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Cardiff relegated - where it all went wrong

:Headline: Cardiff relegated - where it all went wrong:
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
1Leeds UnitedLeeds37218856302671
2West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom371913564372770
3Fulham371810952381464
4Brentford371791164333160
5Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest371612948381060
6Preston North EndPreston37168135045556
7Bristol City371510125153-255
8Millwall37131594440454
9Cardiff CityCardiff37131595250254
10Blackburn RoversBlackburn371411125245753
11Swansea CitySwansea371314104645153
12Derby CountyDerby371312124949051
13Queens Park RangersQPR37148155862-450
14Reading37139154642448
15Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds37139154649-348
16Birmingham CityBirmingham371211144857-947
17Stoke CityStoke37126194955-642
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield37119174558-1342
19Middlesbrough37914143747-1041
20Wigan AthleticWigan371011163850-1241
21Hull City37118184963-1441
22Charlton AthleticCharlton37109184454-1039
23Luton TownLuton37105224371-2835
24Barnsley37810194262-2034
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool29271166214582
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
10Burnley29116123440-639
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
12Everton29107123746-937
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
14Southampton29104153552-1734
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
17Watford2969142744-1727
18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721
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