Michael Chopra pounces to draw Cardiff level with his first goal
By Peter Shuttleworth
BBC Sport at the Cardiff City Stadium
Michael Chopra dramatically ended Cardiff City's south Wales derby hoodoo with a stoppage time winner over play-off rivals Swansea City.
Andrea Orlandi had given the Swans a 28th minute lead straight from a right-wing corner as the Spaniard scored his first this season.
But Chopra scored his first league goal for three months just before half-time smashing home Jay Bothroyd's flick.
And he sealed Cardiff's first win over Swansea in nine meetings at the death.
Chopra's late, late show was the thrilling culmination of a pulsating advert for Welsh club football as the £4m man repaid much of that fee here to write his name in Bluebirds folklore.
Cardiff had not tasted derby victory since 1997 - and had not beaten their old rivals at home for 17 years - but Chopra's winner in the second minute of added time ended the longest winless drought in the history of this 81-year-old fixture.
But while the Geordie striker steals the headlines with his brace, much of the credit must go to Cardiff keeper David Marshall whose top-class save just moments before Chopra's winner was equally important.
Shefki Kuqi thought he had secured the first south Wales derby double when the Swans striker headed David Cotterril's teasing free-kick goal-bound.
But Marshall's super-save with his legs gave Chopra the platform to steal to show with his fifth double of a rollercoaster campaign for the former England under-21 international.
Perhaps more importantly, though, the triumph gives Cardiff an eight-point cushion in the play-offs with five games remaining and Dave Jones' men are on their best run in three-and-a-half years at just the right time.
Swansea, however, are suffering the play-off jitters at the wrong time as their derby day disappointment extends their run to six games without a win and two points from six games is their worst series of results for six years with a shot at the Premier League in sight.
Cardiff showed great character to comeback against the second tightest defence in the Championship.
But the hosts should have christened the Cardiff City Stadium's first derby game a with a goal inside two minutes through Peter Whittingham.
The Championship's top-scorer had the chance to knock Darcy Blake's long ball over onrushing Swans stopper Dorus de Vries but instead the 22-goal winger teed up Ross McCormack who fired wide.
Cardiff dominated early possession but Swansea earned the first corner but within 15 seconds of Orlandi's poor delivery, McCormack had his second shot at goal - and again the Scotsman failed to curl the ball right-footed inside of de Vries' left-hand post.
Orlandi's next corner, however, was more profitable as the Swans showed Cardiff how to capitalise on a spell of possession as the left-footer's inswinger flew straight into the net.
Swansea players celebrate Andrea Orlandi's opening goal from a corner
Cardiff keeper David Marshall got a hand to the right-wing ball but Ashley Williams' presence was enough to earn the Spanish winger his first goal of the season and silence the biggest derby crowd for 51 years.
Chopra, though, showed his goal-poaching instincts to ease Cardiff nerves as he popped up to poke Bothroyd's flick past helpless de Vries to send the Bluebirds in level at the break.
Right-back Adam Matthews' diagonal hoist into the box was knocked on by Bothroyd - who was sandwiched by Alan Tate and David Edgar in the process - and Chopra did what he does best.
Anthony Gerrard, however, was cautioned for an over-exuberant celebration of Chopra's goal in front of the Swansea fans as the Cardiff defender kicked the corner flag as his team-mates embraced 10 yards away.
And Chopra could have added another within a minute but his delicate dink over de Vries - from McCormack's through pass - also cleared the crossbar.
The hosts suffered a scare when another dangerous Orlandi corner was missed by Marshall and only a last-ditch boot to safety off the line by Gerrard early in the second-half would do as the ball dropped inches from the goal-line.
The pulsating 59th South Wales showpiece quickly swung back Cardiff's way as Chopra burst into the box but his low, driven cross eluded everyone - including strike-partner Bothroyd who was not ready for the cut-back.
But Chopra had the last word as he fired in sub Aaron Wildig's ball past de Vries to end an epic tussle in dramatic fashion.
Jones hails Cardiff goal threat
Cardiff boss Dave Jones:
"We've had tough games against them, they're a very good side.
"Probably caught Paulo (Swansea manager Sousa) a little bit with our formation, we changed it round because... they've caused us problems in the past.
"I feel we've got just as good players on the ball as their midfield but the most important thing for us is we know we can score goals."
