the most sumptuous ball into the path of Campbell who made no mistake from a dozen yards.
United were ruffled and needed something to settle themselves. It came two minutes before the interval when Evra headed Rooney’s corner past Marshall via the chest of Taylor.
It was another header, this time from Fellaini, that caused Cardiff an early scare in the second half. Rooney`s dipping free kick provided the pace, but Marshall, somehow, pushed the Moroccan’s header around the post.
Cardiff might have been level for a second time, three minutes after that, when Campbell seized on a poorly weighted pass from Cleverley to Rooney.
With de Gea stuck in no-man’s land, the once capped England striker could barely believe his misfortune as his deft lob, came back off the crossbar.
A Whittingham free kick was Cardiff`s next best opportunity, only this time, Cleverley came to the rescue with a desperate header, over his own bar.
Cue a City onslaught that left United with no option but to employ a greater number of bodies in their own half.
Moyes introduced Ryan Giggs with 17 minutes remaining in a bid to provide a touch of stability to a side that looked a touch vulnerable.
With Danny Welbeck on too, United almost extended their advantage when the substitutes combined to create a golden chance.
Giggs, having pitched up on the right, sent in the most delightful assist for Welbeck, but the striker’s first touch was heavy and Marshall pounced to avert the danger.
Here were one or two further opportunities at either end, thereafter, but nothing to write home about until Kim popped up to earn City a point.
United sit seven-points adrift of leaders Arsenal in sixth with Cardiff City three points above the drop zone.