Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was left to rue a “gift” of an opening goal as his side suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.
A promising first 40 minutes at the Vitality Stadium was undone when Simon Francis’ poor backpass allowed Juan Mata to ghost in and give United the lead, despite a good save from Artur Boruc.
Wayne Rooney headed in Anthony Martial’s mishit volley early in the second half before Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck a fine third to seal United’s win, despite a consolation for Bournemouth through Adam Smith.
Howe was encouraged by some of his side’s display, but conceded that the mistake for the opening goal proved to be a turning point.
“Lots of elements were pretty good, we started quite brightly and the first goal was a hammer blow,” he told Sky Sports. “You can’t gift goals away in the Premier League and we’ve done that to the very best.
“Simon’s been outstanding over a long period of time and it’s just a little blip for him. It was a turning point but credit to the players for not giving in.
“We kept possession really well but failed to build sustained pressure and pepper their goal until the final few minutes. That’s something we need to work on.
“We didn’t have the cutting edge but that will hopefully come in the coming weeks.”
Howe, who gave debuts to record signing Jordon Ibe and Lewis Cook, also confirmed that a fee has been agreed with Stoke City for defender Marc Wilson.
“We’ve agreed a fee, we’re waiting for the formalities to be completed,” he added.