Josh King

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Eddie Howe concerned about Bournemouth

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Eddie Howe‘s Bournemouth are enduring their toughest stretch since being promoted to the Premier League in 2015.

The Cherries lost 2-0 at Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday to leave them perilously close to the relegation zone as scoring goals and defensive injuries have become a problem for Howe’s side and their players, fans and staff looked dejected at the Amex Stadium at full time.

Speaking to the BBC after the clash, Howe admitted it was a tough day for the Cherries who have now won just one of their last nine games.

“That was a tough day today, we know how good Brighton are with the ball and we gave ourselves a mountain to climb and didn’t settle in the first 10 minutes,” Howe said. “We did recover and did well in the remainder of the first half. What was most disappointed was the second half where we needed to get on the ball and we didn’t have the composure to do that.”

With Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser coming off the bench and David Brooks out injured, Bournemouth have looked surprisingly lackluster in attack all season and they lacked creativity against Brighton and never looked like dragging themselves back into the game.

Howe is determined for Bournemouth to not start feeling sorry for themselves as they now face a key stretch of games as they play West Ham, Watford, Norwich, Brighton and Aston Villa.

But he admitted they could have lost Josh King and Jack Stacey to injury, as their long list of absentees continues to grow.

“The most difficult is the run or results but the strength of the squad has been knocked and that allows a feeling sorry for yourself if you don’t get the results you want,” Howe said. “But we have to go again, find the inner strength and keep going… You know with a small squad the Christmas period is ultimate test and you need to rotate players, it’s very difficult to ask players to go twice in three days and it looks like we’ve lost Joshua King and Jack Stacey so it is not a good day. The games come thick and fast and this was one of the games we needed to get something and we didn’t. We need to learn our lessons.”

Brighton dominate Bournemouth

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Brighton and Hove Albion brushed aside fellow South Coast club Bournemouth 2-0 in the Premier League on Saturday.

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Alireza Jahanbakhsh smashed home an early goal and Aaron Mooy sealed the win with a superb late solo goal, as the Seagulls totally dominated the Cherries at the Amex Stadium. It was Brighton’s first win against Bournemouth in the Premier League.

The win pushed Brighton up to 13th place on 23 points, while Bournemouth are on 20 points.


3 things we learned

1. Bournemouth’s attacking woes: Scoring goals has never been an issue for Bournemouth under Eddie Howe. Until now. The Cherries are the fifth lowest scorers in the Premier League this season and the likes of Ryan Fraser, Callum Wilson and Josh King have totally gone off the boil. Add to that the long-term injury of David Brooks as Howe has a big problem to solve given their defensive injuries and generally sloppy play at the back. Bournemouth now face West Ham, Watford, Norwich, Brighton and Aston Villa in their next five games. If they are still struggling for goals and points at the end of that run, it is time to seriously worry about the Cherries.

2. Mooy pulls the strings: He’s on loan from Huddersfield Town and he’s making a huge impression at the Amex. Mooy has been really good in recent months and his quality on the ball and from set piece situations gives Brighton a cutting edge. Mooy’s goal summed up what he is all about as he surged into the box, showed lovely close control and stroked the ball home. Brighton’s four-game winless run was ended in emphatic style as Mooy showcased his supreme talent on the ball.

3. VAR under scrutiny: Dan Burn thought he had given Brighton a 2-0 lead as he hooked home after a goalmouth scramble but VAR chalked the goal off after he was a smidgen offside when the ball came in. It was the tightest of calls (more of half an elbow than an armpit) and VAR ruled it was offside. It was the correct call but purists everywhere were left shaking their heads in disbelief.

Man of the Match: Aaron Mooy – Scored his first goal for Brighton with superb style, whipped in dangerous balls all game long and the Australian midfielder ran the show.


Brighton were dominant early on and raced into a deserved 1-0 lead.

After receiving the ball from Neal Maupay, Jahanbakhsh drilled home a superb low effort and the Iranian playmaker broke down in tears as he celebrated scoring his first Premier League goal for Brighton following his move from AZ Alkmaar in the summer of 2018.

Aaron Mooy was causing plenty of problems for Bournemouth, as the Australian midfielder was pulling all of the strings for the Seagulls as they pinned the Cherries back.

Before half time Bournemouth launched two counter attacks as Dan Burn blocked Harry Wilson‘s shot on the first and Josh King’s ball on the second was blocked by Lewis Dunk.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The start of the second half turned into a frantic end-to-end encounter as Dunk did well to deny Domnic Solanke at the last moment as Bournemouth wanted a penalty kick, and at the other end Brighton continued to look dangerous from set piece situations.

And that is how they thought they doubled their lead. After an almighty scramble in the box, giant defender Burn hooked home what he thought was his first goal for the club but the goal was then chalked off by VAR as Burn was offside when the original free kick came in.

