Manchester United's embarrassing run of form continued with a 2-1 defeat away to Premier League strugglers Bournemouth on Saturday. It was another terrible performance from the Reds, who were impotent going forward and porous at the back. By the time the final whistle sounded, Bournemouth could've easily had three or four.
The writing was on the wall almost from the very first whistle, with United conceding a fluke goal after just a couple of minutes. A looping corner by Bournemouth winger Junior Stanislas curled inside David de Gea's far post, with Anthony Martial unable to leap high enough to keep it out on the line. It left the visitors chasing the game from the off, in a tight, scrappy game reminiscent of an early FA Cup tie.
Neither side looked comfortable in the following few minutes, with chances appearing at both ends of the field. Martial fired wide after a sloppy giveaway in midfield by Stanislas, before the Cherries' goalscorer was superbly denied his brace by de Gea after being sent through one-one-one.
The game hung finely in the balance, with the ball bouncing awkwardly around the boxy Vitality Stadium. However, it was United who eventually got the break, with Marouane Fellaini prodding home a rebound after Memphis Depay was denied on the volley by Bournemouth keeper Artur Boruc.
That was how it stayed to halftime, though it didn't take long for things to change after the interval. Bournemouth started the second half with an intensity that the lethargic United lacked, and were rewarded for their efforts within 10 minutes. A low corner from Matt Ritchie was met in the area by an unmarked Joshua King, with the former United trainee gleefully tucking home from the middle of the penalty area.
A smattering of half-chances fell to Fellaini in the following few minutes, though the hosts' defence was ever more determined, and they made a couple of crucial last-gasp blocks. Glenn Murray should've killed the game off at the other end with 20 minutes left, though the Cherries' striker skied the ball over after weaving his way through on goal.
As it turned out, it didn't matter: United were utterly pathetic going forward, and ended up pumping balls into the box *after* Nick Powell had been introduced for Fellaini. Not surprisingly, the strategy didn't prove fruitful. Meanwhile, over in Germany, Javier Hernández scored a hat-trick for Bayer Leverkusen, netting a 15th goal in his last 13 games. How much worse are things going to get?