Sunderland’s Jack Colback struck with practically the last kick of the game to snatch a 2-2 draw with managerless Cardiff as the home fans vehemently expressed their disapproval at owner Vincent Tan over the dismissal of Malky Mackay.
The match was overshadowed by the news that Sunderland striker Fabio Borini was rushed to hospital after being taken ill at half-time.
Jordon Mutch was at the centre of an eventful opening, first finding his way into referee Chris Foy’s notebook for diving before firing Cardiff into the lead with a deflected effort.
The hosts doubled their advantage after the restart when Mutch ghosted into the penalty area and pulled the back for Fraizer Campbell to tap home from close range.
But, despite an abject showing up to the hour mark, Sunderland responded and halved the arrears when substitute Steven Fletcher prodded home Emanuele Giaccherini’s cross before grabbing an unlikely equaliser when another replacement, Colback, found the net in the fifth minute of injury time.
Some fans booed at the whistle but they were most likely jeering Tan - who appeared to boo back as he left his seat.
6’ – GOAL (Cardiff 1-0 Sunderland): Campbell wins the ball back inside the visitors' half and lays it off to Mutch who charges down on goal. He has a crack from outside the area... Deflected... And in! Cardiff lead!
25’ – CHANCE: Instead of swinging a free-kick into the penalty area from a tight angle, Peter Whittingham chances the near post which Mannone has left vacant. The stopper manages to get down to turn it behind.
31’ – CHANCE: Bardsley puts in a tasty challenge inside his own half and sparks a Sunderland attack. It breaks to Kim who cleverly darts down the outside and has a crack which takes a deflection, smashes Marshall in the face, before flying against Altidore who can't turn the loose ball home from about 0.5 yards.
42’ – CHANCE: Bardsley cuts a low cross back to the edge of the area where Borini lurks. The striker hits it well enough, but Marshall somehow turns it behind for a corner. Quality save.
45’ – BORINI ILLNESS: Borini was taken off at half-time due to illness and an ambulance has now been called for the striker.
58’ – GOAL (Cardiff 2-0 Sunderland): Mutch picks the ball up and - surrounded by four Sunderland shirts - sets off on a mazy run into the penalty area. He beats the yellow shirts with ease, knocks the ball across goal into the path of Campbell who can't miss. Too easy. Terrible defending.
63’ – CHANCE: Larsson flashes a low corner to the edge of the penalty area where Cattermole lies in wait. His effort looks destined for the top corner but swerves away at the last second.
83 – GOAL (Cardiff 2-1 Sunderland) Steven Fletcher jinks this way and that inside the penalty area, worms away from Turner and gets a toe on a Giaccherini cross to reduce the arrears. Game on!
90+5’ – GOAL: Cardiff 2-2 Sunderland: One final charge forward from Sunderland. The ball breaks through to Colback inside the area. Surely not? Deflected... It's going in... It has! Unbelievable. What a finish. Sunderland have snatched an undeserved point in dramatic scenes.
Will Vincent Tan turn to David Kerslake on a full-time basis? It’s unlikely, but trying to predict Mr Tan’s next move is no easy feat. Kerslake lifted his Cardiff charges tremendously given their recent turmoil so, if the favourites for the vacant managerial post shy away from the role, perhaps Tan will appoint from within. Although there’s probably more chance of Tan appointing himself or a friend of his sons.
Cardiff have recorded just one win in their last eight Premier League matches, the 1-0 home victory against West Brom two weeks ago.
Both of Sunderland’s goals today were scored by substitutes – the first time that has happened in a Premier League match for the Black Cats since their 6-2 defeat at Chelsea in March 1997.
Steven Fletcher has now scored six of his last seven Premier League goals away from home.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Craig Noone (Cardiff): Faded slightly in the second half, but ruined Andrea Dossena and co. in the first-half and delivered a series of teasing deliveries.
Cardiff: Marshall 7, John 7, Caulker 7, Turner 6, Theophile-Catherine 6, Medel 7, Whittingham 6, Kim 6, Mutch 7, Noone 7, Campbell 7… Subs: Gunnarsson 6, Cowie 6, Cornelius 6.
Sunderland: Mannone 7, Bardsley 6, Dossena 5, Roberge 6, Diakite 4, Cattermole 5, Larsson 5, Ki 5, Giaccherini 5, Borini 6, Altidore 4… Subs: Gardner 6, Fletcher 7, Colback 7.
MATCH IN A TWEET