Match ends, Bournemouth 0, Aston Villa 1.
Substitute Rudy Gestede scored on his first competitive Aston Villa outing as Bournemouth were left to rue missed chances on their Premier League debut.
Gestede, signed for £6m from Blackburn, powered in a header 13 minutes after replacing fellow new boy Jordan Ayew.
In front of a packed and excited home crowd, Dan Gosling fired over from 12 yards, and Callum Wilson and Marc Pugh saw shots saved before the break.
They were costly misses as Villa struck and comfortably defended the lead.
A 'what if' day for Bournemouth
Having come close to extinction as a club twice in their recent history, some Bournemouth fans will claim their side have seen more important days but there was tangible excitement at the Vitality Stadium as the club tasted Premier League football for the first time.
Their tiny ground should have erupted in the opening period, most notably when Pugh wasted a glorious chance on the stroke of half-time.
The winger smashed an effort into the ground from 12 yards, allowing Brad Guzan to save at a time which would have posed a lacklustre Villa serious questions.
Instead, it is Eddie Howe left searching for answers. But the confidence with which his side played will give him encouragement - they held 58% of possession - ahead their next game at Anfield.
More threat in the final third may be a desire, but the introduction of summer signing Max Gradel from the bench shows options are available.
Sherwood gets it right
Tim Sherwood gave debuts to six summer signings as he embarks on his first full campaign in charge of a team.
Perhaps his half-time words were behind the improvement as his side re-emerged quicker into the tackle and more threatening - notably when debutant Idrissa Gueye drew a fine save from Artur Boruc.
Sherwood has sought a presence up front to replace the 42 goals Christian Benteke contributed in his 89 league games, and in 6ft 4in Gestede, he has a player who contributed defensively from set pieces late on having already delivered the game's telling moment.
This was far from a free-flowing, transformed Villa, but they stuck to their task doggedly and maybe things are turning as a goal from a substitute was a luxury which did not arrive once last season but took just 72 minutes in this campaign.
Villa must improve on consecutive finishes of 16th, 15th, 15th and 17th if Sherwood is to back up his early promise as a manager but in making decisions at key times, he showed terrific instincts on the opening day.
Where Villa went toe-to-toe and won
With half a dozen players new to the league - including the disappointing Jordan Ayew - it was perhaps understandable Villa felt their way into the fixture.
Howe's side were threatening from the right flank in the opening period but as Gueye and left-back Jordan Amavi grew into the game, Villa's left-side stiffened up.
They were the most prominent away players on show, with Gueye's 74 touches only bettered by Amavi on 76 as the French full-back tackled ferociously and positioned himself well to ensure Villa won the battle down that key flank.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: "I felt we dominated, especially possession and chances in the first half. If you're not clinical enough in their box and a player like Gestede comes on, you're in trouble. The chances will come at a premium this year and we need to take them.
"It was a great day for the football club regardless of the result. It's just a shame we couldn't back it up with the result, but I thought the performance was there."
Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood: "I thought we were slow in the first period but we set out to nullify them and try to quieten this carnival atmosphere.
"Rudy hasn't trained an awful lot, but we knew he would give us a different dimension. We worked very hard to bring him to this football club so we're delighted - and that's a victory for the people behind the scenes at the club."
Man of the match
Brought in at a reported £7.7m from Nice, Jordan Amavi should answer plenty of questions at left-back where Villa have tried out the likes of Alan Hutton and Aly Cissokho in recent times.
At just 21, the France Under-21s international looked comfortable in the English game and prioritised his defensive duties over surging forward, winning 10 of his 15 duels.
The stats you need to know
- Since the start of 2013-14, Rudy Gestede has scored 20 headed goals; five more than anyone else in the top four tiers
- Bournemouth only lost one of their last 19 home league games last season but tasted defeat on their first outing their in the Premier League
- 3S CookBooked at 42mins
- 4GoslingBooked at 80minsSubstituted forO'Kaneat 84'minutes
- 7PughSubstituted forGradelat 69'minutes
- 17KingBooked at 24minsSubstituted forKermorgantat 53'minutes
- 15A Smith
- 7BacunaBooked at 74mins
- 6ClarkBooked at 45mins
- 17VeretoutSubstituted forC Sánchezat 71'minutes
- 15WestwoodBooked at 90mins
- 8GueyeBooked at 75mins
- 19J AyewSubstituted forGestedeat 59'minutes
- 9SinclairSubstituted forRichardsonat 78'minutes
- 24C Sánchez
- Mark Clattenburg
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Bournemouth 0, Aston Villa 1.
Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.
Max Gradel (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa).
Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Tommy Elphick (Bournemouth).
Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Yann Kermorgant (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Carlos Sánchez (Aston Villa).
Substitution, Bournemouth. Eunan O'Kane replaces Dan Gosling.
Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa).
Attempt missed. Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Andrew Surman.
Attempt saved. Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Micah Richards.
Dan Gosling (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Dan Gosling (Bournemouth).
Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Kieran Richardson replaces Scott Sinclair.
Foul by Callum Wilson (Bournemouth).