Swansea 'dominated' claims Sousa
Swansea manager Paulo Sousa:
"When you dominate completely the game, when you get more and better chances than them (defeat is difficult).
"But football it's that, we need to turn this moment, not an easy moment... we deserved to win this game.
"We have a lot of games until the end of the season, to keep the position we have now (in the play-offs)."
90:00+3:58 The final whistle is blown by the referee.
90:00+2:53 Booking Michael Chopra goes into the book.
90:00+1:19 Assist on the goal came from Anthony Gerrard.
90:00+1:19 GOAL - Michael Chopra:Cardiff 2 - 1 Swansea Michael Chopra grabs a goal from close in low into the middle of the goal. Cardiff 2-1 Swansea.
90:00+0:36 Substitution Aaron Wildig is brought on as a substitute for Stephen McPhail.
90:00+0:15 The ball is sent over by Angel Rangel, save made by David Marshall.
88:59 Foul by Joe Ledley on Andrea Orlandi, free kick awarded. A cross is delivered by David Cotterill, Shefki Kuqi takes a shot.
Save made by David Marshall.
88:27 A cross is delivered by David Edgar, Anthony Gerrard manages to make a clearance.
87:03 Andrea Orlandi takes the inswinging corner, save made by David Marshall.
86:00 Angel Rangel gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kelvin Etuhu. Free kick taken by David Marshall.
83:56 Michael Chopra concedes a free kick for a foul on Ashley Williams. Free kick taken by Ashley Williams.
82:29 Substitution Cedric Van der Gun leaves the field to be replaced by Mark Gower.
82:29 Inswinging corner taken by David Cotterill from the left by-line, Foul by David Edgar on David Marshall, free kick awarded.
Direct free kick taken by David Marshall.
81:20 Booking Booking for Andrea Orlandi.
80:53 Andrea Orlandi challenges Adam Matthews unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Adam Matthews.
79:59 Unfair challenge on Darcy Blake by Shefki Kuqi results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by David Marshall.
77:21 David Cotterill takes a shot. Save by David Marshall.
76:12 Foul by Leon Britton on Peter Whittingham, free kick awarded. Peter Whittingham takes the direct free kick.
75:13 Substitution Shefki Kuqi joins the action as a substitute, replacing Gorka Pintado.
72:32 Booking Darren Pratley receives a yellow card.
72:17 Foul by Darren Pratley on Stephen McPhail, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by David Marshall.
69:43 Substitution Kelvin Etuhu replaces Ross McCormack.
69:43 Gorka Pintado challenges Darcy Blake unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by David Marshall.
68:27 Substitution Nathan Dyer goes off and David Cotterill comes on.
65:39 The ball is crossed by Gorka Pintado, David Marshall makes a save.
64:56 Unfair challenge on Angel Rangel by Ross McCormack results in a free kick. Alan Tate takes the free kick.
63:05 Free kick crossed right-footed by Ross McCormack from left wing, clearance made by Ashley Williams.
63:05 Booking Angel Rangel is booked.
63:02 Free kick awarded for a foul by Angel Rangel on Tony Capaldi.
61:59 Substitution Joe Ledley is brought on as a substitute for Gavin Rae.
61:59 Andrea Orlandi is penalised for a handball. Free kick taken by Adam Matthews.
60:14 Corner from the right by-line taken by Peter Whittingham, save made by Dorus De Vries.
59:46 Unfair challenge on Ross McCormack by Angel Rangel results in a free kick. Tony Capaldi takes the free kick.
58:48 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ross McCormack by Darren Pratley. David Marshall restarts play with the free
58:27 Corner taken by Andrea Orlandi played to the near post, Jay Bothroyd manages to make a clearance.
58:16 Cedric Van der Gun takes a shot. Adam Matthews gets a block in.
57:07 Free kick awarded for a foul by Darren Pratley on Jay Bothroyd. Tony Capaldi takes the free kick.
56:21 Booking Booking for Tony Capaldi.
56:11 Tony Capaldi challenges Cedric Van der Gun unfairly and gives away a free kick. Alan Tate takes the direct free kick.
55:41 Darren Pratley concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen McPhail. Free kick taken by Tony Capaldi.
52:38 Nathan Dyer gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ross McCormack. Peter Whittingham crosses the ball from the
free kick left-footed from left wing, Alan Tate makes a clearance.
52:06 The ball is delivered by Michael Chopra.
