Cardiff City left The Den empty handed after succumbing to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Millwall.

Michael Obafemi and Jake Cooper struck either side of Yakou Meite's header in the first half to hand the Lion the lead at half time. It was a cagey affair for relegation-battling Millwall thereafter, but Duncan Watmore rounded off the scoring deep into stoppage time to ensure the Bluebirds suffered defeat on the road.

Millwall's tactics were pretty clear from the beginning as they bombarded Cardiff's back line with a number of balls in the air. And it didn't take long for a crack in the Bluebirds' defence to show.

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A lobbed pass from Zian Flemming saw Obafemi beat Dimitrios Goutas to the ball before he raced into the box. From a tight angle, the Republic of Ireland international belted one past Ethan Horvath, who should have done better at his near post, to hand the hosts an early lead.

But Cardiff were the better of the two sides, barring that goal which came out of nothing, for much of the first period and they deservedly restored parity on 24 minutes. Rubin Colwill swung in a beautiful free-kick into a dangerous area, but Meite still had a lot to do. Under pressure from two defenders, the Ivorian stuck a powerful header beyond Matija Sarkic to level the match.

The Bluebirds looked confident after that and The Den crowd grew tetchier as a result. In truth, they should have gone into the break in front, but Nat Phillips missed a golden chance when a corner fell at his feet just 10 yards out. Under no pressure, the defender squeezed his shot wide.

Just minutes later, deep into the first-half stoppage time, Millwall grabbed a second. Romain Esse put in a decent cross and Ryan Longman flicked it on to Cooper, who belted home from close range.

Millwall started the second half the better of the two sides, no doubt about it. They pinned Cardiff backed and looked the most likely to score. Indeed, Obafemi looked odds-on to double his tally for the day on the hour mark, when he hit a low shot from the edge of the box which looked destined for the bottom corner. Horvath atoned for his earlier error by putting in a top-class save.

Cardiff just couldn't get out of second gear - and credit to Millwall for keeping them in it - and were reduced to shots from distance, such as Joe Ralls' stinging 30-yard effort which was well saved by Sarkic.

Erol Bulut rang the changes, Cian Ashford, Ryan Wintle, Famara Diedhiou and David Turnbull were all tried, but they couldn't make the difference.

As the game ticked into stoppage time, it started to open up as both sides chased a decisive goal. Unfortunately for Cardiff, they were hit on the break and Watmore was found in the middle of the box, where he turned home Millwall's third.

Millwall XI: Sarkic; McNamara, Cooper, Tanganga, Leonard; Esse (Watmore 46), Mitchell, Saville, Longman (Norton-Cuffy 84); Obafemi (Bradshaw 70), Flemming (De Norre 90).

Subs: Bialkowski, Hutchinson, Nisbet, Mayor, Bryan.

Cardiff City XI: Horvath; Ng, Goutas, Phillips, Collins; Siopis (Wintle 59), Ralls (Turnbull 69), Bowler (Ashford 69), R. Colwill (Tanner 75), Grant; Meite (Diedhiou 59).

Subs: Turner, J. Colwill, Conte, Sawyers.

FULL-TIME! Millwall 3-1 Cardiff City

That's that!

GOAL! Millwall 3-1 Cardiff City (Watmore 90+4)

Breakaway goal for Millwall. Watmore finishes after a fantastic cross.


Poor cross from Tanner, straight into Sarkic's arms.


Time running out for City.


Five minutes added on. Saville goes in the book for a foul on Ashford.


Tanner offside. Just not happened for him since coming on.


Tanner beats his man but his cross is badly over-hit.


Turnbull earns a corner for Cardiff.


Tanner loses the ball and Millwall break. Flemming hits a bending effort from 25 yards and Horvath has to tip behind for a corner.


Getting scrappy now. Both teams look frustrated.


Just lost its structure, this game. Cardiff need to start making more happen.


Great move from Cardiff. Turnbull down the line to Diedhiou, who flicks it around the corner for Ashford. Ashford takes it down the line and sends in a low cross - which is just cleared before a Cardiff foot can turn it home!


Ollie Tanner on for Colwill.


Chance! That could have put the game to bed. A free-kick flashes across Cardiff's goal and a Millwall foot gets on it, but it's just wide of the mark.


Obafemi off, Bradshaw on.


Ralls off for Turnbull.

Bowler off for Ashford.


Flashpoint here. Longman clatters into Collins and the Nigerian goes down. The pair of them grab each other and have a right ding dong. Both are cautioned.


Ralls hits a piledriver from 30 yards out. Sarkic sees it late and has to get down to save it before it crept into the corner.


Top save from Horvath to deny a low shot from Obafemi.


Wintle and Diedhiou on. Siopis and Meite off.


Neat footwork from Collins sees him get in behind the Millwall defence, but his cross is blocked.


Good start to this second half from Millwall. Cardiff haven't got into it yet.


Second half under way!

HALF-TIME! Millwall 2-1 Cardiff City

That's the break. Cardiff the better team but the hosts find themselves ahead.

GOAL! Millwall 2-1 Cardiff City (Cooper 45+4)

Goal! Cooper rifles one into the roof of the net.

Esse has loads of room after Cardiff lose the ball and he stabs a cross into the middle of the box. Longman flicks it on and it finds Cooper at the back post, he smashes home from close range.


Horvath has to be alert to punch clear from a direct corner. The follow-up shot is blocked and another corner comes in. Collins clears that one.


Millwall get a corner. Poorly hit shot deflected over his own bar by Colwill.


Four minutes added on.


Huge miss! The corner is flicked on by Goutas to Phillips, he has loads of time to pick his spot from 12 yards out, but pulls it wide! Big chance gone.


Ralls with a stunning cross-field pass to Collins. The left-back does well to earn a corner for Cardiff.