AFC Bournemouth suffered their third successive opening day Premier League defeat as they fell to West Bromwich Albion 1-0.
Debutant Ahmed Hegazi’s first half header was enough to separate the two sides as the Baggies got their new season off to the perfect start.
West Brom dominated the first half and new signing Jay Rodriguez caused the Cherries all sorts of problems in the opening half an hour. The striker, who scored twice against Eddie Howe’s side for Southampton last season in a 3-1 away win, looked the most likely to open the scoring. He forced summer signing Asmir Begovic into a couple of diving saves and narrowly curled an effort wide of the far post after 23 minutes.
On 31 minutes the home side took the lead and it was no surprise that the goal came from a set piece. Six foot five debutant Hegazi headed the ball tbrough Begovic’s legs after a decent delivery from a Chris Brunt free kick to put the Baggies deservedly in front.
AFC Bournemouth struggled to create any notable chances and managed no shots on target in the first half.
Nathan Ake made Ben Foster make his first save of the match, comfortably catching a header which was straight at him. That chance pretty much summed up the Cherries performance, with Howe’s side managing to register just one other shot on target despite having 71% of the possession. Not even substitute Jermain Defoe could mark his return to the club with any notable impact.
Hal-Robson Kanu had the chance to put the game to bed in stoppage time as the Cherries committed men forward, but Begovic was able to turn his effort round the post.
In the end it was a deserved three points for West Brom and the result leaves the Cherries with much to work on, particularly in the chance creation department as they prepare to host Watford in the league next Saturday.