Premier League
BournemouthAFC Bournemouth2CardiffCardiff City0

Bournemouth 2-0 Cardiff City

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Sport Wales at the Vitality Stadium
Bournemouth midfielder Ryan Fraser celebrates scoring against Cardiff City
Ryan Fraser has scored 16 goals for Bournemouth in 134 appearances for the Cherries

Bournemouth spoiled Cardiff City's Premier League return with a hard-earned 2-0 victory.

The technically superior hosts were quick to dominate possession, pinning their opponents back in their own half for long periods and deservedly taking the lead when Ryan Fraser fired in from close range.

Bournemouth were then awarded a penalty when Callum Wilson was brought down after a tangle with Bruno Ecuele Manga, but the forward's low spot kick was well saved by Neil Etheridge.

Cardiff roused themselves in the second half with a flurry of chances from set pieces - the best seeing Sean Morrison thwarted a yard out by Asmir Begovic.

But Wilson struck in added time to give Bournemouth a first opening day win since they were promoted to the top flight in 2015.

There was a sense of relief as the unseasonably heavy rain descended on the Vitality Stadium, where the hosts had looked set for a routine victory before they were unsettled by Cardiff's second-half resurgence.

For the visitors, despite competing with the tenacity expected from a Neil Warnock side, this was a harsh reminder of the chasm in quality between the Championship and the Premier League.

Bournemouth's lavish summer bears fruit

Looking to improve on last season's 12th-place finish, Bournemouth had enjoyed a relatively lavish summer by their standards, signing young Wales forward David Brooks and full-back Diego Rico for more than £10m each, and then breaking their transfer record to buy Colombia midfielder Jefferson Lerma for £25m.

Neither Lerma nor Rico were available here but Brooks supplemented a slick Bournemouth midfield and attack, whose movement and crisp passing often left Cardiff's players flailing.

One such example led to the opening goal midway through the first half, Wilson darting to the byline and pulling a low cross back to an unmarked Fraser, who finished firmly.

Bournemouth managed game well - Howe

Cardiff had prided themselves on defensive solidity in the Championship but they struggled to get to grips with their opponents on this occasion, and Wilson was again a thorn in their side when he fell under a challenge from Ecuele Manga for what seemed quite a soft penalty.

Wilson's penalty miss threatened to prove costly as Bournemouth had to withstand a tirade of Cardiff set-pieces that almost resulted in an equaliser in the second half.

Ultimately, however, it was academic as it was Wilson who delivered the killer blow, meeting Simon Francis' cross to finish neatly in added time.

Cardiff's Premier League return

This was a more harmonious return to the Premier League for Cardiff, free of the discord of their previous one-season stay in the top flight in which a change to red shirts was the most divisive aspect of a tumultuous 2013-14 campaign.

Owner Vincent Tan said this summer that he had learned from those mistakes and, with the team back in blue and the club united on and off the field, the feeling among many Bluebirds followers was that they would enjoy this season even if it were to end in relegation - as bookmakers had tipped.

However, this is a Cardiff side used to confounding the odds, as they did by securing promotion from the Championship last season, a record eighth for Warnock.

Bournemouth 2-0 Cardiff City: Neil Warnock says players were 'nervous'

The 69-year-old revels in the role of underdog and he is bullish about his team's prospects despite spending less than £40m on six players this summer, in stark contrast to fellow promoted sides Fulham and Wolves, who have spent almost £150m between them.

A solid defensive structure was the foundation for Cardiff's promotion last season, so Warnock will have been furious to see his side unlocked as easily as they were for Bournemouth's opening goal.

He will, however, have been a little more encouraged by his players' endeavour in the face of pressure from the hosts, and the way in which they fought back in the second half.

Man of the match - Ryan Fraser

Bournemouth were too quick and skilful for Cardiff, and diminutive winger (right) embodied this superiority
Bournemouth were too quick and skilful for Cardiff, and diminutive winger Ryan Fraser (right) embodied this superiority

'We needed this win' - what they said

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe told BBC Sport: "We had control of the first half and moved the ball well and didn't get penned in. The penalty gave us a platform to build from.

"The second half was a bit more nip and tuck but we stood up really well. We kept a clean sheet which we didn't do much last season which was good.

