Douglas Luiz scored a beautiful goal in the second half, but that’s all the Villans could muster in the loss.
Three things we learned
Heaton hears a who: The Aston Villa backstop is going to save them more points than he loses them, but his first minute penalty is one he’ll hope to forget.
Eddie Howe‘s men start well again: The Cherries have four points through two matches, and overcome their hiccup against Sheffield United.
Even in defeat, Villa are for real: You won’t make the types of mistakes the hosts made early and find three points often, but Villa controlled play for most of the match and took nearly double the shots of the visitors in a near-flip of their performance on Opening Day at Spurs.
Heaton chopped down Callum Wilson just 45 seconds into the match, and Joshua King converted the penalty to give the Cherries a fine start.
It was 2-0 a dozen minutes later when Harry Wilson hit a screamer that deflected to leave Heaton out to lunch.
Villa pounded the pavement to get back into the match, but Eddie Howe was pleased to have only allowed a single goal — Luiz’s beauty (below) — and held on for the win against a very good Villa. From the BBC:
“We looked good on the counter, we had a threat today and could have had more but the third didn’t come. I think the most impressive aspect was how we saw the game out after conceding late last week. It’s a big win to come here and perform the way we did.”
We here at ProSoccerTalk are trying to put a new spin on our weekly Premier League power rankings this season, and we’ve got a few weeks to figure out the best way to track the most powerful teams in the world’s top league.
20. Watford — Many were tipping Watford for bigger things after a very decent 2018-19, and those opinions were rewarded by conceding three goals at home to a club that scored 16 away goals last season. Shoulder shrug emoji? Last season’s final power ranking: 11
Opening Day: Lost 3-0 v. Brighton and Hove Albion
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Everton
19. Southampton — Maybe Burnley’s Erik Pieters and Ashley Barnes traded bodies with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino, but Saints need to be better than a 3-0 opening day loss to Burnley. Last season’s final power ranking: 15
Opening Day: Lost 3-0 at Burnley
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Liverpool
18. West Ham United — Not many teams can make Issa Diop look like an episode of “my very first time as a professional.” Ain’t too many teams like Man City. Last season’s final power ranking: 10
Opening Day: Lost 5-0 v. Man City
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Brighton and Hove Albion
17. Norwich City — Let’s be real: The 4-1 loss to Liverpool could’ve been 6-4. The Canaries created plenty of chances. Last season’s final power ranking: N/A (Championship)
Opening Day: Lost 4-1 at Liverpool
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Newcastle United
16. Newcastle United — Arsenal did the St. James’ Park faithful a solid by keeping Lacazette, Pepe, and David Luiz on the bench. Last season’s final power ranking: 13
Opening Day: Lost 1-0 v. Arsenal
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Norwich City
15. Bournemouth — Eddie Howe‘s teams are usually a bit more savvy against the lower lights of the league. Last season’s final power ranking: 14
Opening Day: Drew 1-1 v. Sheffield United
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Aston Villa
14. Crystal Palace — Could’ve use WilfriedZaha in the Starting XI, and how Roy Hodgson settles the Ivorian will go a long way towards its season fate. Last season’s final power ranking: 12
Opening Day: Drew 0-0 v. Everton
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday at Sheffield United
13. Sheffield United — 33-year-old Billy “Mr. Sheffield United” Sharp getting his first Premier League goal to draw the Blades’ first PL match in years was my favorite moment of the weekend. Last season’s final power ranking: N/A (Championship)
Opening Day: Drew 1-1 at Bournemouth
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday v. Crystal Palace
12. Chelsea — Frank Lampard is right in that the Blues were better than a 4-0, but he’s also wrong in ignoring Jose Mourinho’s overall point; The young lineup to face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Opening Day was as naive as the players in it, even if Mason Mount was a nice surprise. Last season’s final power ranking: 4
Opening Day: Lost 4-0 at Man Utd
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday v. Leicester
11. Everton — A second-successive season opening red card at Palace. The 0-0 result is respectable, but not great if you want to be a Top Six side. Last season’s final power ranking: 5 Opening Day: Drew 0-0 at Crystal Palace Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Watford
