Alex Morton/Getty Images
Bournemouth dominated from the start, and Callum Wilson put the hosts in front on the 11th minute after Junior Stanislas picked him out unmarked in the penalty area.
Anthony Martial equalised against the run of play in the 35th minute when he coolly converted Alexis Sanchez’s cutback.
United improved in the second half but looked destined to draw after failing to take several chances to score.
Luke Shaw was denied by Asmir Begovic, while Nathan Ake and David Brooks did superbly to keep out Rashford and Pogba after Ashley Young hit the upright with a free-kick.
Rashford made amends when he latched on to Pogba’s cross in the 92nd minute, though, and smashed home to give United back-to-back Premier League victories for just the second time this season.
Transfer Market Won’t Save United If Current Squad Doesn’t Improve
Not for the first time this season, United found themselves on the back foot from the outset on Saturday as the Cherries repeatedly threatened early on.
Ryan Fraser forced an early save from David De Gea, while Junior Stanislas should have done better after David Brooks found him with a fine ball. When Wilson opened the scoring, it felt like it had been coming.
ESPN’s Rob Dawson and Simon Peach of the Press Association were critical of the Red Devils:
Rob Dawson @RobDawsonESPN
That’s the fourth good chance Bournemouth have had inside the first 10 minutes. United all over the place. Mourinho fuming on the touchline.
Simon Peach @SimonPeach
I know Bournemouth are really good right now but how are Manchester United’s defence struggling this bad early on? Pathetic
United weren’t just guilty of making individual errors, though. Their collective organisation in defence was poor, and if Wilson hadn’t been on hand to tuck home, there were two of his team-mates lining up behind him to take his place after the visitors allowed themselves to be caught out.
The Independent’s Miguel Delaney questioned what United had spent their week doing:
Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney
United had a week off, without internationals, for first time in months. Must have been some great training sessions.
After United were thoroughly outclassed by Juventus in the UEFA Champions League last month, Mourinho was quick to point out the impact of centre-back duo Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci in what was a thinly veiled reminder that United failed to provide him with a new centre-back in the summer.
The likes of Chris Smalling inspire little confidence and can undoubtedly be upgraded on, but if the Red Devils want to improve at the back, it won’t matter who they sign until they can resolve their issues on the training ground.
Nemanja Matic Needs to Be Dropped
United’s other port of call if they’re to improve at the back is to offer greater protection in front of their defence.
That is principally Nemanja Matic’s job, but the Serb has repeatedly left his back line exposed in recent weeks.
Saturday was no exception, and the immobile 30-year-old often resembled a bystander in midfield as Bournemouth played around him with ease.
Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News and football writer Jordan Clarke noted his ineffectiveness:
Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst
A deflated ball could roll past Matic on the basis of these first 25 minutes. Way off the pace. #mufc
Jordan Clarke @FourFourJordan
Would rather Woodward came down from the stands and played at DM than Matić right now.
Despite his poor performance, Matic remained on the pitch throughout the match as Mourinho preferred to replace Fred, but he was fortunate not to be substituted.
United have kept just one clean sheet in 11 matches this season, and while they were able to successfully come back to win on Saturday, they’re leaving themselves with an enormous task every game in which they concede.
Unless Matic turns his form around quickly, United’s defence will remain under pressure, and they’ll continue to struggle to keep clean sheets as a result.
England Call-Up Would Boost Callum Wilson to Stardom
Having ruptured the cruciate ligaments in both of his knees, it’s fair to say Wilson hasn’t had the best of luck since the Cherries earned promotion to the Premier League in 2015.
After he returned to fitness last year to notch eight goals and two assists in 28 Premier League outings, Wilson has enjoyed an electric start to this season and also already contributed to as many goals after he found the net on Saturday:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Callum Wilson is the first English player to be directly involved in 10+ goals in the Premier League this season.
⚽️ 6 goals
🅰️ 4 assists
You watching, Gareth? https://t.co/w9f4YLgGeE
The Times‘ Alan Smith was also impressed with his physical presence up front:
Alan Smith @alansmith90
quite some time since have seen a striker bully a centre back quite like Wilson and Lindelof here
With his fitness and form regained, the 26-year-old is showing himself to be an impressive contributor in the Premier League, and he’s been key to Bournemouth taking 20 points from their first 11 matches.
To reach the next level, an England call-up for the international break this month would go a long way.
Wilson isn’t likely to unseat Rashford or Harry Kane, but Danny Welbeck’s place in the Three Lions squad is less certain, so Southgate could experiment by selecting the Bournemouth man.
He’s done enough to deserve a call-up, and the reward of international football could help him become a bona fide Premier League star.