Bournemouth beats Aston Villa 2-0 for winning return to EPL

(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, Pool)

BOURNEMOUTH, England (AP) Scott Parker won the battle of the former England midfielders as his newly promoted Bournemouth marked its return to the English Premier League with a 2-0 win over Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa on Saturday.

Jefferson Lerma and Kieffer Moore scored either side of halftime at Vitality Stadium as Gerrard - who played alongside Parker at Euro 2012 - cut a frustrated figure for much of the afternoon.

His expensively assembled team dominated possession in the south-coast sunshine but was toothless in attack.

Parker, meanwhile, had been frustrated by a lack of summer transfer activity following promotion from the Championship but new signing Marcus Tavernier contributed to their second-minute opener. Lerma emphatically lashed home a deflected, left-footed drive from close range after the visitors made a mess of clearing Tavernier's right-wing corner.

Gerrard brought on Emiliano Buendia in the second half and the Argentine midfielder showed flashes of inspiration before hopes of salvaging a draw were extinguished 10 minutes from time when Moore expertly headed beyond goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez following a cross from Lloyd Kelly.

Things will get a lot tougher for Bournemouth, though, with Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool to come in the next three weeks.

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Updated August 6, 2022

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