10. Leicester City — Controlled play but really should’ve been able to get it over the line against a Wolves team who was in Armenia a few days earlier. Last season’s final power ranking: 8 Opening Day: Drew 0-0 v. Wolves Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday at Chelsea
9. Wolves — To get a point at Leicester despite playing Thursday in Armenia is solid. Last season’s final power ranking: 6 Opening Day: Drew 0-0 at Leicester City Up next: 3 p.m. ET Monday v. Man Utd
8. Aston Villa — Showed discipline under siege. Last season’s final power ranking: N/A (Championship) Opening Day: Lost 3-1 at Spurs Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Bournemouth
7. Arsenal — The problems Arsenal had winning the ball versus Joelinton, a promising player and big signing, makes you wonder what will happen against Roberto Firmino and Harry Kane. Last season’s final power ranking: 7 Opening Day: Won 1-0 at Newcastle Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday v. Burnley
6. Burnley — We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: We have too often bet against Sean Dyche, who like his Clarets is tactically smart and physically terrifying. Last season’s final power ranking: 16 Opening Day: Won 3-0 v. Southampton Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday at Arsenal
5. Brighton and Hove Albion — Raise your hand if you saw the Seagulls going on the road and professionally out-maneuvering Watford at nearly every turn. Put your hand down. Dishonesty isn’t cool. Last season’s final power ranking: 17 Opening Day: Won 3-0 at Watford Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. West Ham
4. Liverpool — Mohamed Salah was wonderful and Fabinho a treat, but you’d be naive to gloss over another shaky defensive performance after a summer of rough ones. Last season’s final power ranking: 2 Opening Day: Won 4-1 v. Norwich City Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Newcastle United
3. Tottenham Hotspur — Thoroughly dominated Aston Villa and, most important, found its way through the packed in back. Last season’s final power ranking: 3 Opening Day: Won 3-1 v. Aston Villa Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Man City
2. Manchester United — Spare a thought for David De Gea, whose first half allowed for the Red Devils’ standout final half hour. Last season’s final power ranking: 9 Opening Day: Won 4-0 v. Chelsea Up next: 3 p.m. ET Monday at Wolves
Manchester City — Raheem Sterling is unfair, and City hasn’t even really worked Joao Cancelo into the mix. And Bernardo Silva was injured. Last season’s final power ranking: 1 Opening Day: Won 5-0 at West Ham Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday v. Spurs
3. Bournemouth’s defensive unit looked stronger, then let in another late goal as it was the same old story for Eddie Howe. They looked less dangerous in attack and still conceded, which will be a worry.
Man of the Match:Dean Henderson – Made one stunning save in the second half from Billing and held United’s defense together as Bournemouth piled on the pressure.
The Blades looked comfortable enough and were rattling into challenges as Wilder’s side held their own. Adam Smith was booked in the first half but VAR was used to rule out a red card as the game turned into a scrappy affair.
David McGoldrick was played in over the top but arrowed his effort just wide of the far post as the Blades grew in stature.
At the other end Bournemouth’s Phillip Billing forced Dean Henderson into a wonderful save as the Man United loanee denied the Danish midfielder at full stretch.
Moments later Bournemouth took the lead as Ryan Fraser whipped in a free kick to the back post and several players tried to hook the ball goalwards with Henderson denying Callum Wilson, then Mepham arrived to smash home.
Just as it looked like Bournemouth were going to win, Sharp pounced and celebrated wildly with the away fans on the South Coast.
Sheffield United celebrated being back in the big-time in dramatic fashion.
Both of the PL center backs have been outstanding on their respective sides, with Tarkowski attached to a rumored $49 million price tag following another strong season in which he hoofed 6.7 clearances per match and scored three Premier League goals.
While Burnley may be preparing for life without the 26-year-old Tarkowski, it’s difficult to believe Bournemouth would sanction the sale of Ake.
The 24-year-old Dutchman has played in all 76 matches for Eddie Howe over the course of the last two seasons, starting 75 and scoring six goals while completing a sterling 85 percent of his passes.
Ajer, however, has a low $18 million price tag attached by reports, which may be due to his league more than his quality as Arsenal has taken a while to stump up Celtic’s asking price for Kieran Tierney.