Birds of a feather

Sunday’s match at Cardiff was the fourth time in as many Premier League matches with the Bluebirds we have come from behind to win, and means we still have a 100 per cent record in that competition against five teams, also including our next opponents Brighton.

In an amazing case of history repeating, Cardiff have taken the lead in all four matches between us in the Premier League, before ultimately heading home without any points to show for their efforts.

Most recently, that saw Victor Camarasa open the scoring just after half-time, before goals from Cesar Azpilicueta and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the last six minutes gave us the win and broke Welsh hearts.

However, Sunday’s game does have one big difference with the three previous encounters, as the Bluebirds had to wait until the second half for their goal, having found the net much earlier in the other three games.

When we hosted Cardiff at Stamford Bridge earlier this season, we brushed off Sol Bamba’s 16th minute goal as Eden Hazard fired in a hat-trick, before Willian’s spectacular late curler gave us a 4-1 victory and put us top of the table on goal difference.

Coincidentally, in the Bluebirds’ only other Premier League campaign, we triumphed in both matches by the exact same scorelines as this time around. At the Bridge, we recovered well from conceding to Jordon Mutch’s strike in the 10th minute as Hazard scored twice, either side of goals from Samuel Eto’o and Oscar, while at the Cardiff City Stadium on the last day of the season, Andre Schurrle and Fernando Torres’ goals in the space of three second-half minutes, after Craig Bellamy’s opener, gave us a 2-1 win.

We will be hoping to extend our 100 per cent record against another Premier League side when Brighton come to Stamford Bridge tonight, and if those Cardiff omens are anything to go by it could be a good evening, as the Seagulls’ only previous visit in this competition resulted in a 2-0 home win last season, thanks to strikes by Spanish duo Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso.

However, our away matches show Brighton are a tougher nut to crack this time around, although we still managed it, winning 2-1 at the Amex Stadium after Pedro and Hazard had given us a first-half lead. That is compared to a 4-0 thrashing in 2017/18, when the Belgian got another two, joining Willian and Victor Moses on the scoresheet, the Brazilian finishing a fine team move involving first-time back-heel flicks from Hazard and Michy Batshuayi to score our Goal of the Season.

The other three teams we have maintained a 100 per cent record against in the Premier League have only spent one season each in the top flight during that era, with the most recent being Blackpool in 2010/11.

Then a Florent Malouda brace, combined with Salomon Kalou’s early opener and an Ian Evatt own goal, gave us a 4-0 win at the Bridge, before winning 3-1 at Bloomfield Road when Frank Lampard found the net twice in three minutes to add to John Terry’s goal.

Our encounters with Swindon Town came early in the Premier League era, in 1993/94, with Dennis Wise scoring in both games, starting things off in a 2-0 home win before Gavin Peacock got a second, and finishing things off in injury time at the County Ground, a 3-1 win with Neil Shipperley and Mark Stein our other scorers.

The most comprehensive of our 100 per cent records is against Barnsley, recording an aggregate scoreline of 8-0 in our two matches during the 1997/98 campaign. Gianluca Vialli and Mark Hughes gave Ruud Gullit’s Blues a 2-0 win at the Bridge in January, but that was nothing compared to the four goals the Italian striker had scored in a thumping 6-0 triumph at Oakwell early in the season, after Dan Petrescu and Gus Poyet had put us in front.

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