Cardiff City produced one of their best performances of the season to pick up a vital victory thanks to Bobby Reid’s double on an emotional night in the Welsh capital.

For the Bluebirds, it was the first opportunity for fans to pay a full tribute to striker Emiliano Sala, who is missing after the plane carrying him and pilot David Ibbotson disappeared near Guernsey 12 days ago.

Amid touching scenes, Cardiff produced the goods on the pitch, racing into an early lead when Reid coolly dispatched a penalty after Steve Cook inexplicably handled.

Birthday boy Reid scored again after just 15 seconds of the second half when he raced clear and slotted home, ensuring a morale-boosting win for the wounded Bluebirds.

It was Cardiff’s first win in five league games and moves them just two points from safety in 18th position, while Bournemouth stay in 10th.

Cardiff pays tribute to Sala

A mosaic in the national colours of the Argentine striker was displayed by fans during a minute's silence before the match

The emotions were high all evening in the Welsh capital on a night of reflection.

Outside the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff’s statue of Fred Keenor, their 1927 FA Cup winning captain, remains a shrine to Sala, with tributes for the Argentine forward laid since his disappearance.

A privately-funded hunt for the plane was started after £324,000 was raised in a GoFundMe appeal, with several high-profile footballers contributing.

Cardiff’s first home match since the disappearance represented a chance for City fans to express their sadness collectively and there were emotional scenes before during and after the game, not for the first time this season.

This should have been a season-long celebration for the promoted-Bluebirds, but this is the second time this term a home game has been overshadowed by tragic events away from the football pitch.

In November, Cardiff hosted Leicester City in the first match since the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of their chairman and four other people. It was an afternoon when football seemed both an irrelevance and a form of release for Leicester’s grieving players and fans.

Manager Neil Warnock was keen to point out the importance of this match and Cardiff’s need to move forward, but the tributes to Sala were a feature of the evening.

The Bluebirds’ shirts were adorned with embroidered daffodils, with every supporter also receiving a flower as they entered the stadium. Before kick-off there was a ‘moment of reflection’ that was impeccably observed by the Cardiff faithful and Sala’s name was sung by the supporters throughout as verses of “Sing a song for Sala, we will never let you go, you will always be, at City with me” rang out.

However, the ultimate tribute to Sala was paid by the Cardiff players after Reid’s fourth-minute penalty. They quickly ran to the touchline to lift a shirt with his face embroidered on it, a personal moment from the players who would have dearly loved to have got to know their new team-mate.

Bournemouth insipid in response to mauling

’s side came into this contest on the back of their most impressive win of the campaign, a 4-0 thumping of , but they never came close to matching those levels.

In the absence of injured Wales winger David Brooks, who is so integral to their attacking play – he has scored six and made four goals this term – they were less potent than usual, especially with England forward and Bournemouth’s top scorer Callum Wilson also injured.

They did not register a shot until Ryan Fraser fired wide midway through the first period, although they came extremely close when Andrew Surman’s 25-yard effort was brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar by Neil Etheridge.

However, once Cardiff extended their advantage, the belief seemed to evaporate from Howe’s side, despite them having over 70% possession.

Their passing was crisp, but in the final third they were ponderous and had no answer to Cardiff sitting deep with Aron Gunarsson and Joe Ralls screening their back four, though Nathan Ake might have headed home Jordan Ibe’s free-kick, only to miss the target.

Cardiff thrive after close of transfer window

The Bluebirds’ transfer window was one of anguish due to the Sala situation, but their first performance since it gave cause for optimism.

Winter signing Oumar Niasse might have scored after two minutes, but his heavy touch narrowed his angle and allowed Artur Boruc to save with his legs.

However, Niasse certainly added a new dimension to Cardiff’s attack and, but for a poor pass approaching half-time, he might have presented Reid with a tap-in.

