Lerma and Moore get AFC Bournemouth off to winning start against Aston Villa

GOALS from Jefferson Lerma and Kieffer Moore got Cherries off to the perfect start on their return to the Premier League.

Colombian Lerma hammered home after just two minutes, with Wales international Moore heading in 10 minutes from time to give the Dorset club a 2-0 victory over Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa at Vitality Stadium.

Moore’s strike ensured he had five goals in his past five games for Cherries.

Home boss Scott Parker sprung a surprise with his team selection ahead of the contest – Cherries’ first top-flight game in 742 days.

Ben Pearson, who spent last Saturday playing for the club’s development squad against Queens Park Rangers under-23s, made his first Premier League start in midfield.

It was the former Manchester United youngster’s first competitive start for the club since their FA Cup defeat to Boreham Wood in February.

There was also a debut for new recruit Marcus Tavernier, the former Middlesbrough man only confirmed his move on Monday but was put straight in the club’s starting XI.

And it was Tavernier’s corner that helped Cherries take the lead after just two minutes. His delivery was met by Lloyd Kelly, who nodded into the path of Lerma to smash home the opener.

Villa then looked to respond almost instantly. Former Cherries youngster Danny Ings, who was given a less than warm reception on his return to Dorset, worked Mark Travers with a low drive.

With Vitality Stadium bouncing, Cherries almost carved out a second. Jordan Zemura’s surging run allowed Dom Solanke to take the ball off him and sting the palms of keeper Emiliano Martinez from the edge of the box.

Villa pushed for a leveller as the half wore on, a crucial tackle from Chris Mepham, which he had to get right in his own box, denied Jacob Ramsey a shot on goal. Pearson was then booked for a lunging challenge on Boubacar Kamara.

Goalmouth action was limited in the opening stages of the second half with Villa’s Diego Carlos sending a fierce effort from range well wide of Travers’s goal. Kamara then had the Irishman diving to his right but the effort was off target.

Villa began to turn the screw as Cherries dropped deeper. Pearson was given a standing ovation by the home fans as he was replaced by Lewis Cook with 18 minutes left.

But with 10 minutes remaining, having soaked up an abundance of pressure, Cherries grabbed a second.

After a free-kick swung into the box, Kelly’s left-footed cross allowed Moore to nod home a second and send the home fans into raptures.

Cherries: Travers; Kelly, Lerma, Mepham; Smith, Billing, Pearson (Cook, 70), Tavernier (Christie, 86), Zemura; Solanke (Stanislas, 90+5), Moore.

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