50:40 Andrea Orlandi fouled by Anthony Gerrard, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Andrea Orlandi.
49:42 Shot from just outside the area by David Edgar misses to the right of the target.
49:10 Inswinging corner taken by Andrea Orlandi from the right by-line.
49:03 Darren Pratley sends in a cross, blocked by Darcy Blake.
48:47 Nathan Dyer crosses the ball, Anthony Gerrard makes a clearance.
46:12 Corner taken by Andrea Orlandi from the right by-line, clearance by Jay Bothroyd.
45:01 The second half has started.
45:00+3:38 It is the end of the first-half.
45:00+1:32 Michael Chopra takes a shot from inside the six-yard box clearing the crossbar.
43:00 Booking Anthony Gerrard goes into the referee's book.
42:00 Assist on the goal came from Jay Bothroyd.
42:00 GOAL - Michael Chopra:Cardiff 1 - 1 Swansea Michael Chopra finds the net with a goal from close range to the top left corner of the goal. Cardiff 1-1 Swansea.
41:42 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ashley Williams on Jay Bothroyd. Stephen McPhail takes the free kick.
41:01 Cedric Van der Gun takes a shot. Save made by David Marshall.
39:37 A cross is delivered by Tony Capaldi, save by Dorus De Vries.
36:53 The referee gives a free kick against Leon Britton for handball. David Marshall takes the indirect free kick.
34:51 Direct free kick taken by Ashley Williams.
34:51 Booking Jay Bothroyd goes into the book.
34:45 Foul by Jay Bothroyd on David Edgar, free kick awarded.
34:03 Corner from the left by-line taken by Ross McCormack, Header from close in by Jay Bothroyd misses to the right of the goal.
31:23 Corner taken right-footed by Darren Pratley from the left by-line, David Marshall makes a save.
30:54 Booking The referee books Ashley Williams for unsporting behaviour.
Correction - 27:39 GOAL - Andrea Orlandi:Cardiff 0 - 1 Swansea Andrea Orlandi gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Cardiff
27:39 The assist for the goal came from Andrea Orlandi.
27:39 GOAL - Ashley Williams:Cardiff 0 - 1 Swansea Ashley Williams finds the net with a headed goal from close range. Cardiff 0-1 Swansea.
Correction - 27:00 Corner from right by-line taken by Andrea Orlandi.
27:00 Corner taken by Andrea Orlandi,
26:49 Nathan Dyer delivers the ball, Darcy Blake manages to make a clearance.
25:30 Effort from just outside the area by Andrea Orlandi goes over the bar.
24:35 Peter Whittingham takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Andrea Orlandi.
24:23 Drilled right-footed shot by Ross McCormack. Blocked by Ashley Williams.
23:05 Jay Bothroyd challenges Cedric Van der Gun unfairly and gives away a free kick. David Edgar restarts play with the free kick.
21:08 Foul by Cedric Van der Gun on Michael Chopra, free kick awarded. David Marshall restarts play with the free kick.
19:39 Stephen McPhail concedes a free kick for a foul on Leon Britton. Alan Tate restarts play with the free kick.
16:52 Andrea Orlandi delivers the ball, Peter Whittingham manages to make a clearance.
16:14 Ross McCormack produces a curled right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the right-hand post.
15:25 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Andrea Orlandi, save by David Marshall.
13:39 Ross McCormack fouled by Angel Rangel, the ref awards a free kick. Ross McCormack fires a strike on goal direct from the free
kick, blocked by Andrea Orlandi.
13:14 The ball is crossed by Tony Capaldi, clearance by Angel Rangel.
12:24 Shot on goal by Gorka Pintado from just inside the area goes over the target.
10:58 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stephen McPhail by Darren Pratley. Darcy Blake takes the direct free kick.
9:14 Michael Chopra is ruled offside. Alan Tate restarts play with the free kick.
8:40 Free kick awarded for a foul by Darren Pratley on Tony Capaldi. David Marshall takes the free kick.
4:21 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jay Bothroyd by Andrea Orlandi. Peter Whittingham takes the free kick.
3:58 Gorka Pintado challenges Darcy Blake unfairly and gives away a free kick. Darcy Blake takes the direct free kick.
3:02 Gorka Pintado fouled by Stephen McPhail, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Alan Tate.
1:44 Effort from inside the area by Ross McCormack misses to the right of the target.
0:00 The match gets underway.
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