Josh King piled more misery on former club Manchester United as his second-half goal earned AFC Bournemouth a famous 2-1 Premier League win and added to the pressure on Louis van Gaal.
The Dutchman has come in for heavy criticism after a dour 0-0 draw with West Ham last weekend was followed by a 3-2 defeat at Wolfsburg that saw United eliminated from the Champions League.
And there was no respite at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday as King – who came through the youth ranks at Old Trafford – turned home Matt Ritchie’s corner to earn the hosts another notable scalp following their shock 1-0 victory at champions Chelsea last time out.
Bournemouth had taken an early lead in bizarre circumstances when Junior Stanislas scored direct from a corner.
United responded well to going behind and Anthony Martial wasted a great chance before Marouane Fellaini made it 1-1 by half-time with a scrappy equaliser.
But after falling behind for a second time to King’s effort, United struggled in the opposition half and substitute Glenn Murray wasted a gilt-edged chance to put the game beyond doubt.
It mattered little, though, as a jubilant home crowd celebrated three valuable points, while Van Gaal is now sure to come under further scrutiny after a fifth succesive game without a win in all competitions.
With Chris Smalling and Matteo Darmian joining a growing United injury list, youngsters Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Guillermo Varela made their first Premier League starts in a makeshift defence.
Bournemouth made life difficult for the visitors from the off, but the opener came in unusual circumstances as Stanislas’ whipped corner from the left sailed over David de Gea into the far corner.
United’s riposte was impressive and Artur Boruc made a fine double save to keep out Fellaini’s point-blank volley before tipping Paddy McNair’s follow-up header wide.
Martial then wastefully side-footed wide after pouncing on Stanislas’ reckless backpass, but United were level in the 24th minute. Michael Carrick’s excellent pass over the top was prodded against Boruc by Memphis Depay and Fellaini was on hand to bundle in the rebound.
Van Gaal was forced into a change just past the half-hour mark when Jesse Lingard limped off to be replaced by Andreas Pereira to deepen their injury woes.
The second half burst into life in the 53rd minute when Simon Francis did brilliant to ghost through the United defence and force De Gea into a near-post save.
And from the resulting corner Ritchie kept his delivery low and King moved into space to steer home from close range, with no visiting defender close enough to stop him.
United struggled to muster a response and Murray should have made it 3-1 when he did brilliantly to jink inside McNair only to blaze a half-volley wildly over, while he was similarly wayward with another effort soon after.
Those misses did not prove costly, though, as Bournemouth saw out the remaining minutes with little cause for alarm, moving above champions Chelsea and into 14th.
Key Opta facts:
– Manchester United’s starting XI was their sixth youngest in Premier League history (24 years 131 days).
– Junior Stanislas has scored three goals in his last two home games and been involved in four goals in his last four Premier League appearances (three goals, one assist).
– Marouane Fellaini netted his first Premier League goal since May and had gone nine league appearances without one before the match.
– This was United’s 13th defeat against a newly promoted side in the Premier League, their first since losing 5-3 to Leicester last season.
– Bournemouth are only the second team to beat Chelsea and Manchester United in consecutive Premier League games (Everton also in February 2010).