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Thursday, June 24

Cardiff relegated - where it all went wrong

:Headline: Cardiff relegated - where it all went wrong: ID:358257: from db_amp
The Bluebirds spent just one season back in the top flight.

Cardiff's relegation from the Premier League was confirmed on Saturday evening following a 2-1 home defeat by Crystal Palace.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look back at the Bluebirds' season.

Emiliano Sala

Tributes were paid following the death of Emiliano Sala (Aaron Chown/PA)

The £15million club record transfer of Emiliano Sala from Nantes during the January transfer window was supposed to bring the goals to help keep the Bluebirds in the top flight, but ended in tragedy.

The Argentinian striker had been returning to Wales from France when the plane he was aboard crashed in the English channel on January 21. The body of the pilot, David Ibbotson has not been found.

Victor Camarasa

Cardiff manager Neil Warnock (left) felt midfielder Victor Camarasa (right) was a key player (Nick Potts/PA)

The continued efforts of Cardiff boss Neil Warnock to get the best out of his squad were not helped by revelations the club were being guided over the fitness of Victor Camarasa by the midfielder's own medical staff.

Camarasa joined the club on loan from Real Betis but had been hampered by a calf problem during February.

Warnock said: "He obviously listens to his physios, his medical people and Tom, Dick and Harry from abroad. He's a very important player for us and it's been a really big disappointment.

"I've never come across the situation I've got at the moment. We're having physios and medical people from abroad telling us what we can do with him when he is our player."

Sol Bamba

The Bluebirds were deprived of dependable defender Sol Bamba for the relegation run-in after the Ivory Coast international ruptured his cruciate knee ligament in the 2-0 defeat at Wolves on March 2.

The 34-year-old had started all except one Premier League match and on the pitch was the driving force behind the team's efforts to beat the odds.

"It is a major blow to the squad," Warnock said, as the news was confirmed Bamba would be set for surgery and a lengthy spell of rehabilitation.

Pitch battles lost

Cardiff could not extend their relegation battle into the final weekend of the season (Simon Galloway/PA)

Whatever off-field battles Cardiff had to endure, their fate was ultimately sealed by failing to deliver enough consistent performances on the pitch.

It took nine games for them to register a first league win, beating fellow promoted side Fulham at home.

Drubbings by Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham were always on the cards this season, but failing to make the most of opportunities against the top-flight's also rans – particularly at home – proved too costly.

Cardiff gave themselves hope with a hard-earned 2-0 win at Brighton to keep alive their survival dreams but it proved a false dawn.

A subsequent 1-0 loss at already-relegated Fulham swiftly all but ended realistic ambitions of another season among the elite.

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1 462910775363997
2 462710963303391
3 462415779423787
4 4623111256391780
5 46239145850878
6 4622111373462777
7 461913146254870
8 4618141466491768
9 461911165755268
10 461810185553264
11 461517144752-562
12 461711184152-1162
13 46187214956-761
14 461515165052-260
15 4615121965541157
16 461413194961-1255
17 461216183745-852
18 461313203761-2452
19 46156254668-2251
20 461213215071-2149
21 461111243658-2244
22 461110253969-3043
23 46119264460-1642
24 461211234061-2141
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