Bournemouth 2-1 Manchester United: 5 things we learned as Louis van Gaal’s men lose AGAIN

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Bournemouth match-winner, Josh King firing home the winner in the 54th minute against his old club.

Bournemouth claimed another famous win over Manchester United to heap the pressure on Louis van Gaal. The Cherries, whose only previous win against United was their 1984 FA Cup giant killing, followed up their stunning win at Chelsea last week by inflicting a second defeat in a few days on the under-fire Van Gaal. Striker Josh King was Bournemouth’s match-winner, firing home the winner in the 54th minute against his old club.

Junior Stanislas had earlier given Bournemouth the lead after just two minutes direct from a corner. Marouane Fellaini equalised for United after 24 minutes but King had the final say to cap another great day for Eddie Howe’s Cherries who climbed up to 14th. 

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United’s starting team
Manchester United’s starting XI highlighted the flaws in Louis van Gaal’s selling policy as much as his buying one. With his side depleted Van Gaal had to plug the gaps with academy kids and field a makeshift defence led by a player initially bought as a midfielder, Daley Blind. In total, United had eight players missing through injury as suspension. As a comparison Arsenal had a similar number missing against Sunderland recently but were still able to name a side featuring 10 internationals and had just one youngster on the bench. Van Gaal’s willingness to turn to youth is admirable. But his hand has been forced. And he has had little choice other than to turn to the kids due to the players he has ruthlessly axed during his time at Old Trafford as much as United’s misfortune with injuries.

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Cherries on top
As they do in most games, United had most of the ball at the Vitality Stadium. Bit Bournemouth showed it is not how much of the ball you have but what you do with it that counts. Not only did they outscore United, they also produced the better football. They were the team who strung together the neater moves, who passed the ball with a purpose, crispness and direction. Meanwhile United kept the ball for long spells but rarely looked like they were going anywhere and repeatedly saw their moves peter out or their players head down blind alleys. 

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Ashley Young MIA
In a team in need of as much experience as possible, there was still no space in the United side for Ashley Young. The 30 year-old can play wide and as, now, as a fullback in desperate times but in all four slots Louis van Gaal went with rookies instead. Young started again on the bench and even when Jesse Lingard went off early it was Andreas Pereira who came on for him. Having been one of United’s better players last season, it seems Young is now well down the list in Louis van Gaal’s thinking. 

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Cameron Borthwick-Jackson’s one for the future
Of United’s two young full-backs it was Cameron Borthwick-Jackson who made the most of his chance to shine. You feared for him a little ahead of the game knowing he would be up against a lively customer like Bournemouth’s right-winger Matt Ritchie. But the Scot got little change out of Borthwick-Jackson who was calm, composed and disciplined in his defending on a promising first United start.The 18 year-old was comfortable joining in to support United attacks and filling in at centre-back when required. Meanwhile Bournemouth got plenty of joy down their left, where Guillermo Varela had a much tougher time on his first Premier League start. 

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A penny for Ryan Giggs’ thoughts
Whether it is at Swansea, Manchester United or elsewhere, Ryan Giggs is likely to be a much more demonstrative manager than Louis van Gaal. The Dutchman was glued to his seat, motionless and expressionless – as is his style for much of the game. And, instead, it was Giggs who was doing most of the cajoling and encouraging and was the one dishing out the instructions from the touchline.