Manchester United’s recent upturn in form came to a crunching end at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday after a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth.
Former United man and academy graduate Joshua King got the only goal of the game for the Cherries as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side slipped to their fourth defeat of the Premier League season in just eleven matches.
Here are three players that stood out for all the wrong reasons, in what was a disappointing afternoon for the Red Devils.
Victor Lindelöf has made so much progress in the last 12-18 months but recently he seems to be regressing rather than improving. The Swede was all over the place for the Bournemouth goal and wasn’t even close to the position he should have been in. Position himself correctly and he cuts out the pass and that error along with a number from other players in the build-up to the goal cost us in the end. Lindelöf has repeatedly shown the same problems since joining the club, he’s poor in the air and at times doesn’t look strong enough to play in the Premier League and on Saturday he was bullied by Josh King at the Vitality.
The partnership of Lindelöf and Maguire was supposed to be a blessing for United and United fans alike. The fact of the matter however is that their partnership isn’t quite clicking at the moment and the communication between the two just seems to be off. They cannot seem to decide which one’s going to go and press and which one’s going to cover and maybe an aggressor like Marcos Rojo or either of the injured Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe could be a better partner for Maguire at the moment.
With the injuries, it’s doubtful they’ll be any changes as of yet but it’s definitely a cause for concern for Ole as the hectic schedule continues.
It’s a shame about Andreas Pereira. In recent weeks the Brazilian has really stood up and made himself a regular starter in this United line-up but this weekend he unfortunately looked back to his usual self.
Pereira works hard but he just does not have enough quality on the ball. He was wasteful in possession, especially in the second half after some excellent passes from Fred. The Brazilian often slows down counter-attacks, playing it sideways rather than driving forward and giving it to one of the front three. He just lacks the spark to go out and create something himself and ends up waiting for a glaring hole to give him the obvious answer of what to do but that unfortunately is where we are when it comes to midfield players. Juan Mata’s legs have gone, Pogba’s either going missing, injured or playing too deep so Pereira is automatically first choice and the decision to not sign Bruno Fernandes is looking worse and worse by the day.
The fact that the introduction of a Jesse Lingard who’s gone nearly a year without a goal was a welcome one shows just how poor he was on the day.
There’s not much left to say on Ashley Young. The former England International had yet another disappointing game at left-back as Bournemouth’s quick passing made him look foolish at times. If you rewatch the Bournemouth goal in full and watch Ashley Young throughout you can just see that he doesn’t have a clue of where to go. The United left-back looks like he’s going around in circles at times and everything good that Bournemouth did came down whichever side Young was on be it the left or the right after Brandon Williams was introduced.
Going forward I’m actually starting to think that opposition defences are giving him space to cross on purpose. There were countless occasions late on where he had the chance to put the ball into a dangerous area but not one of them connected to a United head with only Fred finding any kind of decent ball into the centre when Greenwood hit the post late on. Hopefully, the recent emergence of Williams and the eventual return of Luke Shaw will spell the end of Young’s never-ending stay in the first team but there’s no doubt he’ll find some way of sneaking into the starting XI like he always does.