Aston Villa 1-2 AFC Bournemouth: King and Wilson guide Bournemouth to victory and pile misery on Villa
(Photo: Getty Images/Alex Morton)

Bournemouth recorded their first victory of the season after beating Aston Villa 2-1 at Villa Park, with goals from Joshua King and Harry Wilson; Douglas Luiz reduced the arrears in the second half but Bournemouth saw the game out.

AFC Bournemouth took the lead within two minutes of kick-off, after Tom Heaton felled Callum Wilson, giving Joshua King the opportunity to convert from the penalty spot which he duly took, firing his spotkick past debutant Heaton in goal.

The Bournemouth faithful only had to wait ten minutes for a second goal and this time it came from open play from Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson, who let fly from distance and beat the despairing dive of Heaton with the help of a slight deflection.

In a fiercly competitive game, the two sides gave as good as they got and created numerous opportunities, while the tackles came in thick and fast, leading to an intriguing second half.

Villa's summer signing Douglas Luiz, who was partly at fault for Bournemouth's second goal, made amends in style, pegging Bournemouth back with a curling strike into the top corner with twenty minutes left to halve the deficit.

High hopes

Newly promoted Villa, who are making their return to the Premier League after a three season and 1197 day absence since being relegated in 2016, had looked set to get their campaign off to a winning start last week against Tottenham Hotspur.

Holding a one goal advantage given to them in the 9th minute by John McGinn from an assist by Tyrone Mings, who moved to the Midlands from Bournemouth this summer, the game turned round in the final quarter. 

England marksman Harry Kane's quickfire double in the last five minutes of the contest followed Tanguy Ndombele's 73rd minute equalising goal and secured a 3-1 victory for the Champions League runners-up, reminding Villa of the unforgiving nature of the Premier League.

On the opening weekend, the Cherries had also faced fresh competition in the form of Sheffield United - automatically promoted from the Championship in May in second place behind Norwich City - with the match finishing all square at the Vitality Stadium.

Chris Mepham, who signed for the South Coast club from Brentford in January, kicked Bournemouth's season into gear with their first goal of the season, but United's hometown hero Billy Sharp got his first Premier League goal late on to ensure a share of the spoils.

Off pitch

Both sides entered the contest with a number of players unavailable through injury, with the Cherries particularly hard-hit Arnaut Danjuma, their new Belgian recruit absent, along with other key figures including last term's breakthrough star David Brooks, Lewis Cook, Junior Stanislas and Simon Francis. 

Villa's biggest loss was Jonathan Kodija, who was kept from the matchday contingent due to an ankle injury, but in more encouraging news, Douglas Luiz made his first start for the club in midfield, his second appearance since moving from Manchester City.

Early drama

Ahead of this game, it would have been a close call which way the game would swing, with Villa not recording victory in their opening home game in the Premier League since 2011, although admittedly they have not been at the top table for three of those years.

Conversely, Bournemouth's away record against newly promoted sides read only eight points in their last eleven matches against such opposition.

However, the game is played on the pitch, not on paper, and Bournemouth let their feet do the talking as they gained the lead while some supporters were still finding their way to their seats.

Villa's debutant goalkeeper Heaton, who started his career at Manchester United but never made a first team appearance, and had been at Burnley for the past six years, rushed out to meet Callum Wilson but misjudged his challenge and sent the striker falling to the ground.

Referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot and King was tasked with the job of putting the penalty away which he obliged and gave the Cherries a dream start in their first away fixture.

Just ten minutes later, Bournemouth's lead was doubled, and Luiz was the one with the red face this time. Thinking there was a teammate behind him, he allowed the ball to roll through his legs with the goal in his eyeline and Harry Wilson needed no second invitation to strike.

His powerful drive was not entirely clean but it was hit with enough venom that the deflection off Mings was almost incidental and the end result was Bournemouth holding a 2-0 advantage.

Even contest

Chances ebbed and flowed between the two sides throughout the first half, with McGinn coming close to reducing the arrears on several occasions as Villa grew into the game, while Harry Wilson was disappointed not to add to Bournemouth's tally.

It was a hotly fought match and things threatened to spill over on numerous occasions, with a series of poorly-timed challenges from players of both Bournemouth and Villa persuasion, notably Bournemouth's Philip Billing, who committed several offences that could have resulted in more severe action. Experienced referee Atkinson did well to keep a handle on things.

VAR was also brought into the spotlight in the initial stages of the second half, with Bournemouth keeper Aaron Ramsdale walking a tightrope when he brought down Villa's Wesley, but the technology saw nothing wrong with the challenge and the home sides penalty appeals came to nothing.

Game on

Luiz had a mixed game in Villa's claret and blue, launching into several tackles that tested the patience of the officials, but also giving the home side cause for optimism that the game was not lost with some promising strikes at goal.

In the 73rd minute, he finally got his name up on the scoreboard, and it was a goal to remember for the Villa fans, their first at Villa Park back in the Premier League.

Luiz, waiting on the edge of the Bournemouth area, was found by Jack Grealish, took one touch and curled a sweet strike into the top corner that left Ramsdale clutching at air.

Both sides went for the jugular in the final 20 minutes but Villa could not find a second goal, and Bournemouth emerged with their first maximum points of the season.

Challenges ahead

Their next test will be against last season's champions, Manchester City, who will visit the Vitality Stadium next weekend.

Villa are still looking for their first point after back-to-back defeats and will next be up against Everton at Villa Park on Friday evening.

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