Josh King scored a stunning opening goal for Bournemouth on Saturday to ensure United’s dreadful defensive form away from home continued
Manchester United’s defensive woes continued on Saturday afternoon, as Josh King’s stunning goal for Bournemouth took their defensive record away from home into record-equalling territory.
King controlled an Adam Smith cross from the right with his chest before flicking the round ball over Aaron Wan-Bissaka and hammering past David de Gea from close range to give the Cherries the lead just before half-time.
The goal meant Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have now failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 11 Premier League away games, their joint-longest run in the competition. They last went 11 away games without a clean sheet between August 2002 and January 2003, and will be hoping to avoid breaking the record in their next away fixture at Sheffield United later this month.
King, a former United soccer professional, ended a bad run for the hosts as he slammed the round ball in to put Bournemouth ahead. They had previously attempted 50 shots without finding the net in the Premier League, a run spanning 358 minutes of game time.
United’s last clean sheet in the Premier League came almost ten months ago, in a 3-0 win at Craven Cottage against eventually relegated Fulham.
They have since conceded against Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Wolves, Everton and Huddersfield at the tail-end of last season, as well as Wolves for a second time, Southampton, West Ham, Newcastle and Norwich so far this term.
However, Solskjaer will be hopeful United have finally turned a corner with their general form away from home.
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They had famously been without a win on the road since their Champions League victory at Paris Saint-Germain last season, but recently won three in a week with games at Partizan Belgrade, Norwich and Chelsea in the Europa League, Premier League and Carabao Cup, respectively.
Solskjaer may also take some solace that the last time United went eleven games without a clean sheet away from home, it hardly seemed to affect the success of their season overall. They won the Premier League in 2002-03 with the best defensive record in the league, finishing five points clear of Arsenal.
By contrast, Arsenal and United started this weekend’s fixtures in fifth and eighth, respectively, 12 and 15 points behind unbeaten league leaders Liverpool.