Mooy dragged a shot just wide of the post and Yves Bissouma hit the post as Brighton were unperturbed by that disallowed goal.

Bournemouth brought Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser off the bench for the final 30 minutes but they couldn’t get anything going as Mooy sealed the win for the Seagulls with a fantastic finish.

Bournemouth stun Man United

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BOURNEMOUTH — The Cherries stunned the Red Devils in the swirling rain on England’s South Coast on Saturday.

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Bournemouth beat Manchester United 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium, as Josh King‘s goal right on the stroke of half time was enough to seal a famous win for Eddie Howe‘s side.

With the win Bournemouth rise to sixth place in the Premier League table on 16 points, jumping above Man United who have 13 points as their run of wins away from home ended. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was once again an unhappy man.


3 things we learned

1. United almost at full strength, no more excuses: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was only missing Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba from what would be his strongest possible starting lineup. United can’t keep blaming injuries for their poor start to the season. United have now lost to Bournemouth, Newcastle West Ham and Crystal Palace this season, so maybe this is their new normal. With players returning to full fitness, things could improve, but right now Solskjaer is under pressure as United could be as much as 10 points off the top four by the end of this weekend. That isn’t good enough.

2. Bournemouth’s newfound defensive solidity promises plenty: Howe’s side have been much-improved defensively in recent weeks and although they’ve struggled to score goals, they created chances against United and looked solid enough at the back. Their two midfielder destroyers were excellent and Cook and Ake have formed a solid partnership. They sat in, soaked up pressure and Bournemouth have a newfound defensive solidity. They’ve never had that since they arrived in the Premier League in 2015.

3. Midfield balance off for United: The Red Devils are missing Pogba’s ability to get them on the front foot, as McTominay, Fred and Pereira played so many sideways and safe passes in central midfield. The balance was off and United had plenty of the ball but did little with it. They had no personality and no driving influence, especially in the second half. They started well but faded badly and there was a surprising lack of creativity in the final third as Rashford, Martial and James made decent runs but weren’t found often enough.

Man of the Match: Philip Billing – Won the ball back time and time again for Bournemouth. A dominant force in midfield who won the battle against Andreas Pereira and Fred on his own. Yet another gem polished by Eddie Howe. Billing and Lerma shielded the back four expertly and Nathan Ake was superb at center back. But Billing held everything together.


Early on United were lively down their right as James raced clear but Andreas Pereira slipped as he looked to apply the finishing touch.

The movement of United’s front three caused Bournemouth so many problems early on, as James linked up with Martial to cross for Fred but he got his effort all wrong as he stretched for it.

Bournemouth’s first big chance of the game arrived via Harry Wilson as his deflected effort flew wide after some clever passes. Moments later David De Gea saved Ryan Fraser‘s cross and the Scottish winger went down in the box but no penalty kick was given despite calls of “VAR! VAR!” from the home fans.

James drilled a shot inches wide after a free kick was only half cleared as United looked dangerous every time they attacked. Fraser hit a shot straight at De Gea on the counter as the home side improved after a slow start. Martial then went down under a challenge from Jefferson Lerma which sparked a huge melee inside the box but no penalty kick was given after VAR was used.

Right on half time Bournemouth took the lead as Adam Smith’s cross was controlled brilliantly from King and he then flicked the ball over Aaron Wan-Bissaka and finished to put the Cherries ahead. It was a sublime solo goal but United should have defended better.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The game opened up after the opening goal as Bournemouth almost grabbed a second but Fraser’s shot was right at De Gea after a lovely move down the right.

De Gea then denied King after a Bournemouth counter caught United out and Harry Wilson went down in the box but nothing was given.

The Liverpool loanee was then denied by De Gea as Bournemouth continued to have chances on the break and although United had plenty of the ball, they struggled to break down the Cherries stubborn defense.

Late on substitute Mason Greenwood hit the post as United chucked everything at Bournemouth with McTominay having a shot saved and Maguire coming close, but the Cherries held on for a famous win.

VIDEO: Josh King scores superb solo goal v. Man United

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Wow. What a goal.

Josh King controlled the ball, flicked the ball over Aaron Wan-Bissaka‘s head and finished calmly to give Bournemouth the lead over his former club Manchester United right on half time.

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A superb solo goal from King, but United’s defenders will have plenty of questions to answer after they let the ball bounce in the box and barely challenged the Bournemouth striker.

Watch the goal in the video below.

Watch Live: Bournemouth v. Man United

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Bournemouth host Manchester United on Saturday at the Vitality Stadium (Watch live, 8:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) with the Cherries aiming to spring yet another upset at home.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side have won their last three away games in all competitions and head to the south coast full of confidence.

In team news Bournemouth start Harry Wilson as Callum Wilson and Josh King are up top.

United have James, Rashford and Martial starting in attack.

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