"If we can keep Ryan [Fraser] fit he'll be a big player for us this season. We needed this win after a poor start last year."

Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock told BBC Sport: "I thought we did alright, we got better as the game went on. On another day we could have got a result but it wasn't to be.

"They were better in certain areas but not other. We had our chances and I'm disappointed. The penalty was soft. It just felt a little bit hard for us today at times.

"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."

BBC Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer: "I do [think Cardiff will struggle] but they can look at is what Huddersfield achieved last season. When you look at what Fulham and Wolves have spent, Cardiff have bought four players from the Championship.

"They will be very difficult to beat at home, however. Neil Warnock will have them well organised at the Cardiff City Stadium and it will be very difficult for away teams."

Match stats

  • Bournemouth registered their first win on the opening day of a Premier League season, having lost their previous three
  • Cardiff have lost on the opening day in just two of their past 11 seasons (W5 D4) - but both have been in the Premier League (2013-14 and 2018-19)
  • In the Premier League, Bournemouth midfielder Ryan Fraser scored with his final shot of the 2017-18 season against Swansea City and his first shot of 2018-19 against Cardiff City.
  • Neil Warnock has never won on the opening day of a top-flight season (D1 L3), failing with four different teams - Notts County in 1991-92, Sheffield United in 2006-07, QPR in 2011-12 and Cardiff in 2018-19.
  • Cardiff City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge became the first player from the Philippines to appear in the Premier League and was also the first goalkeeper to save a penalty on his Premier League debut since August 2013 (Allan McGregor for Hull City v Chelsea).
  • There is a gap in age of 28 years and 363 days between Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe (40 years, 255 days) and Cardiff boss Neil Warnock (69 years 253 days), the largest gap in age between two opposing managers on the opening day of a Premier League season.
  • Despite failing to score a penalty in the first half, Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson was involved in more goals in this match (two, one goal, one assist) than in his previous 13 Premier League games combined (one).

What's next?

Bournemouth travel to face West Ham at the London Stadium on 18 August (15:00 BST) while Cardiff face Newcastle at home (12:30 BST) earlier that day.



  • 27Begovic
  • 15A SmithSubstituted forDefoeat 90+3'minutes
  • 3S Cook
  • 5Aké
  • 11DanielsBooked at 43mins
  • 20BrooksSubstituted forFrancisat 67'minutes
  • 6Surman
  • 4Gosling
  • 24Fraser
  • 13C WilsonSubstituted forMoussetat 90+4'minutes
  • 17King


  • 1Boruc
  • 2Francis
  • 9Mousset
  • 10Ibe
  • 16L Cook
  • 18Defoe
  • 26Mings


  • 1Etheridge
  • 2PeltierBooked at 3mins
  • 4Morrison
  • 5Ecuele Manga
  • 3Bennett
  • 22Bamba
  • 19Mendez-LaingSubstituted forMurphyat 63'minutes
  • 13PatersonSubstituted forWardat 62'minutes
  • 8Ralls
  • 33Hoilett
  • 14ReidSubstituted forMadineat 88'minutes


  • 6Richards
  • 9Ward
  • 11Murphy
  • 12Smithies
  • 18Cunningham
  • 21Camarasa
  • 24Madine
Kevin Friend

Match Stats

Home TeamBournemouthAway TeamCardiff
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Bournemouth 2, Cardiff City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Bournemouth 2, Cardiff City 0.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Bournemouth. Lys Mousset replaces Callum Wilson.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Bournemouth. Jermain Defoe replaces Adam Smith.

  5. Goal!

    Goal! Bournemouth 2, Cardiff City 0. Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Simon Francis following a corner.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Joe Bennett.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Smith.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Cardiff City. Gary Madine replaces Bobby Reid.

  9. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  10. Post update

    Delay in match Steve Cook (Bournemouth) because of an injury.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Andrew Surman (Bournemouth).

  12. Post update

    Bobby Reid (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Joshua King.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Joe Bennett.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ryan Fraser.

  17. Post update

    Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Bobby Reid (Cardiff City).

  19. Post update

    Foul by Adam Smith (Bournemouth).

  20. Post update

    Joe Bennett (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.


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