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United’s home defeat to Bournemouth, despite recent awards, highlights ongoing struggles

(Credit: Manchester United official site)
(Credit: Manchester United official site)

Manchester United received a taste of reality after basking in three Premier League awards before the defeat against Bournemouth

Manchester United faced the bitter reality right after winning three Premier League awards as Bournemouth exposed their weaknesses. Bournemouth defeated United 0-3 in the Premier League match at Old Trafford, shortening their award celebrations in a humiliating fashion.

The Red Devils won three monthly Premier League awards on Friday, creating reassurance for the worried fanbase. United manager Erik ten Hag and defender Harry Maguire won the Premier League manager and Player of the Month respectively.

Alejandro Garnacho won the best goal of the month with the sensational overhead kick goal against Everton. United also registered an important 2-1 victory against the struggling rivals Chelsea during the midweek at Old Trafford.

Dominic Solanke of AFC Bournemouth celebrates with teammate afters coring their team's first goal during the Premier League match against Manchester United(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Dominic Solanke of AFC Bournemouth celebrates with teammate after scoring their team’s first goal during the Premier League match against Manchester United(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

However, the Cherries reminded Ten Hag that despite his change in tactics, the team is still facing familiar problems. United have shown weakness in both the defensive and offensive phases of the game. TNT Sports (h/t X) reported on United’s rollercoaster 24 hours, from winning individual awards to facing a humbling defeat.

The Red Devils faced Manchester City in the Premier League and Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup. Ten Hag deployed a cautious approach against United’s local rivals while playing the possession-based adventurous game against Newcastle.

Nevertheless, both matches at Old Trafford ended in 0-3 losses for the Red Devils, showing vulnerabilities in all departments. When United used a cautious approach, they failed to have a counter-attacking outlet to relieve pressure and threaten the opponents.

At the same time, the Red Devils’ attacking approach lacked creativity and clinical finishing up front as attackers struggled. Their attacking style also left acres of spaces in midfield and defence for the opposition to exploit in counter-attacks.

Ten Hag deployed a rigid 4-2-4 formation in recent games to bring more balance and cohesion within the team. The formation allowed specific instructions for each player to follow and work as a unit both offensively and defensively.

However, United faced a similar struggle against Bournemouth as the host dominated 70% of the possession. Bournemouth restricted United to only three shots on target despite the waves of attack Ten Hag’s men tried to produce. The Cherries exploited the spaces left in the counter-attack to score three goals as the game ended with loud boos.

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Fans expected the Red Devils to win the Bournemouth game as tougher fixtures await in the congested December period. Ten Hag needs to fortify his home ground once again and sort out the inconsistencies for good.

Written by Siddharth Juyal

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