Bournemouth beat Manchester United in scrappy win

Luke Bradshaw
Sports Writer
Joshua King of Bournemouth celebrates (Credit: Getty Images)

Bournemouth beat Manchester United 1-0 in a scrappy affair on the south coast in the day’s early kick-off.

A first-half Joshua King strike proved the difference between the two sides in awful conditions, with United’s poor away form continuing to haunt them as they struggled to produce on the road yet again.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side have now failed to keep a clean sheet in 11 Premier League away games, while Bournemouth move to sixth in the table.

Eddie Howe made one change from the side that drew 0-0 at Watford last week, with loanee Harry Wilson replacing Arnaut Groeneveld.

Following their midweek win over Chelsea, Solskjær reverted to the same starting XI that they had for their last Premier League game, the 3-1 win at Norwich.

Manchester United's Andreas Pereira (Credit: Getty Images)

In torrid conditions it was a scrappy but energetic start as both sides struggled to create genuine chances but the away side saw more of the ball in the opening exchanges.

As the heavens opened and the wind picked up, United winger Daniel James proved to be the one bright spark at the Vitality Stadium. The bulk of his team’s attacking possession came through the Welsh winger, whose pace and delivery caused the closest thing to problems for Bournemouth.

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With a quarter of the game gone, the best chances for either team were shots that were fired over or blocked; a Fred effort that sailed just over the Bournemouth bar the closest that either side came.

The game’s real first flashpoint came just after the half-hour mark. Marcus Rashford found Anthony Martial inside the box trying to squeeze his way to the byline. The Frenchman went down under the challenge of Jefferson Lerma, with the Bournemouth man furious that Martial had dived. There was nothing giving and the ensuing scuffle led to bookings for Lerma, as well as United’s Fred.

Mercifully, for all those in attendance on the south coast, Joshua King finally brought some brightness to proceedings.

Diego Rico battles with Daniel James (Credit: Getty Images)

Cute buildup led to Adam Smith dinking in a cross into the area where King brought in under with his chest, hooked it over his marker and then volleyed home. It was the final act of a poor half of football, but was exquisite enough to make up for it.

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Rather than ignite the game into life, it continued in a similar fashion to the first 45. Chances were at a premium and both teams were guilty of niggles and poor challenges that continued to break up any rhythm in the game.

As the game ticked on Manchester United started to have more and more possession. That said, they created very little with final passes overhit and skidding away on the greasy turf or Bournemouth’s backline clearing from their box.

Howe’s side seemed content with how the game was being played out, and went far closer themselves through Harry Wilson. The young winger sent a low fizzing drive to the bottom-right corner, but David de Gea was equal to it and palmed the effort away.

Three academy products were then substituted on by Solskjær in the form of Jesse Lingard, Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams and it came close to paying dividends when Greenwood struck the post with his first touch. The young striker met a deep cross from the left but volleyed straight back off the woodwork.

Bournemouth dropped deeper, blocked everything they could and backed Ramsdale in goal to mop up anything behind. In the end, it proved enough to keep out a blunt United attack.

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