Coming in the first match since Bluebirds record signing Emiliano Sala was presumed lost at sea after his plane disappeared en route to Wales, Decordova-Reid showed a shirt with the image of Sala to the Cardiff faithful.
The penalty came after an obvious handball in the Bournemouth box, and a win would be immense for Cardiff’s hopes of staving off relegation. The Bluebirds entered the day five points back of 17th place Burnley.
Bournemouth saw an Andrew Surman shot hit the bar behind Neil Etheridge as the Cherries tried to square things up during a chippy first half. The visitors had to be mindful of Cardiff’s counter, but had a huge deal of possession.
Cardiff made it 2-0 in the first 30 seconds of halftime, Decordova-Reid touching around an offside-claiming Artur Boruc before slotting into the empty goal.
At Bournemouth last season, he played the 59 minutes in the final match of the Premier League season following 105 minutes in Cup competitions.
He’s twice capped by the USMNT, and will be looking to impress new boss Gregg Berhalter as quickly as possible. A return to Hibs or a loan to another club wouldn’t be a surprise if he can’t earn Bournemouth playing time in the absence of competition.
Final place: 14th with 40 points Defining moment: Sacking new manager Marco Silva just six months into his reign. The Portuguese coach had his head turned by interest from Everton and everything fell apart after a superb start which had them in the top four. Sacking Silva in January undoubtedly refocused the players and saved Watford’s season. Biggest victory: The comeback 2-1 win against Arsenal in October which pushed Watford into the top four and had the Hornets faithful dreaming of European qualification. Low point: Losing 4-1 at home against newly-promoted Huddersfield in December was a crushing blow for Silva and he never really recovered. The defeat came amid a run of just one win in 11 games. Star man: Abdoulaye Doucoure was the star man for the Hornets (and their top scorer with seven goals) and it will be very surprising if he remains at Vicarage Road over the summer. The two-way midfielder can score and defend and has a little bit of everything. Seems ready for a top six club. Richarlison should also get a shoutout for his fine start to the season. Manager(s) marks out of 10: Marco Silva (4/10), Javi Gracia (5/10) Grade for the season: C+
Final place: 13th with 42 points Defining moment: After four defeats in five and ugly scenes as fans ran onto the pitch during a home defeat to Burnley, David Moyes‘ men went into a crunch relegation clash against Southampton knowing they had to win. They did and they were 3-0 up at half time. Emphatic. Biggest victory: Following zero wins in eight games, West Ham beat London rivals Chelsea 1-0 at home to spark Moyes’ men into life. Arnautovic’s early goal stunned the Blues and the Hammers could’ve won by a bigger margin. Low point: The 3-0 home defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion under Slaven Bilic has to be up there but there’s no doubt that the ugly scenes in March during their defeat to Burnley was the low point. Fan protests against owners David Sullivan, David Gold and Karen Brady will continue as fans revolt against their stadium move to the cavernous London Stadium. Star man: Marko Arnautovic is the clear winner here. Many raised eyebrows when West Ham paid Stoke $28 million for him last summer but after a dodgy start (a red card against Saints didn’t help) he flourished in a central role under Moyes, scoring 11 times as the top scorer. Manager(s) marks out of 10: Slaven Bilic (3/10), David Moyes (7/10) Grade for the season: D-
Final place: 12th with 44 points Defining moment: It’s a long time ago now but after losing their first four games of the season, trailing Brighton 1-0 at home in the South Coast derby wasn’t ideal. Andrew Surman and Jermain Defoe then struck twice late on to seal victory and Bournemouth’s tag of the “comeback kings” continue throughout the season. Biggest victory: The win away at Chelsea on Jan. 31 came amid a massive purple patch as the Cherries shook off early-season woes to win four times in six games. Howe’s boys pushed themselves away from the relegation zone with their exploits from Boxing Day until February. Low point: Probably the opening two months of the season which were demoralizing with six defeats in eight games, but they had a tough schedule with losses to Tottenham, Man City and Arsenal. Star man: Nathan Ake was sublime for most of the season after he joined permanently following his successful loan spell at Bournemouth in the first half of last season. The Dutch center back has a bright future in the game. Manager(s) marks out of 10: Eddie Howe (7/10) Grade for the season: C+
Final place: 11th with 44 points Defining moment: When Frank De Boer was fired after just four games in charge. Roy Hodgson came in and worked wonders with Palace. Plus, Zaha’s return from injury was a huge boost and season-defining. He’s probably the best player in the PL who doesn’t play for one of the “top six” clubs. Biggest victory: So many huge wins down the stretch with five victories in their final eight games, but you have to say the win against reigning champions Chelsea to snap their seven-game losing streak to start the season. That gave the Eagles players, fans and Hodgson belief they could get out of the relegation zone. Low point: That start. Woof. Seven defeats on the spin (without scoring a single goal) to kick off the season in record-breaking fashion. Enough said. Star man: There is only one star man at Palace: Wilfried Zaha is the top boy at Selhurst. His pace, trickery, goals and assists mean Palace will have to brush off several big-money offers for him this summer. Manager(s) marks out of 10: Frank de Boer (0/10), Roy Hodgson (9/10) Grade for the season: B
Final place: 10th with 44 points Defining moment: The 3-0 home win against Southampton pulled them away from the relegation zone in March and sparked a run of four-straight wins which pushed them into midtable. Kenedy was unplayable during that stretch and the Rafalution was in full flow. Biggest victory: The 1-0 home win against Manchester United in February was huge. Newcastle had won just twice in 13 PL games before that, but taking down Jose Mourinho’s side comfortably not only gave every at Newcastle hope they’d survive, it was also so sweet for Rafa… Low point: Probably the 3-0 home defeat against Watford early in the season. That came smack bang in the middle of a run without a win in nine games. Star man: Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka made a massive impact when he arrived on loan from Sparta Prague in January, while Kenedy had a huge impact after his loan arrival from January. But Jonjo Shelvey turned it on in the second half of the season and his passing coupled with a defense led by Jamaal Lascelles made the difference. In all honesty, Newcastle’s success was due to a total team effort but Shelvely’s quality on the ball gets him the nod. Manager(s) marks out of 10: Rafael Benitez (9/10) Grade for the season: B+
The Cherries are all but safe from relegation after another a fine season under Eddie Howe.
As for United, Jose Mourinho has promised to make plenty of changes ahead of the FA Cup semifinal against Tottenham on Sunday after losing at home to bottom club West Brom last week and putting their second-place Premier League finish in jeopardy.
Newcastle started well, but a Jonjo Shelvey giveaway sprung Bournemouth into the Magpies third for an early corner kick.
Matt Ritchie laced a left-footed shot that Asmir Begovic pushed wide of the far post in the sixth minute. And Dwight Gayle, getting a rare start, headed Ritchie’s 13th minute cross off a defender and out for a corner.
Begovic stopped Christian Atsu soon after, as the Magpies kept knocking. That’s when Ritchie cranked a shot off the post and Gayle’s rebound goal was deemed offside. It was razor thin if off.
Joselu missed Newcastle’s next chance, after an uncharacteristic turnover from Andrew Surman. It remained scoreless in the 29th minute.
Bournemouth turned the tide for a five-minute span, and Rob Elliot made a pair of strong saves including a remarkable stop on Joshua King.