Cardiff City’s return to the Premier League did not get off to the ideal start as Neil Warnock’s side suffered a 2-0 defeat against Bournemouth.
The Bluebirds fell behind to Ryan Fraser’s first-half effort, saw goalkeeper Neil Etheridge superbly save a penalty and improved after the break – but Callum Wilson’s strike ensured that the visitors would head back to Wales empty handed.
It proves the newly-promoted side have plenty to learn in their return to the Premier League and we have identified three key things from the game.
In true Neil Warnock fashion, Cardiff played extremely direct throughout the game as they pumped the ball forward – often quickly after winning back possession as they looked to exploit Bournemouth on the counter-attack.
A positive is that there were spells in the match where the Bluebirds looked dangerous and had Bournemouth on the back foot but there was a severe lack of creativity in the side, with not enough support in the final third.
Asmir Begovic between the ticks for the hosts did not have a lot to do at all and there is something that needs to be improved in the weeks to come.
Building on the previous point, the style of player from Cardiff saw new signing Bobby Reid feeding on scraps for the majority of the game as his team-mates struggled to feed inviting balls through to the new striker.
It is all very well signing a player who hit 17 in the league last season but you have to provide him with chances. Cardiff will hope that the link-up between Reid and the rest of the squad improves as the season progresses but they may need to go back to the drawing board.
To be fair though, Reid did look bright in spells and certainly had Bournemouth worried – which at least gives them something to build upon.
“They are an established team in the Premier League and we could have got a result here on another day. We’re looking forward to the season and a few lads were a bit nervous but once that rubbed off, it was okay.”
More to come
A victory for Bournemouth yesterday was probably a fair reflection on the match but it was not as comfortable as the scoreline may suggest, with Cardiff looking a lot more threatening in the second half of the game.
The Bluebirds also started strongly in the match, stretching the Bournemouth defence, but were unable to maintain that pressure throughout the match – although it does show that there is still a lot more to come from Neil Warnock’s side.
Add to the fact that new signings Harry Arter, Greg Cunningham, Alex Smithies and Victor Camarasa did not feature, with Josh Murphy only earning a cameo of the bench, and it is clear that Cardiff have a lot more to offer.