Written by Kieran Green (@kierlfc12) from Vitality StadiumA magical Joshua King strike on the cusp of half-time was enough to secure all three points for Bournemouth against Manchester United.
King found himself with a questionable amount of space in the United box, and was able to flick the ball over the head of Wan-Bissaka before finishing from close range in acrobatic fashion.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United side lined up at the rain drenched Dean Court unchanged from last week’s win over Norwich, and dominated possession for the opening twenty minutes.
However, the below-par front line of the away side failed to threaten Ramsdale’s net with any clear cut chances, and allowed Bournemouth back into the game after becoming increasingly frustrated .
The Cherries immediately used their new found momentum to gain a foothold in the tie, and looked much more dangerous with Callum Wilson and Joshua King forcing mistakes from the United back four.
It was the latter who was rewarded for his efforts, exposing the fragilities within the United defence and providing the Cherries with a one goal lead right before the break.
This was King’s 45th Premier League goal, making him the second highest Norweigan goalscorer in the history of the competition – a feat only bettered by the manager in the opposition dugout.
Bournemouth used their advantage to attack with free flowing intensity, flying out of the blocks in the second half – confidently pushing for a second goal.
The lead was nearly doubled by Harry Wilson, with the on-loan Liverpool winger beating a man on the edge of the area, before forcing De Gea into making an impressive save.
With time on the clock running out, and the legs of the solid Bournemouth back four tiring, the visitors gained some urgency and began to push for an equaliser.
Youngster Mason Greenwood entered the fray for the panicking United, and nearly rescued it for them after latching onto Fred’s cross and striking the post.
But despite the late onslaught from the away side, the defensive unit of AFC Bournemouth refused to be breached, with Ake and Cook flying into hard challenges to ensure United could not take anything from the game at the death.
As the final whistle sounded, the Vitality became a caldron of elation, whilst the drained opposition players dropped onto the rain soaked turf.
It was a vintage Bournemouth performance, finding the goal and then defending with grit and determination to secure the points and their third clean sheet in a row. This is something that they have shown already this season, and manager Eddie Howe will be delighted with his side’s efforts.
There are minimal positives Solskjaer will have taken from this result, as the Cherries put a firm halt to any hopes of a lengthy winning run from his underperforming United side. The Norweigan manager will have plenty of food for thought after todays fixture, with the Red Devils on 13 points after 11 games.
United will now look towards securing qualification to the Europa League knockouts as they welcome Partizan Belgrade to Old Trafford on Thursday, whilst Bournemouth’s next game sees them make the gruelling trip to Newcastle on November 9th.