Bournemouth’s win over Manchester United proves their Premier League credentials

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Last week, Eddie Howe said that Bournemouth’s 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge over Chelsea was "the biggest result in the club’s history."

One week later and his side have arguably gone one better with an extraordinary 2-1 victory over Manchester United at the Vitality Stadium. The Cherries have proved they're not in the Premier League to make up the numbers - they're here to stay.

Six years ago on Saturday, Bournemouth suffered a 5-0 defeat to Morecambe in League 2. Now, that famous win at Stamford Bridge followed by the win over United on Saturday sees Bournemouth sitting pretty in 14th, above the reigning English champions.


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Bournemouth’s success is not a one-time fluke - they have been working towards this - and the performances against United and Chelsea prove they are good enough to be a Premier League team.

After securing promotion from the Championship, Howe spent big on players who were tasked with keeping them in the Premier League.

Tyrone Mings was brought in from Ipswich Town for a record £8 million fee, though he was ruled out for the season after picking up a knee injury six minutes into his debut.

Max Gradel joined from French side Saint-Etienne for £7 million, yet he was another who picked up a knee injury, this one ruling him out until at least March. To add insult to injury, the Cherries’ top scorer, Callum Wilson, also picked up a serious knee injury. He is unlikely to play again this season as well.

Howe hasn't been able to rely upon his best players to deliver as a result. Instead, he has put together a hard-working side that out-runs the opposition to help see out wins and draws.

This was particularly evident against Chelsea, with seven of the eight players who covered the most distance in the match belonging to Bournemouth. It was very much the same against the Red Devils.

The Cherries' midfield trio of Andrew Surman, Harry Arter and Dan Gosling ran the show at Stamford Bridge and against United as well. Howe deployed the three men in the centre of the park along with Matt Ritchie to outnumber the opposition and break up attacks.

With the extra energy these players offer, Bournemouth are a genuine threat on the counter-attack, which they used to great effect against Louis van Gaal's side.

Whoever Bournemouth play this season, however technically gifted the opposition's players are, few will match the fitness, spirit and desire of Howe's men.

If the Vitality side can continue the rest of the season without picking up any more serious injuries, with one or two good players signed in January, they will certainly be capable of a mid-table finish.

The job that Howe has done on the south coast is nothing short of miraculous. While he remains in charge, the Bournemouth fairytale shows no sign of ending.

Premier League

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