Sport Soccer

Friday 9 December 2016

Bournemouth take another prized scalp to add to Manchester United's woes

Published 12/12/2015 | 19:36

Joshua King, centre, celebrates scoring for Bournemouth against Manchester United
Joshua King, centre, celebrates scoring for Bournemouth against Manchester United

Bournemouth picked up a second prized Premier League scalp in a week as they beat Manchester United at the Vitality Stadium.

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Seven days on from a momentous victory at the home of champions Chelsea, Eddie Howe's men recorded another memorable win as they beat an injury-plagued United 2-1.

Junior Stanislas scored directly from a second-minute corner for his third in as many games and, although Marouane Fellaini levelled, former United youngster Joshua King wrapped up the win in the second half.

United, on the back of their chastening Champions League exit, missed the chance to move level at the top of the table as they slipped to a third league defeat of the season just days after Louis van Gaal insisted he was the right man to take them forward.

Much has changed for the Cherries since Harry Redknapp guided them to a famous FA Cup giant-killing over United in 1984.

So much so that this is more of a minor upset than massive shock - but United fans will still believe their expectations are not being met by Van Gaal and his side.

Decimated by injuries, United's defence was certainly inexperienced as full Premier League debutants Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Guillermo Varela joined makeshift centre-back Daley Blind and 20-year-old Paddy McNair at the back.

King never even got as far as making a league appearance for United before signing permanently for Blackburn - but his work-rate and determination came back to haunt his former club.

The hosts were ahead almost straight away as Stanislas' corner drifted over everyone to nestle in David De Gea's net with less than three minutes on the clock.

Van Gaal's men looked for an instant response and Memphis Depay was clipped by Adam Smith with Artur Boruc on hand to magnificently keep out Fellaini and McNair from the resulting free-kick.

United knocked the ball around without truly pushing into Bournemouth's final third before Anthony Martial was gifted possession by Stanislas, only to send a tame shot wide.

It was United who were profligate in possession moments later as Blind's pass went straight to Harry Arter, who freed Stanislas but De Gea was on hand to dive at this feet and prevent him doubling his tally.

And United soon made them pay as Depay was played in by a typically astute Michael Carrick pass, controlling on his chest before forcing another smart stop out of Boruc - but the Polish goalkeeper could do nothing to prevent Fellaini eventually bundling home the rebound.

The injury woes for United continued as Jesse Lingard was forced off to be replaced by Andreas Pereira before the break.

Bournemouth started in style again in the second-half as Simon Francis, man of the match at Chelsea, belied his position as a centre-back to dance through United's defence like a seasoned winger and fire at De Gea.

The Spain goalkeeper turned his effort behind but Matt Ritchie's resulting low corner was swept home by King to put the Cherries back in front.

Fellaini almost levelled again before King had to be substituted due to injury - with Chelsea match-winner Glenn Murray replacing him.

The former Crystal Palace man had two golden chances to seal all three points again but blazed wildly over on both occasions. It would not matter as the hosts hung on for a famous win.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

"Whist Javier Hernandez bags a hat trick. United have Nick Powell playing up front for them." BT Sport presenter Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) analyses Manchester United's scoring woes as former striker Javier Hernandez scored a hat-trick for Bayer Leverkusen.

PLAYER RATINGS

Bournemouth:

Artur Boruc: 7

Adam Smith: 7

Simon Francis: 6

Steve Cook: 6

Charlie Daniels: 6

Andrew Surman: 7

Matt Ritchie: 6

Dan Gosling: 7

Harry Arter: 7

Junior Stanislas: 8

Joshua King: 8

Substitutes -

Glenn Murray: 4

Eunan O'Kane: 5

Manchester United:

David De Gea: 7

Guillermo Varela: 5

Paddy McNair: 6

Daley Blind: 5

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson: 6

Michael Carrick: 6

Marouane Fellaini: 7

Jesse Lingard: 6

Juan Mata: 5

Memphis Depay: 5

Anthony Martial: 5

Substitutes -

Andreas Pereira: 5

Nick Powell: 5

Phil Jones: 5

STAR PLAYER

Joshua King: May have been forced off with injury but very much deserved his goal after harassing United's inexperienced defence for much of the afternoon. Could have been on the scoresheet much earlier but buried his chance and worked tirelessly.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Junior Stanislas: The best way to unnerve an already suspect defence? Score directly from a corner in just the second minute. The former West Ham man now has three in three for the Cherries and this early goal set Howe's side on their way to victory.

VIEW FROM THE BENCH

Howe opted for the mantra of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" as he kept with the same side that beat Chelsea. Van Gaal's squad is certainly broken - but his decisions here did little to paper over any cracks. He fielded a youthful back-line and opted for Pereira instead of Ashley Young when Lingard was injured. Is he still the right man to take United forward? He thinks so but more and more dissenting voices are arguing that point every week.

MOAN OF THE MATCH

On another superb evening for Howe and his side, it is a shame much of the after-match will focus on United's short-comings - even though there were plenty to choose from.

WHO'S UP NEXT

West Brom v Bournemouth (Barclays Premier League, Saturday 19 December)

Manchester United v Norwich (Barclays Premier League, Saturday 19 December)

"We've tried a load of them (set pieces) this season, sometimes, majority of the time they don't come off so to see one come off and win us the game was hugely satisfying," Eddie Howe told Sky Sports 1.

"For us, it's just been a brilliant week. The preparation for this game was difficult with the news for Harry Arter and his family. I really want to pay tribute to his family and how he played, and how courageous he was in his performance. I thought he was magnificent.

"Pace is such an important thing in any league but even more so in the Premier League so I think those two players (King and Stanislas) have had a huge impact in just changing the balance of the team. Everyone is contributing but I think the real feature today was the work ethic of the whole team. Whenever you play Manchester United and Chelsea you know you won't have much of the ball, but I think we were very good in two games."

Louis van Gaal said: "Again, two set pieces like against Wolfsburg. We give a lot of attention to our organisation but they had a few variations, I have to say but still it cannot be, I think. I thought the first half we played rather well, we created chances, we score a goal and I had a feeling that we could win in the second half.

"But then again a set play and there you are behind in the score and it is very difficult to have a revival and I think the players have done everything. But I have to say Bournemouth were pressing on the ball in an impressive way, and it makes it more difficult to get the equaliser.]

"It is not new (the pressure), but if you believe in this manager or not because that is the most important thing. Last year the fans showed their belief but for me the most important thing is the commitment of my players."

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