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.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.