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Manchester United 0-3 Bournemouth: Five things noticed



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Total embarrassment.

Bournemouth picked up their first-ever win at Old Trafford in stunning fashion, rampaging their way to a 3-0 win that will certainly raise questions about Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United future.

United went 1-0 down in under five minutes after a senseless pass from Bruno Fernandes gave Bournemouth possession in United’s third and Dominic Solanke was able to apply a neat near-post finish.

The Cherries would score twice more from headers in United’s six-yard box whilst the Reds remained unable to find the net. It almost ended up 4-0 with an injury time goal disallowed, but regardless ended up being a comfortable Bournemouth win.

Here are five things UtdDistrict noticed:

#1: United’s passing was really, really off

The Bournemouth opener felt like the story of United’s first half: Really poor passing.

The amount of simple passes that were completely messed up by United’s players made the first half a difficult watch at times. Even many ‘completed’ passes would ruin United’s momentum due to being poorly weighted or putting the receiver in a poor position. The goal came from a poor Bruno Fernandes pass and Bournemouth nearly had a second from a sloppy Scott Mctominay giveaway.

United dominated the ball but did not use it well, Erik ten Hag would not have been happy watching at all. The second half saw much of the same, United continuously failed to make what should be simple passes, and it was a large part of what cost them the game.

#2: Ten Hag gets the approach mostly right but defensive issues persist

For all United’s individual errors, Erik ten Hag got his approach right to the game today, for the most part.

United continued the aggressive, high pressing that gave them success in midweek against Chelsea and the full backs continued to commit to pressing.

Nobody can argue against United being the dominant side, but the poor execution – a theme of United’s season – from Wednesday continued in this game, as did the openness in defensive transitions. It was that openness that saw Bournemouth’s first two goals conceded by United.

United ended with over 20 shots once again, yet did not score at all. With close to 50 shots in the last two games and just two goals, questions have got to be asked.

#3: Ten Hag needs to reward the youth more

Whilst his tactical approach to the game was good, Kobbie Mainoo and Hannibal Mejbri jump out as two players who could have offered United a lot in this game.

Yet Kobbie Mainoo saw no minutes and Hannibal Mejbri did not even make the bench in what felt like a perplexing decision. Both have impressed a lot when playing for United this season and should be seeing more gametime than they are.

#4: United badly need to start playing Raphaël Varane again

Arguably all three of United’s goals came from situations which Raphaël Varane would have stopped, yet Erik ten Hag instead chose to play his best full back at centre back and then bring on Jonny Evans when United were already 3-0 down.

All three of United’s goals were conceded in and around the six-yard box, something that is always embarrassing, and when you have one of the best box defenders in world football sitting on your bench, it looks even sillier. Ten Hag cites buildup angles as his reason not to play Varane, but it feels as though he is cutting his nose off to spite his face with this now.

#5: Bruno Fernandes disappoints

Your captain being suspended for an away game against your biggest rivals is never a good look, especially when he knows that a yellow card is what will make that happen.

It was not good enough at all today from United’s captain, who was at fault for Bournemouth’s opener and in the closing minutes picked up the one thing he knew he needed to avoid, especially for a reason as silly as dissent.