IT seems hasty to say this result is massive for Eddie Howe’s men – but it is one which is certainly important in kickstarting their campaign.

Held at home against Sheffield United in their opening fixture, the boss would have been desperate to see a reaction from his troops as they made the trip to Villa Park.

And boy did he get it – with Cherries racing out of the gates and being resolute at the death to record their first top-flight win of the campaign.

Goals from Joshua King and Harry Wilson ensured Cherries earned three points with a 2-1 success and ruined Villa’s homecoming to England’s elite level.

The duo helped the visitors storm into a two-goal lead after just 12 minutes. King converted from the penalty spot and Liverpool loanee Wilson’s deflected effort found the net from 25 yards out.

Brazilian Douglas Luiz, a £15million signing from Manchester City, curled a sublime strike into the top corner to put the hosts back in the contest on 71 minutes.

But, as well as having chances to add a third, Cherries stood firm and battled to a gutsy away success.

The visitors handed a Premier League debut to winger Harry Wilson as one of two changes - and also reverted to a back four.

Charlie Daniels was recalled with Diego Rico and Chris Mepham the pair to drop to the bench. Jack Stacey earned a place among the substitutes with Jack Simpson not in the matchday squad.

Villa, staging their first top-flight game since 2016, gave Brazilian Douglas Luiz a start in midfield ahead of Conor Hourihane.

Tyrone Mings, who moved to Villa from Cherries in a deal worth up to £26.5million in the summer, was also included.

But it only took 45 seconds of Villa’s return to the top flight on home soil before Cherries dealt them a huge blow.

Neat build-up from Howe’s men allowed Ryan Fraser to slip in Callum Wilson.

As the pacey frontman was running in on goal, he was clearly tripped by goalkeeper Tom Heaton, with referee Martin Atkinson pointing to the penalty spot.

Up stepped King, who calmly buried the spot-kick to the bottom-left corner.

The hosts however reacted positively.

After Cherries were caught in midfield, space opened up for Scotland international John McGinn to work Aaron Ramsdale from range, the England under-21 international tipping the fierce strike over the bar.

But on 12 minutes, Cherries doubled their advantage through debutant Harry Wilson.

After Trezeguet’s pass was inexplicably left alone by Douglas Luiz – Wales international Wilson pounced on the loose ball and let fly from all of 25 yards out.

He found the corner past a sprawling Heaton, with the effort taking a deflection off defender Mings.

The lively McGinn continued to show his threat for Dean Smith’s side.

After a searching ball forward was only half-cleared by Daniels, the former St Mirren man drilled a low strike which cannoned off Ramsdale - Nathan Ake cleared to safety.

Villa continued to apply pressure. Brazilian frontman Wesley’s deflected shot was palmed away before Daniels made a vital clearance for Howe’s men at the back post.

Cherries midfielder Philip Billing was the first player to enter the referee’s book on 36 minutes after a foul on McGinn.

Moments later, the former Huddersfield star then caught home skipper Jack Grealish with a late challenge but referee Atkinson did not show a second yellow.

McGinn then had another sight at goal with a rasping shot on the half volley which flew inches wide before Cherries could have extended to three their advantage.

Harry Wilson’s stabbed left-foot effort forced a sharp reaction stop from Heaton.

There was still one more chance for Villa to pull a goal back at the end of an action-packed first half.

Wesley charged forward and, after finding space to cross, Trezeguet’s close-range shot was cleared off the line by Ake.

Cherries took no more chances with Billing treading a disciplinary tightrope and introduced Andrew Surman for the second half in his place.

Captain Grealish almost got the hosts back into the contest on 54 minutes.

He drove at the Cherries’ backline and smashed the ball just wide of Ramsdale’s left-hand post – he also caught Adam Smith in the face with his boot on the follow through.

Cherries continued to stand firm. Ramsdale got down well to his right to thwart Trezeguet, who had spun away from Ake to fire at goal.

But it was a moment of magic which got Villa back into the contest with 19 minutes remaining.

After rebuilding from a corner which was cleared by Ake, Grealish teed up Douglas Luiz, who curled into the top corner past Ramsdale.

Fraser had the chance to kill the game off for Cherries with just eight minutes left. He decided to go it alone after Howe’s troops had sparked a counter.

But opting to place it, he was denied by the legs of Heaton.

It was not to matter however, as Cherries stood firm to seal the spoils.

Cherries: Ramsdale; Smith, Cook, Ake, Daniels; H Wilson (Solanke, 76), Lerma, Billing (Surman, h-t), Fraser; King, C. Wilson.

Unused subs: Stacey, Mepham, Rico, Ibe, Boruc (g/k).

Booked: Billing, Ake

Villa: Heaton; Elmohamady, Engels, Mings, Taylor; McGinn, Douglas, Grealish; El Ghazi (Jota, 75), Wesley, Trezeguet (Davis, 87).

Unused subs: Lansbury, Hourihane, Konsa, Targett, Steer (g/k).

Booked: None

Referee: Martin Atkinson

VAR: Jonathan Moss

Attendance: 40,996