AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was pleased with his sides performance during the narrow defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The Cherries manager opted to continue with a 4-4-1-1 system but rotated his squad in both midfield and attack.
Asmir Begovic stayed in goal behind the familiar back four of Adam Smith, Simon Francis, Nathan Ake and Charlie Daniels with Steve Cook dropping back to the bench.
In midfield, the wingers selected were Ryan Fraser and Junior Stanislas, but the recent central pairing of Andrew Surman and Lewis Cook were both dropped in favour of Dan Gosling and Harry Arter.
Up front and Joshua King kept his place in the number 10 role, but Jermain Defoe dropped to the bench following his brace against Crystal Palace in favour of Callum Wilson who hadn’t started since the end of November in the defeat against Burnley.
The only goal of the game came via Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku who beat Nathan Ake in the air following Juan Mata’s cross on 25 minutes.
Howe told afcb.co.uk after the game…
‘We`re disappointed because we`ve been beaten, but I`m really pleased with the performance. I thought we were very good today and were very disciplined out of possession. We were also very good with the ball and created numerous chances.
‘We really did establish ourselves in the game very early and there were some really good individual performances today. The team functioned very well…’
‘…They have an outstanding goalkeeper who made a number of good saves and maybe we could have done better in and around their box, but when you consider the opposition and where we’re playing, I was very pleased with players.
I know many will talk about points. Many will point at the table and say its not good enough.
I’ve supported Bournemouth all my life through thick and thin and all I want is to see us play well. I dont care what division its in, how many people around the world are watching. I just want to enjoy watching my team. I enjoyed that immensely tonight and it was against United at Old Trafford.
These are the matches we were desperate to watch when we secured that promotion at Charlton. 3 points, 1 point or 0 points, we came up to see if we could compete and we can.
Well played to Eddie and the boys. – Join the conversation here.
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