Etheridge’s heroics earn Cardiff their first Premier League point

Neil Etheridge Cardiff City FC Premier League

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. With cool hands and tremendous confidence, Neil Etheridge made what could be the biggest save of his career in their draw against Newcastle United to earn his club their first point in the Premier League. 

With almost no time left on the clock, Newcastle United got a penalty on the final minute of the added time as Sean Morrison was called for a handball inside the box. Kenedy stepped up to take the penalty against Etheridge who saved a penalty from their last game against Bournemouth. Kenedy targeted dead-centre which allowed the Filipino keeper to save his side from another loss and earn themselves their first Premier League point.

Not only Etheridge made his penalty heroics stand out for the Bluebirds, he also made some decent saves during the match. On the 11th minute, he was tested as a flurry of chances went the Toons’ way but he was alert to the danger. He also made it easy to save Jonjo Shelvy’s free kicks and was commanding at the back.

Etheridge now becomes the first Filipino and Southeast Asian player to earn a point in the Premier League making it an addition to his ever growing milestones. Not only did he played well, his teammates backed him up well to earn his first ever clean sheet in the league.

Not only did he kept a clean sheet, he also made his second penalty save in two straight games, earning him a title of shot-stopping specialist from the spot.

It was a fair performance for the Bluebirds as they were always on the upper hand when it comes to making chances but only lacked in finishing them. Sol Bamba came close on the 10th minute of the match as he jumped for the header from a corner but his efforts were cleared out. They almost grabbed their first Premier League goal as Kenneth Zohore met Joe Ralls’ cross with his head but it just goes wide.

On the 76th minute of the match, Harry Arter almost pulled off a Pavard-esque strike from distance but his shot curved the wrong way. From then on, they went back in defending as Newcastle put on a barrage of attack towards the end of the second half.

In the end, all the game needed was a late game heroics from an unlikely hero in Etheridge. With his second penalty save in the premier league, he’s now made it past a legendary keeper in the name of Petr Cech in terms of success rate against penalties. Cech has saved only one penalty kick over the last five years whereas Etheridge has saved two penalties in two games. An unbelievable feat from the great wall of the Philippines.

Related article: Cardiff deny Newcastle after last-gasp penalty save

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