Bournemouth win on top flight return as Lerma and Moore sink Aston Villa | premier league


Maybe Scott Parker’s blunt warning was a feat of soil science. The Bournemouth manager didn’t water down his words in the build-up to their first Premier League game in two years, saying the side were under-resourced and weaker than the one promoted from the Championship as runners-up last season. The reality is that Bournemouth have totally outplayed an Aston Villa side fresh out of a summer facelift.

Bournemouth flew out of the blocks, Jefferson Lerma grabbed three minutes after feasting on poor Villa defence, and the hosts doubled their advantage with 10 minutes to play when Kieffer Moore headed in unchallenged inside the box. The hosts were well deserving of victory on their return to this level, but for Steven Gerrard, who recognized his side needed a step up after a positive pre-season, this alarming display provided a wake-up call.

Bournemouth took the lead from an early corner, Lerma hammering through a sea of ​​bodies after Lloyd Kelly kept Marcus Tavernier’s floating ball alive in the box. If that made Gerrard uncomfortable on the touchline, Moore’s head hurt just as much. Kelly was allowed to swing a high cross from the goal line and Boubacar Kamara, one of two Villa players to wither on his debut, and Matty Cash were reluctant to challenge the ball, much to the delight of Moore who chose his place. Before scoring, Moore had shown some cute touches and Ben Pearson looked superb in midfield, where Villa seemed to be losing almost every battle. Pearson received a hearty ovation after neatly raking the ball in from new Villa captain John McGinn seconds before Lerma collected the ball from the ineffectual Coutinho, who was taken off late.

Gerrard ditched the suit blazer at the break, likely after delivering some home truths in the away dressing room, at which point Emi Buendía came on in place of Jacob Ramsey, who was cautioned before half-time for shooting on Pearson’s jersey. For Villa it was a moment that characterized a frustrating and disappointing first half and moments earlier Coutinho had tripped up Tavernier, who was superb on his debut after arriving from Middlesbrough on a 13-year deal, £5million earlier this week. Midway through the second half, Tavernier sent an inviting ball through the box after good work from Moore, but the Wales forward later added a heartwarming second goal.

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There was the odd panicked clearance into the Bournemouth defense but Villa failed to force a makeshift back line. Bournemouth are meager in numbers – they have three senior centre-backs – but you would never have guessed that. Mark Travers was undisturbed in goal and Lerma was accomplished on the right of a three-man defense. Bournemouth captain Kelly shone on the other side of Chris Mepham. Kamara sent a shot wide from 25 yards and Coutinho a low shot into the fences, but it was anything but the start Villa wanted.


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