Report: Bournemouth 1 United 0
Manchester United’s run of away wins came to an end after being beaten 1-0 by Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
In appalling wind and rain on the south coast, former Red Josh King got the only goal with a close-range strike in the first half, although second-half substitute Mason Greenwood was denied an equaliser by the post as United piled on the pressure late on.
Ahead of kick-off a moment of silence was held to mark both Bournemouth’s closest home game before Remembrance Sunday and also the passing of the Cherries former chairman, Peter Hayward, who died this week.
Following this sombre period of reflection by both sets of fans, the stadium came alive with the roars of the crowd and the game got underway as the rain lashed down.
It was a strong start for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side as the Reds enjoyed some good possession early on, resulting in the first shot of the afternoon. Taken by Anthony Martial, it was on target, but easily gathered by home stopper Aaron Ramsdale.
That effort was quickly followed by chances for Andreas Pereira and Fred, the latter connecting with a Daniel James cross, but both ended up wide of the target.
On 15 minutes the home side had their first attempt on goal when the crowd called for Columbian midfield man Jefferson Lerma to strike on the half-volley from Callum Wilson’s ball across to the edge of the area, however alert to the danger Fred shut it down with a comprehensive block.
The Cherries then had a set-piece chance when Harry Wilson latched onto a loose ball in the box, with Scott McTominay deflecting his shot behind. The resulting corner wasn’t a good one but after sending the ball in again, King and Ryan Fraser both fell to the floor. A VAR check saw the decision remain a goal-kick.
At the other end Pereira’s free-kick deflected into the path of James on the edge of the box, but his driven effort flew just wide.
Just after the half-hour mark Martial went down under a challenge in the area as the ball was turned away for a Reds corner by Lerma, who looked to have caught the Frenchman before he played the ball out, but no penalty was given and strangely there wasn’t even a VAR check either.
On the stroke of half-time King broke the deadlock. A neat Cherries move saw Adam Smith pick out the Norwegian in the six-yard-box and he chested the ball down before striking it on the turn through the legs of De Gea.
The momentum appeared to be with the home side after the break as full-back Smith looked to provide another assist, this time finding Fraser but his volley was straight at De Gea.
Seeking a leveller Pereira’s 58th-minute shot was too hot to handle for Ramsdale who parried the ball clear. Down at the other end, De Gea had to come off his line to deflect the ball away and when it fell toHarry Wilson he couldn’t deflect it goalwards thankfully.
As United pressed for an equaliser, Harry Wilson had another good opportunity but De Gea was there to make an excellent save down to his left.
The Reds continued to knock on the door and were unlucky not be level when Greenwood hit the post just moments after coming on. Likewise, Rashford was bearing in on goal and was only denied by a last-ditch Steve Cook challenge.
Eddie Howe’s men though resisted the relentless Reds attacks to hold on for the victory with United’s attentions now turning to hopefully sealing qualification for the Europa League knock-out stages against Partizan Belgrade on Thursday.
Bournemouth: Ramsdale; Smith, S. Cook, Ake, Rico; H. Wilson (L. Cook), Lerma, Billing, Fraser; C. Wilson, King.
Subs not used: Boruc, Francis, Mepham, Kelly, Danjuma, Solanke.
Goal: King 45
Booked: Lerma, S.Cook, Fraser, C.Wilson
United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka (Williams 81), Lindelof, Maguire, Young (c); McTominay, Fred; James (Greenwood 81), Andreas (Lingard 68), Rashford; Martial.
Subs not used: Romero, Rojo, Garner, Mata.
Booked: Fred, Lindelof, Young