by Jordan A Jones
BOBBY Decordova-Reid scored twice against Bournemouth to give Cardiff City their first win of the year.
It was an emotional night at the Cardiff City Stadium, an evening which should have been club record signing Emiliano Sala’s debut.
A tribute to the missing striker and his pilot David Ibbotson took place before kick-off. On the pitch, a first-half penalty and a well-taken effort in the opening stages of the second half gave a battling Cardiff side a crucial three points.
The win bolsters the Bluebird’s efforts to avoid the drop and was their first since December 29th, having lost all of their games in January.
In the first attempt of the match, Oumar Niasse almost opened the scoring and his Bluebirds account in the opening minute as he slid an effort which was blocked by Artuc Boruc.
Cardiff City were awarded a penalty for an obvious handball from defender Steve Cook who handled Josh Murphy’s cross. Bobby Decordova-Reid calmly converted from the spot, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way. In the celebrations, the Cardiff players held up a shirt in tribute to Sala.
Ryan Fraser attempted to draw the Cherries level but his curling effort sailed wide of the post. Andrew Surman minutes later hit the crossbar from a driven effort, with Neil Etheridge making a vital interception as he tipped it onto the bar.
After Joshua King’s effort comfortably sailed into the arms of Etheridge, Cardiff went into the break with their first lead in the Premier League this season.
Thirty seconds after the restart Cardiff doubled their advantage. Aron Gunnarsson passed to Decordova-Reid who dummied his run and dinked the ball over Boruc.
Bruno Ecuele Manga made a vital block as he denied Junior Stanislas the chance to pull a shot away.
Bournemouth appealed for a penalty after Ryan Fraser’s cross-brushed Sol Bamba, but Jon Moss waved away the protests.
Joe Ralls offered a neat performance in the midfield on his 200th appearance for the club following the absence of Harry Arter who was ineligible.
Eddie Howe’s side’s closest chance to a consolation goal was when Nathan Ake headed just wide from a free-kick.
Bournemouth saw most of the possession in the second half but were unable to create many clear-cut chances. However, Cardiff did look dangerous when on the counter-attack.
In stoppage time, Kenneth Zohore in search of his first Premier League goal, went close as he held the ball up and forced Boruc to save.
Cardiff City: Etheridge, Peltier, Bennett, Ecuele Manga, Ralls, Murphy (Hoilett 68), Paterson, Decordova-Reid (Bacuna 85), Gunnarsson, Bamba (C), Niasse (Zohore 82).
AFC Bournemouth: Boruc, Cook, Gosling (Lerma 68), Ake, Surman (C), Smith, King, Stanislas (Ibe 61), Clyne, Fraser, Solanke (Mousset 61)