Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Another blow for Man United

Published:Friday | December 11, 2015 | 12:00 AM

LONDON (AP):

After another lacklustre week in the short reign of Louis van Gaal, Manchester United will revisit the scene of one of the team's greatest embarrassments.

In January 1984, Bournemouth then playing in the third tier eliminated defending champions United from the FA Cup in one of the competition's great upsets. Now, Bournemouth are in the Premier League for the first time and preparing to host United tomorrow.

The disparity between United and Bournemouth is vast. United have the league's biggest stadium (76,000-capacity); Bournemouth's is the smallest (11,500). United have won a record 20 top-flight titles; Bournemouth have zero.

Although United are three points from first place and Bournemouth are barely out of the relegation zone on goal difference, the south-coast club has been buoyed by the greatest result in its history: Winning at Premier League champions Chelsea last weekend.

United, though, are making the long trip to the seaside town after failing to qualify for the round of 16 in the Champions League.

And United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger starts a three-game ban after accepting a Football Association charge for violent conduct yesterday. The German stuck out his left arm and caught West Ham defender Winston Reid in the throat as both players jostled for position from a free kick during the 0-0 draw at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Adding to United's problems is a lengthy injury list that includes captain Wayne Rooney and defenders Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling.

"We have a lot of injuries," United midfielder Marouane Fellaini said. "There's nothing we can do about that. We have a lot of players in the squad that the manager has given a chance to and now they can show themselves, but I hope the injured players come back soon."

CHELSEA DANGER

Restored to the starting lineup for Chelsea's Champions League win over FC Porto, striker Diego Costa will now be looking to start scoring on a regular basis.

The Spain forward has scored only three league goals so far this season.

"He is lacking in confidence, clearly," Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said.

After winning the league by eight points in May, Chelsea could find themselves in the relegation zone before playing at surprise leaders Leicester on Monday. Leicester are 17 points in front of 14th-place Chelsea.

Mourinho's side is only two points above the relegation zone after losing to Bournemouth, with its hopes of qualifying for the Champions League looking increasingly reliant on winning the competition.

Monday's game is Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri's first meeting with the club he managed between 2000 and 2004, when Mourinho first took charge.

"I'm sure at the end of the season they will be in the top four," Ranieri said. "I still think they will make the Champions League. For now it is bad luck, but when they start to win, they will arrive."

GARDE REUNION

There's another reunion this weekend with former Arsenal player Remi Garde hosting the London club as manager of Aston Villa on Sunday.

While Villa are in last place, Arsenal are two points from the top in second and looking forward to the round of 16 in the Champions League after turning around a faltering campaign.

Garde won the league with Arsenal in 1998 during his three years with the club at the start of Arsene Wenger's reign.