Sunday 16 December 2018

Bournemouth begin with a win against new boys Cardiff

Bluebirds goalkeeper Neil Etheridge saved a Callum Wilson penalty.

Ryan Fraser claimed the opening goal (Mark Kerton/PA)
Ryan Fraser claimed the opening goal (Mark Kerton/PA)

By Ed Elliot, Press Association Sport

Cardiff’s first game back in the Premier League ended in a 2-0 defeat as goals from Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson gave Bournemouth a winning start.

Winger Fraser converted from close range in the 24th minute at the Vitality Stadium before Wilson settled a tight contest by side-footing home in stoppage time.

The newly-promoted Bluebirds showed plenty of fight but created little and would have lost by more had Wilson’s first-half penalty not been kept out by Neil Etheridge.

Bournemouth introduced club-record signing Jefferson Lerma and fellow summer recruit Diego Rico to the home crowd ahead of kick-off.

Bluebirds boss Neil Warnock revealed this week that Colombia midfielder Lerma was his top summer transfer target, although he was expecting to pay a quarter of the £25million fee.

He handed a debut to lone striker Bobby Reid, while Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe thrust 21-year-old Wales international David Brooks into his starting XI following his arrival from Sheffield United.

The Cherries started slowly but went ahead with the game’s first shot on target.

Striker Wilson worked space inside the area and his pull back from the right was calmly slotted home by unmarked Scotland international Fraser.

Wilson had a golden chance to double the advantage in the 34th minute but, after referee Kevin Friend adjudged he was tripped inside the 18-yard box by Bruno Ecuele Manga, his tame spot-kick was saved by City keeper Etheridge.

Cardiff’s last league victory over Bournemouth was in February 2002 when opposing manager Howe played for the Cherries.

City captain Sean Morrison almost forced a 65th-minute equaliser but home keeper Asmir Begovic scrambled the ball away after substitute Josh Murphy – on for his first appearance following an £11m move from Norwich – had hooked towards goal.

Minutes earlier, Bournemouth debutant Brooks had been unable to steer his header into the gaping goal following a pacey left-wing centre from Fraser.

The Cherries have never lost at home to a promoted side in the top flight and they made the three points safe in the first minute of added time.

Substitute Simon Francis dispossessed Murphy on the right wing before cutting the ball back for Wilson to stroke home and atone for his early penalty miss.

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