Fraser and Wilson seal opening-day win
- Kevin Friend
Ryan Fraser's first-half goal and Callum Wilson's late strike were the difference as AFC Bournemouth secured a 2-0 win over Cardiff City.
Fraser gave the home side the lead from a Callum Wilson pass following a flowing attacking move the winger started and finished.
Wilson saw a penalty he had won himself saved before the break, and while the Cherries had started the second half fervently pushing for a second they were forced to defend in the closing moments to hold on to their advantage.
Wilson calmed the home nerves with a smart late finish as the deserved win was confirmed.
An even opening ten minutes, characterised mainly by Cardiff sitting deep and looking to break quickly was almost punctured when Wilson worked himself into space in the box, skidding in a low shot that went just wide at the near post.
Bobby Reid skewed an effort wide for the visitors, while at the other end Joshua King created danger by nutmegging Joe Bennett and getting to the byline, the pattern of the opening exchanges becoming set.
The Cherries' persistence paid off midway through the half as they scored their first of the campaign.
On halfway Fraser was part of the build-up that would lead to his goal, the attack soon involving King and then Wilson, with the latter cutting across the box before squaring for the Scot to slam home low from eight yards.
The good start looked to be getting even better when a tangle of legs saw Wilson down in the area and the hosts awarded a penalty. However, Neil Etheridge dived full-length to push Wilson's spot kick wide.
The second period started with some light drizzle falling at Vitality Stadium and the hosts firmly on the front foot as they looked to extend their advantage.
Flying Fraser rotated his man on the left and was soon into the area once more, fizzing in a cross that the unmarked David Brooks, making his Premier League debut, could only head back across goal.
However, the Bluebird's potency from set pieces was evident when a corner was headed down and almost turned home by skipper Sean Morrison, Asmir Begovic brave to block just half a metre in front his own goal line.
Simon Francis replaced Brooks as midway through the half the home side switched to three at the back. Cardiff made changes of their own and were coming back into the game.
Francis was the unexpected architect of the settler as he pinched the ball in the right corner and pulled back a ball that Wilson expertly dispatched with a rolled finish across the face of the goal and into the bottom corner of the net.
Cherries claim first opening-day win
Following three first-day losses, Bournemouth won a Premier League opener at the fourth time of asking.
Fraser's first half goal - the club's second first-day strike following Adam Smith's against Manchester United two years ago - was the least the home side deserved on a day their top-flight pedigree was clear to see, Wilson's late second rubber-stamping a win that had long looked the likely conclusion from a strong home performance.
Fourth time lucky for the Cherries who started with a formidable clean sheet on top of their opening day victory.
Even without his goal, Fraser showed all the buzz, bustle and speed against City that characterises the Scot's game.
Following on from his two-assist and one-goal performance against Marseille seven days previously, Fraser was a constant menace against the physical visiting backline, switching wings to good effect, taking on men and even receiving more than a few heavy hits as he helped lead the Cherries to their win.
After the Marseille win, Fraser admitted he wanted more goals and assists and his lively performance suggests it could well be a very good season for the Scotsman.