Aston Villa went into their clash with Cardiff in poor form looking for their first win in five games and their first goal in over six hours. In contrast, Cardiff went into this game with high spirits after winning the Welsh derby last weekend.

However, the hosts started brightly and midfielder Karim El Ahmadi's long-range shot was parried by Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall early on in the match with striker Christian Benteke unable to react quickly enough to latch on to the rebound.

Benteke's strike partner Kozak went close to putting through his own net at the other end moments later when his header went inches past the post.

A defensive mix-up let Cardiff midfielder Aron Gunnarsson pinch the ball on the edge of the penalty area in the 12th minute, but Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan scampered off his line to snuff out the danger.

Despite these early chances, the game fizzled out with chances few and far between during the remainder of the half.

After the break Kozak forced Marshall into a fine diving save after he got his head on the end of Bacuna’s cross. 

The hosts looked the more likely side to break the stalemate and nearly caught Cardiff on the counter attack when El Ahmadi crossed for Benteke he directed his header wide.

It was Bacuna who eventually broke the deadlock when he curled a free kick around the Cardiff wall leaving Marshall rooted to his spot.

Kozak doubled the host’s lead when he scored Villa's second with a close-range header after Lowton had nodded the ball back across goal.  

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