Aston Villa goal hero Rudy Gestede speaks on debut delight

The 26-year-old striker came on to score the only goal of the game in Saturday's Premier League opener at Bournemouth.

Aston Villa striker Rudy Gestede has told AVTV of his delight at marking his claret and blue debut with the winning goal in Saturday’s 1-0 opening day victory at Premier League newcomers Bournemouth.

Gestede, 26, began the game on the bench after barely training with Villa since last week’s £6 million move from Blackburn Rovers, but it did not take him long to make his presence felt following his introduction for fellow debutant Jordan Ayew just before the hour.

With 18 minutes remaining, the 6ft 4in front man popped up to produce a trademark headed finish, powering in Ashley Westwood’s cross to hand Tim Sherwood’s men a winning start to their top-flight campaign.

“It meant a lot. My first game for Villa and I score a goal,” said Gestede. “But the most important thing is the three points.

“I knew that I’d get a good delivery from Ashley so I just had to beat my man on the side. I know how to use my head and that’s what I did today.

“It’s a good start for us. It’s not an easy ground to come to but we did very well today.”

 Vs Bournemouth GoalsTotal ShotsShots OntargetHeaders WonHeaders LostTotal PassesPassing AccuracyTouchesMins Played
Rudy Gestede 1 2 1 6 2 16 50% 21 31

Gestede arrived at Villa having scored 35 times in 72 appearances across all competitions during his 18-month spell at Blackburn, with 19 of his goals coming off headers – the most in England over the past two seasons.

The Benin international also won an outstanding 359 aerial duels in the Championship last term, which was 135 more than his nearest rival, Cardiff City’s Alex Revell.

He has some big boots to fill in replacing Christian Benteke, who made a £32.5 million move to Liverpool last month, but the French-born forward is determined to reward Sherwood’s faith after being labelled the country’s biggest aerial threat by his new boss.

“That was a big compliment from the manager and I thank him for it,” added Gestede. “I scored 19 goals with my head over the last two seasons so that means I’m not bad!

“But I have other qualities as well and maybe now I will get the chance to show them.”

His next opportunity to show those qualities could well come under the lights of Villa Park next Friday night against Manchester United.

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