Match Report – Bournemouth 2, Cardiff City 0

Blue is the colour – and more than 1,100 Bluebirds fans made the point in style on the South Coast.
Everybody in the away end seemed to be wearing blue as Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City returned to the Premier League. Travelling supporters had a ball at the Vitality Stadium, a day which not even defeat could spoil.
They cheered, chanted and sang their way through the 90 minutes. Steady rain during the second half could not dampen the spirits of those who made the trip.
The dejection after this defeat will be hard to take, but Bournemouth only scored their game-clinching goal though Callum Wilson during injury time.
Cardiff will have learned a lot from this first match – and they have to make progress from here.
Hosts Bournemouth play flowing, patient football, probing for gaps and their top flight experience made this a tough opening test.
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City did not help themselves at times, conceding possession far too easily in midfield, and Bournemouth were quick to get forward.
They must learn to treasure possession and, to be fair, improved in that area as the game progressed.
Bournemouth went ahead when Ryan Francis scored on 23 minutes, while goalkeeper Neil Etheridge produced a full-length, diving save to turn a Callum Wilson penalty away for a corner soon after.
Cardiff’s growing confidence was clear as they settled down, winning corners and creating a couple of chances.
Sean Morrison went close just after the hour when, following a set piece, substitute produced a moment of skill and set up his captain. Morrison’s point blank shot was blocked.
Bobby Reid made an excellent debut for Cardiff and looked the most likely scorer for a Cardiff team who were without injured Kenneth Zohore and Aron Gunnarsson.
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Warnock took decisive action when he sent on Murphy and Danny Ward after 62 minutes and at that stage Cardiff were showing signs they were capable of earning some reward from the match.
Murphy added a new attacking edge for Cardiff, while Ward led the attack with Reid dropping a little deeper.
Bournemouth had the edge in technical ability, but Cardiff battled for each other and gave the Dorset team problems.
The Bluebirds were punished when they lost possession midway through the first half and Wilson’s pass was fired home by Fraser from seven yards.
Referee Kevin Friend awarded the home team what looked a harsh penalty when Wilson went down far too easily when Bruno Manga challenged.
Goalkeeper Etheridge was up to the challenge, though, and flung himself left to push the effort round a post.
Cardiff kept working and can reflect with satisfaction on their performance, although Warnock will want his team to keep things tighter at the back and keep possession better than they did in the first half.
Cardiff were certainly not overawed and went for it when they had Ward, Reid, Junior Hoilett and Murphy linking up in attack.
Warnock will be fed up after losing, but there were plenty of positive signs on the first day of their season.
The club is in a good place, fans and players unified and enjoying themselves and there is evidence that City can have a right go at staying in the top flight.
There are many tough tests ahead, but Cardiff will take heart from the fact that they competed well with the Cherries.
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Both goals came from balls played from wide areas into the penalty area and Bournemouth’s second was netted by Wilson when he steered his shot past Etheridge.
Bournemouth had never won on the opening day of a Premier League season up until today, but manager Eddie Howe’s men have started on a winning note.
AFC Bournemouth: Begovic, Smith (Defoe 90+3), Ake, S Cook; Fraser, Gosling, Surman, Daniels; Brooks (Francis 66), Wilson Moussett 90+4), King.
Subs not used: Boruc, Francis, Mings, Cook, Ibe.
Referee: Kevin Friend.
Cardiff Subs: Alex Smithies (gk), Jazz Richards, Danny Ward (for Paterson 62), Josh Murphy (for Mendez-Laing 62), Greg Cunningham, Victor Camasara, Gary Madine (for Reid 87).