Clean sheet for goalkeeper Neil Etheridge. Pic: Getty Images.

Bobby And Josh Show Bluebirds’ Quality In Premier

Bobby Reid and Josh Murphy have given notice they have the quality to make an impact at Premier League level.

The Bluebirds’ signings impressed during Cardiff City’s 2-0 defeat against AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

Man of the match Reid started in attack, while substitute Murphy went on just after the hour and both tested the home team. 

Manager Neil Warnock’s team were second best during the first half, but they grew into the game with Reid and Murphy adding pace, movement and awareness.

Bournemouth were faced to work hard for victory and only clinched the three points when Callum Wilson scored their second goal during second half injury time.

Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge saved a first half spot-kick taken by Wilson, although Warnock said: “It was a soft penalty. The lad seemed to catch his own leg when he went down.”

More than 1,100 Bluebirds fans were on the South Coast on a big day for their club.

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 Warnock said: “We did better as the game went on and on another day we might have taken some reward away from the game.

“Bournemouth were better than us in certain areas, but not in other areas. They know they’ve been in a game.

“One or two of the lads were a little nervous, but we settled down and this performance augurs well for the future because Bournemouth are an established team at the top level.

“Sean Morrison had a great chance, but could not quite get his knee up high enough, while Bournemouth took their opportunities.”

City were without injured Kenneth Zohore and Aaron Gunnarsson, while Harry Arter could not play against his parent club because of a clause in his Cardiff loan agreement.

“The best player on the pitch was Ryan Fraser, who was tremendous, but other than that we matched Bournemouth,” said Warnock. 

“Now we play Newcastle United at home in front of a full house at Cardiff City Stadium and that’s going to be great.”

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was upbeat about his team, saying: “We had control of the first half, moved the ball well and didn’t get penned in.

“The second half was a bit more nip and tuck, but we stood up really well. We kept a clean sheet, something we didn’t do much last season, and that was good.

“If we can keep Ryan Fraser fit he’ll be a big player for us. We needed this win after a poor start last season.”

City did not help themselves at times, conceding possession far too easily in midfield, and Bournemouth were quick to get forward.

Cardiff must learn to treasure possession and, to be fair, improved in that area as the game progressed.

Bournemouth went ahead when 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.

Bobby Reid (left), Callum Paterson and Josh Murphy. Pic: Cardiff City.

Cardiff’s growing confidence was clear as they settled down, winning corners and creating a couple of chances.

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 edge for Cardiff, while Ward led the line with Reid dropping a little deeper.

Cardiff were certainly not overawed and went for it when they had Ward, Reid, Junior Hoilett and Murphy linking up in attack.

There were 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.

AFC Bournemouth: Begovic, Smith, Ake, S. Cook; Fraser, Gosling, Surman, Daniels; Brooks (Francis 66), Wilson, King. Subs not used: Boruc, Francis, Mings, Cook, Ibe, Defoe, Mousset.

Cardiff City: Neil Etheridge, Lee Peltier, Sean Morrison (capt), Bruno Manga, Joe Bennett, Sol Bamba, Callum Paterson (Danny Ward 62), Joe Ralls, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Josh Murphy 62), Junior Hoilett, Bobby Reid (Gary Madine 87).

Referee: Kevin Friend.

Attendance: 10,353

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