The Bluebirds, who led at half-time for the first time all season, enjoyed a dream start to the second period when Reid beat the offside trap and latched onto a hopeful Gunnarsson ball to round Boruc before firing home – the perfect way to celebrate turning 26.

Man of the match – Bobby Reid

Bobby Reid

Stats – Cardiff’s clean sheets

  • Cardiff picked up their first Premier League victory in five games (drawn one, lost three), with this their first win by more than one goal since October (4-2 v Fulham).
  • Bournemouth have lost their last seven Premier League away games, conceding at least twice in each match.
  • Cardiff have kept back-to-back home clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time.
  • Scored just 15 seconds into the second half, Reid’s second goal for Cardiff was the fastest scored after half-time in the Premier League since Marko Arnautovic for West Ham v Huddersfield in January 2018 (11 seconds).
  • Reid became the third player to score a Premier League goal on his birthday this season, after Ricardo Pereira (Leicester v ) and ( v ).
  • Reid became the first player to score a brace on his birthday in the Premier League since Christian Benteke v Southampton in December 2016.

What’s next?

Cardiff travel to Southampton on Saturday (15:00 GMT) with the Saints just two points above them in the table, while Bournemouth face league leaders at Anfield on Saturday (15:00).



  • 1Etheridge
  • 2Peltier
  • 5Ecuele Manga
  • 22BambaBooked at 50mins
  • 3Bennett
  • 13Paterson
  • 17Gunnarsson
  • 8Ralls
  • 11MurphySubstituted forHoilettat 69′minutes
  • 14ReidSubstituted forBacunaat 86′minutes
  • 29NiasseSubstituted forZohoreat 83′minutes


  • 10Zohore
  • 12Smithies
  • 15Bacuna
  • 18Cunningham
  • 19Mendez-Laing
  • 32Healey
  • 33Hoilett


  • 1Boruc
  • 23ClyneBooked at 50mins
  • 3S Cook
  • 5Aké
  • 15A SmithBooked at 75mins
  • 19StanislasSubstituted forIbeat 62′minutes
  • 4GoslingSubstituted forLermaat 69′minutes
  • 6Surman
  • 24Fraser
  • 17King
  • 29SolankeSubstituted forMoussetat 62′minutes


  • 8Lerma
  • 9Mousset
  • 10Ibe
  • 11Daniels
  • 21Rico
  • 27Begovic
  • 33Mepham
Jonathan Moss

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamBournemouth
Shots on Target

Live Text

Match ends, Cardiff City 2, Bournemouth 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Cardiff City 2, Bournemouth 0.

Foul by Joshua King (Bournemouth).

Kenneth Zohore (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Artur Boruc.

Attempt saved. Kenneth Zohore (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Joe Ralls.

Steve Cook (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kenneth Zohore (Cardiff City).

Joshua King (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Leandro Bacuna (Cardiff City).

Foul by Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth).

Kenneth Zohore (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Joshua King (Bournemouth).

Lee Peltier (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.


Substitution, Cardiff City. Leandro Bacuna replaces Bobby Reid.

Delay in match Callum Paterson (Cardiff City) because of an injury.


Substitution, Cardiff City. Kenneth Zohore replaces Oumar Niasse.

Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Callum Paterson (Cardiff City).

Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Joe Ralls (Cardiff City).

Foul by Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth).

Callum Paterson (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Nathan Aké (Bournemouth) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jordon Ibe with a cross following a set piece situation.

Adam Smith (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Callum Paterson (Cardiff City).

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Nathaniel Clyne.

Attempt blocked. David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.


Adam Smith (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Adam Smith (Bournemouth).

Bruno Ecuele Manga (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Callum Paterson (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Oumar Niasse.

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Nathan Aké.

Foul by Joshua King (Bournemouth).

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


Substitution, Cardiff City. David Junior Hoilett replaces .


Substitution, Bournemouth. Jefferson Lerma replaces Dan Gosling.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Sol Bamba.

Foul by Nathan Aké (Bournemouth).



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