Bournemouth 2-1 Manchester United – Red Devils fall again

Credit: @ManUnitedWorld
Credit: @ManUnitedWorld /

Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United fall to another defeat in the Premier League as young side swept aside by Bournmouth.

Manchester United fell 2-1 to Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium with multiple mental lapses from De Gea and the defenders, marking the second loss in a row.

Louis van Gaal had to make several changes to the team as a result of injuries suffered in the midweek Champions League clash. The defense featured Paddy McNair – replacing Chris Smalling – paired centrally with Daley Blind, and youngsters Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Guillermo Varela on the flanks, both receiving their first Premier League starts. Michael Carrick replaced the suspended Bastian Schweinsteiger alongside Fellaini, while the attacking lines remained untouched.

The match got under way with frantic back and forth action, and only moments had passed before Bournemouth opened the scoring. In the swirling winds, Junior Stanislas sent in a dangerous corner that eventually found its way into the back of the net. David de Gea was left stranded by the ball’s erratic flight path in the wind and just missed a fingertip save, giving the home side a tremendous start.

The Red Devils nearly answered just minutes later, only to be thwarted twice by Bournemouth’s Boruc. After a couple of ricochets following a Manchester United corner, Fellaini’s strike at goal was parried away. On the rebound, McNair attempted to head home but didn’t get enough pace on the chance, and United failed to find the net.

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In the 18th minute, Anthony Martial should have leveled the match but sent his shot wide of the post. The French striker was gifted possession after a misplaced pass and only had the keeper to beat, but he failed to even get his attempt on target. Given Manchester United’s troubles in scoring this season, the early signs were cause for concern that they might go on to rue their missed chances.

The Reds eventually found the equalizer, however, as Fellaini punched home a rebound following a saved Memphis attempt. Carrick sprung the winger loose with a pinpoint ball over the top, which he chested down and fired on goal. The Belgian big man showed tremendous determination to get to the second chance and force home his goal.

Louis van Gaal was forced to make a substitution after Jesse Lingard picked up a knock. Andreas Pereira came in in relief in the 31st minute, leaving United with only two subs for the rest of the match. Bournemouth responded well after conceding by increasing their pressure on the United defense, but the resultant chances were relatively harmless.

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Before the break, Pereira was lucky not to be sent off for a reckless sliding challenge. The midfielder appeared to leave the ground as he lunged in on the challenge, but the referee let him off with a yellow. Manchester United again got lucky seconds later as Matt Ritchie fizzed a shot directly into de Gea, with better placement surely having resulted in a goal. As it stood after the action-packed first half, the two sides entered the break level with a goal apiece.

Nine minutes into the second half, United conceded again on a corner, this time the fault being the defenders’. The corner was driven low towards the penalty spot, where Josh King was completely unmarked and calmly slotted the ball past de Gea’s reach. Despite all the momentum the Reds had gained at the end of the first half, Bouremouth looked far and away the more dangerous side. Fellaini came close to bagging a brace in similar manner to his first goal after he struck following more haphazard clearances from inside the Bournemouth box, but Boruc came up with the stop once again.

Manchester United were fortunate Glenn Murray didn’t seal the match in the 71st and 73rd minute. On the first attempt, Murray cut inside on McNair to create a one on one with de Gea. Then, on the second chance, he again found himself with a pocket of space in the United box. Fortunately for van Gaal’s men, he fired both strikes over the bar.

United’s goalscorer came off in favor of Nick Powell in the 74th minute, likely to inject more pace into the side’s attack. Following the move, the team stepped up the urgency as the match entered the final quarter of an hour – Martial created an opportunity with clever footwork, but like Murray’s his shot was sent into the stands. With his final substitution, the Dutch manager sent on Phil Jones in favor of McNair, with the only sensible reason being an injury. The increased pressure went for naught, as the Red Devils ended the result with a 2-1 defeat.

Next: Schweinsteiger given three match ban

In the second consecutive match where the defense looked outmatched and the attack toothless, United supporters will be seriously concerned going forward. Manchester United will next face Norwich City in the Premier League, where they will look to get back to winning ways.