Bournemouth won a matchday one fixture for the first time in the Premier League at the fourth time of asking after a 2-0 victory over Cardiff.
Ryan Fraser continued his good form from pre-season to open the lead before Callum Wilson doubled their advantage in the second half, redeeming himself after seeing a first-half penalty saved by Cardiff stopper Neil Etheridge.
Eddie Howe’s side will now head to face West Ham next weekend full of confidence and will take some key lessons into that match. Here, we have identified one winner and loser from the victory.
Winner: Ryan Fraser
Catching the eye in pre-season, Ryan Fraser entered the campaign with good form and continued a fine record that carries over from last term – as he has now been directly involved in six goals in his last eight matches at the Vitality Stadium, scoring four and contributing two assists.
The 24-year-old has now scored a quarter of his 12 clubs goals in that period, from 112 league appearances, and it looks like he could be the shining light for Eddie Howe’s side as they seek top-flight stability once again this season.
Scotland international Fraser will certainly face competition for regular opportunities in his midfield role following the signings of Jefferson Lerma and David Brooks but he has certainly put himself right at the top of the pecking order.
“If we can keep Ryan [Fraser] fit he’ll be a big player for us this season. We needed this win after a poor start last year.”
Loser: Lewis Cook
Handed an extended break after his involvement at the Toulon Tournament with England’s U21 side, and also on the standby list for Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad, Lewis Cook did not feature today and may now face a test to force his way back into the line-up.
He is certainly one of the best players within the Cherries squad but the midfield quartet selected by Howe for the match against Cardiff looked strong and composed throughout, keeping the Welsh side quiet and pegged back inside their own half during the opening 45 minutes.
The second half saw Cardiff look much more threatening and the midfield then dropped back to aid the defenders. If Cook is to be one of the first names on the teamsheet this season, he will need to hit the ground running on his return.