Report by Ross Millen (@RossMillen) at the Cardiff City Stadium
Bobby Reid bagged a brace on his birthday to help Cardiff City overcome Bournemouth, in Eddie Howe’s 400th permanent game in charge of the Cherries.
An early penalty given away by Steve Cook gave Reid the chance to open the scoring early on, before he doubled the advantage within twenty seconds of the second half.
The Bluebirds will feel as if this is justice for the result that saw them lose 2-0 to the Cherries on the opening day of the season.
Before kick-off there were emotional tributes paid for the missing Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson. Players, staff and fans took part in a one-minute silence, after a moving speech was read aloud across the stadium.
Every spectator was also given a yellow daffodil to wear inside the stadium.
It was Cardiff who started the opening period better and within two minutes of the half Niasse had a chance to open the scoring. Unfortunately for him, a heavy touch when bringing the ball down denied a good shooting opportunity and Artur Boruc pounced on the ball.
However after only two minutes, Cardiff were lucky to be awarded a penalty after a bizarre handball by Cook. His hand sailed above his head and deflected the ball away. Referee Jon Moss immediately pointed to the spot.
Reid was the man to step up on his birthday and he converted it straight into the top right corner of the net. The frontman then led a beautiful tribute for Emiliano Sala, holding a shirt with the Argentinian’s face printed on it up to the crowd.
Cook almost handed the hosts another penalty only four minutes later, after a high corner kick soared over almost everyone. The ball was sent in but controlled by the thigh of Cook, however fans were adamant it was a handball.
Cardiff had the better start to the game and almost doubled their lead in the 13th minute. Niasse managed to play through Murphy with a diagonal through ball just in front of goal, but Boruc was quick to react and quickly snapped the ball up from his feet.
The next five minutes saw Bournemouth introduced into the game and Ryan Fraser almost equalised with a curling effort towards the top right corner, but the ball narrowly went wide.
Reid almost accidentally added to his goal tally when he attempted to whip the ball in for a dangerous cross. However the delivery swerved and almost crept in at the near post, but narrowly whistled over the top.
The best chance of the game for Bournemouth came in the 26th minute when Josh King beat the entirety of the Cardiff midfield before laying the ball off for Surman. He put an effort towards the top left corner and Neil Etheridge tipped onto the crossbar.
Cardiff had the perfect opportunity to make it two-nil just before the half-time whistle. But, Adam Smith made a tackle the equivalent of a goal-line clearance to deny Callum Paterson having a simple tap-in at the far post.
The referee blew for half-time and at that point in time it looked as if Cardiff deserved to have the lead, despite the penalty being such a bizarre opportunity.
There was no stopping the Bluebirds as the second half got underway, because Reid managed to find the net again within twenty seconds of play getting back underway.
It all started with a lofted through ball over the top. Boruc came out to stop the pass but Reid skipped past him and tapped the ball into an open net to make it two-nil straight away.
Fraser tried to immediately answer the goal with one up the other one but his effort soared just wide of the target.
Unfortunately for the Cherries that was probably as good as the chances got for them, a few half openings fell their way but nothing more.
Cardiff tried to add another with a counter-attacking move but just as it looked like Niasse was through he was ruled offside by the linesman.
With just under half an hour on the clock remaining, boss Howe made his first changes. The tactician, celebrating another milestone at the helm, took off Dominic Solanke and Junior Stanislas and brought on Jordon Ibe and Lys Mousset to replace them.
Howe made his final change only seven minutes later when he brought Jefferson Lerma on to replace Dan Gosling.
Ibe made an instant impact within five minutes, and after beating several defenders he whipped a lovely low driven cross across the face of the goal but nobody was there to get on the receiving end.
As the game drew to a close very few chances came the way of either side as it was fulfilled with scrappy free-kicks and frustration.
Cardiff almost killed in the game off in the 93rd minute after a quick counter attack laid off substitute Zohore. The striker tried a shot, which was superbly parried behind by Boruc.
It was a bizarre and ultimately disappointing result for the Cherries, who were entering a good spell of form having beaten Chelsea by four goals on Wednesday.
There were a few player changes and decisions that on another day may have helped in their favour, but ultimately it was not the Cherries’ day.
Bournemouth now travel to Liverpool next weekend to try and upset the league leaders.