Manchester United's mini winning run came to an end as their difficult season continued with a 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth. The Cherries took the lead courtesy of a great piece of play from former United forward Josh King towards the end of the first half, which turned out to be the winning goal for Eddie Howe's side.
The hosts remained calm and composed throughout, condemning United to another loss in the Premier League to further damage their hopes of a top-four finish.
Whenever Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men were able to string together a few through balls and get in down the flanks, they had some success. They slowed the pace of the game down to suit their tempo at points, and in the first half hour, their defensive structure held up fairly well.
The visitors were too static whenever the rhythm of their play was disrupted and for large periods of the game, they didn't have an answer for that. Every final ball was weak and they were too happy to go down when put under pressure. Elsewhere, they continually stood off Bournemouth and invited far too much pressure.
Manager rating (out of 10)
6 -- Solskjaer had the right intentions with what was a fairly attacking setup from United, but they were far too conservative in their approach. He clearly noticed the holes and made some attacking changes, but many will continue to question his suitability as this club's boss.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK David de Gea, 7 -- The keeper wasn't able to do much about Bournemouth's opener but did produce a few good saves in the second half and always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.
DF Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 6 -- Made several important interceptions, especially in the first half, but was at fault for King's goal.
DF Victor Lindelof, 5 -- There's always an element of nervousness to Lindelof's game, which makes it difficult for fans to trust him. Appeared to panic for the goal and picked up a needless yellow card.
DF Harry Maguire, 6 -- There were questions about Maguire's fitness and understandably so, as the Englishman failed to bring much stability to the back four.
DF Ashley Young, 5 -- Poor judgement both on and off the ball and played with a negative style that didn't allow his side to push forward or build any real momentum. Will be suspended for the next match against Brighton after picking up a fifth yellow of the season.
MF Scott McTominay, 6 -- Kept things ticking along at times but couldn't drive his side down the pitch as many others have over the years. Still has a lot to learn in the middle of the park.
MF Fred, 4 -- Was sloppy in possession, couldn't bring other players into the game and often served as a detriment to his own team. Once again had people questioning his £52 million price tag.
MF Daniel James, 6 -- Started brightly but faded and was neutralised by Bournemouth's defensive strength.
MF Andreas Pereira, 5 -- Was one of United's more active players up top but the quality just wasn't there. He missed a great opportunity in the third minute, looked off the pace, and only really had any joy when linking up with James.
FW Marcus Rashford, 6 -- Looked lively and constantly tried to create openings, but he couldn't rediscover his goal-scoring touch in the league after his double against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup in midweek.
FW Anthony Martial, 5 -- Showed decent movement on the ball but was largely marked out of the game.
DF Brandon Williams, N/A -- Was introduced too late on to really make much happen.
MF Jesse Lingard, 6 -- Looked lively when coming on and seemed to create a bit of urgency that United were lacking.
FW Mason Greenwood, N/A -- Got into the right positions and showed that instinctive touch that will make him an important player in the years to come.