Bournemouth spoiled Cardiff City’s Premier League return with a hard-earned 2-0 victory.
The technically superior hosts were quick to dominate possession, pinning their opponents back in their own half for long periods and deservedly taking the lead when Ryan Fraser fired in from close range.
Bournemouth were then awarded a penalty when Callum Wilson was brought down after a tangle with Bruno Ecuele Manga, but the forward’s low spot kick was well saved by Neil Etheridge.
Cardiff roused themselves in the second half with a flurry of chances from set pieces – the best seeing Sean Morrison thwarted a yard out by Asmir Begovic.
But Wilson struck in added time to give Bournemouth a first opening day win since they were promoted to the top flight in 2015.
There was a sense of relief as the unseasonably heavy rain descended on the Vitality Stadium, where the hosts had looked set for a routine victory before they were unsettled by Cardiff’s second-half resurgence.
For the visitors, despite competing with the tenacity expected from a Neil Warnock side, this was a harsh reminder of the chasm in quality between the Championship and the Premier League.
Roberto Pereyra scored both goals as Watford opened the new Premier League season with a comfortable win over Brighton at Vicarage Road.
The 27-year-old Argentine opened the scoring with a sweet volley 10 minutes before the break, after he was left unmarked from a Jose Holebas corner.
Shortly after half-time the former Juventus man got his second after driving into the area and curling the ball beyond a helpless Mat Ryan from a tight angle.
The Seagulls, who finished last season a point and a place behind Watford in 15th, bought on club record signing Alireza Jahanbakhsh and fellow summer signing Yves Bissouma, but Hornets goalkeeper Ben Foster was rarely troubled.
The visitors – hampered by the loss of captain Bruno, who was forced off early on by what appeared to be a hamstring injury – failed to muster a single effort on target and Watford were worthy winners.