Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United have seemingly mastered the habit of consistently delivering inconsistent performances.
During mid-week, the Red Devils were unlucky to not score more goals in a 2-1 win over Chelsea at Old Trafford. Three days later, in the same stadium, United players were fortunate to see out the game without conceding more than three unanswered goals to Bournemouth.
Andoni Iraola’s men pushed United on the backfoot early in the game, taking a lead through Dominic Solanke in the fifth minute. The hosts had plenty of time to make a comeback, but every time they entered Bournemouth’s final third, they lacked ideas to create any meaningful chance.
On top of that, the visitors found plenty of opportunities to extend their lead, thanks to Ten Hag’s questionable rest defence setup.
Eventually, the Cherries found success in transition and doubled their lead through a strong Philip Billing header in the 68th minute. An unmarked Marcos Senesi scored the third goal shortly later and sealed Bournemouth’s first-ever away win against United in all competitions.
Ten Hag was rightly annoyed with his side’s inconsistent showing, stating in his post-match press conference (via ESPN): “I’m annoyed, disappointed, definitely. We are really inconsistent. We have the ability to do it, but you have to do it every game and every third day. After the 2-0, we broke down so we have to do things better.”
With Bayern Munich in the crucial Champions League tie and Liverpool in the Premier League waiting next, the Dutch coach will have to work wonders in training to ensure the festive period at the Theatre of Dreams isn’t overshadowed by ring of boos.