Warnock: Cardiff could decide Premier League title race

A 2-1 home loss to Chelsea left Cardiff City still five points adrift of safety but Neil Warnock is bullish about their tough run-in.

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock   -  Getty Images

Neil Warnock said Cardiff City could decide the Premier League title race after a controversial 2-1 home loss to Chelsea left his side still five points adrift of safety.

Cardiff led thanks to Victor Camarasa's strike but Cesar Azpilicueta equalised from an offside position before Ruben Loftus-Cheek headed in a 91st-minute winner for Maurizio Sarri's side.

READ | Loftus-Cheek header completes late turnaround for Chelsea

Chelsea could have had Antonio Rudiger sent off with the scores level at 1-1 too and Warnock was annoyed by decisions that went against his side on Sunday.

Cardiff next travels to defending champion Manchester City ahead of a critical trip to relegation rival Burnley, while title hopeful Liverpool also visit the Bluebirds in the run-in.

"I think Chelsea and Manchester City, we didn't expect any points," he told a post-match news conference.

"But it will tell the other teams we play against that we won't be rolled over like other teams.

"We could decide the Premier League. Man City away, Liverpool at home. We could decide it."

Warnock, who was involved in an angry confrontation with opposite number Maurizio Sarri, appeared reluctant to leave the field after the full-time whistle.

The Cardiff boss stood close to referee Craig Pawson and his team of officials before they eventually made their way off the turf, but Warnock gave his side of the story.

"I wanted to get Harry Arter and Bruno [Ecuele Manga] away. He was asking why he couldn't see an offside goal," Warnock added. "I didn't want anyone getting out of coming to Manchester City on Wednesday. We've all got to go.

"No, I have to give my wife the same amount of fines I give the FA, and I didn't want to fill their coffers. I couldn't go until they moved. They didn't seem to want to leave the pitch.

"Maurizio was moaning about a bloody throw-in. I said, 'Do you not know he was two yards offside?'"

VAR will be introduced in the Premier League for the 2019-20 season and Warnock feels the arrival of the technology is welcome, while accepting his players are downbeat after a fourth loss in five league games left the Bluebirds still five points behind 17th-placed Burnley.

READ | I am getting used to this - Sarri unfazed by criticism from Chelsea fans

"If anyone was in doubt before today, VAR has to be the answer to help them out," Warnock added. "They need help, don't they? It would have sorted the goal out in 10 seconds.

"We've worked on things for the last three weeks, one of them coming out at corner kicks. So the lads have said, 'What do we do now, gaffer? What's the point?' It's soul destroying, really. We played so well, but the lads are all down. We didn't want to sit in and not make a game of it.

"We wanted to enjoy it. We did that. To be done by something that's nothing in the game...it's not one of our coaching things that's cost us the game. If I was a Burnley, Brighton or Southampton fan, this is the best thing that could have happened today. Because the lads are flat. Flat as a witch's whatever."

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