David Moyes' words ring as true now as they did a decade ago during his brief stint in charge at Old Trafford. Manchester United must improve in a number of areas, including passing, creating chances and defending. Even with Eric ten Hag, the Premier League manager of the month, in the dugout, the Red Devils fell to their latest debilitating defeat, beaten 3-0 by Bournemouth at Old Trafford.
Dominic Solanke's fifth minute backheel flick set United on course for their seventh defeat in 16 Premier League games this season. Erik ten Hag's day was to get even worse in the second half as Phillip Billing and Marco Senesi struck in the space of five minutes, both profiting from chaotic defending as they rose to head Bournemouth into a first win by a three goal margin since April.
United had never lost to Bournemouth in their previous 10 meetings at Old Trafford, indeed the Cherries had only taken a single point on their visits to the ground. Asked whether the win constituted one of the best results in the club's history, Solanke said, "Yeah I'd probably say so and it shows the direction we are going in. I think I we've been building a lot in the last few weeks we are feeling confident we are feeling great. At the moment we feel like we can beat anyone and that showed today."
Despite having lost nearly half of their games this season, United remain in sixth for the time being but are 10 points behind league leaders Liverpool, who they meet next weekend. They will take on their great rivals without club captain Bruno Fernandes, who picked up his fifth yellow card of the season for protesting a decision of referee Peter Bankes.
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Defeat will surely ratchet up the pressure on Ten Hag, which appeared to have eased at least momentarily during the week with a barmy 2-1 win over Chelsea in which Scott McTominay was the hero. It perhaps speaks to the consistent unreliability of United that the Scottish international delivered another performance full of shots and light on forward passes, but on this occasion Bournemouth seemed to profit from the absence of a second midfielder shielding the United backline.
Certainly, the stakes are altogether higher for Ten Hag this week. Before travelling to Liverpool United welcome Bayern Munich to Old Trafford in their final Champions League game. It is a must win game for the Red Devils but even then they can only reach the last 16 if Copenhagen and Galatasaray draw in Denmark.