Erik ten Hag’s Man United are still reeling from their 3-0 loss to Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Saturday which came 4 years after their last loss to the Cherries. Their previous victory also came 4 years earlier, as we take a look at a potential ‘4 year curse’ the club may have over the Red Devils!
In the 21 meetings the clubs have had since their first in January of 1949, Man United boast 14 victories, with Bournemouth claiming 4, and 3 matches ending in ties.
Bournemouth’s first triumph over United came 1 day shy of 35 years since the clubs first met, with the Cherries enjoying a 2-0 FA Cup victory on the 7th of January 1984.
2 years previously, they had managed their first draw with United in a 2-2 League Cup fixture, having lost their first 3 meetings.
The sides met each other 3 more times in the FA Cup before Bournemouth found their way into the English Premier League – of which they lost twice and drew once with Man United.
The club would have another long wait of over 30 years before finding another victory against the red side of Manchester.
The Cherries, under the leadership of now-Newcastle manager Eddie Howe, earned their promotion to the English top flight on a hectic final day of the 2013/2014 EFL Championship season, giving them a chance to rectify their record against United.
Their first Premier League fixture against one another came on the 12th of December 2015, and something rather strange would take form following this initial fixture against United…
Bournemouth beat the Red Devils in the sides’ first ever matchup in the Premier League – a 2-1 victory at the Vitality Stadium. Little did they know it, but this would kickstart a 4-year turn over in victories over this fixture which would bring us right up to last Saturday’s clash at Old Trafford!
In the 4 years that followed Bournemouth’s inaugural Premier League victory over Man United, the clubs met each other a further 7 times. United came away with 3 points in 6 of these matches, with a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in March of 2017 being the only point earned by the Cherries in that time.
However, on the 2nd of November 2019, nearly a full 4 years after their first Premier League clash – Bournemouth once again triumphed over United.
A 1-0 win, once again in their home stadium, earned them 3 points in the top flight and another W on the list of historical fixtures between the clubs.
Sadly for Bournemouth, the 2019/2020 season would eventually see them relegated on the final day, back to the EFL Championship, and (for the most part) taking away their chance of taking points from Man United in the future.
The Cherries would have to wait until the 2022/2023 season before they once again earned top-flight status in the English game – having been promoted at the end of their 2021/2022 campaign.
Man United had beaten Bournemouth in their home fixture of the 2019/2020 fixture, and did so again both home & away during the 2022/2023 campaign.
Enter last Saturday, the 9th of December 2023.
As will still be fresh in the minds of both Man United and Bournemouth faithfuls – the Cherries went out and stamped their authority on the 2023/2024 season with an impressive 3-0 win away at Old Trafford.
This result not only marks their largest victory over United to date, but also came almost exactly 4 years from their previous victory over them in 2019. Which also, of course, came almost exactly 4 years after their previous victory in 2015.
It was also the first time that the Cherries have managed a victory at Old Trafford – and takes their tally to just 4 points earned at Old Trafford in the totality of competitive football history!
This strange turn of events has left many speculating whether or not the Cherries have placed a ‘4 year curse’ on Man United – something which was quipped before kickoff on Saturday by match commentators, and ended up coming true!
It has to be said that it is rather uncanny that 3 out of 4 of Bournemouth’s victories over Man United have been spaced almost exactly 4 years apart – with their only other victory coming in 1984, when the Premier League wasn’t even formed!
They do say after all that “once is an accident, twice is coincidence, and three times is a pattern”!
Bournemouth may well be as reluctant to admit it as Man United, considering that if it is true, their next victory over the cub isn’t forecast until 2027!
The two sides meet once again in the Premier League on the 13th of April next year – giving the Cherries a chance to break the pattern and earn points on a more regular basis!