Cape Town - Bournemouth head coach Eddie Howe feels Juan Mata's opening goal in their 3-1 loss to Manchester United on Sunday afternoon changed the game completely.
Jose Mourinho and his men secured a winning start to a the season as the Red Devils beat the Cherries comfortably thanks to the Spaniard's first-half strike, Wayne Rooney's header and a debut goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Despite Adam Smith's cracking effort, there was no comeback from the home side at the Vitality Stadium.
Howe feels the manner in which they conceded the opening goal, affected many of the players mindsets and relieved the pressure on their more illustrious opponents.
"The game was on a knife-edge until the first goal," he said after the game. "The way the goal's come about was a hard one to take, because it looked as though we'd got away with the mistake, and then for the unlucky ricochet we concede.
"And that moment's tough, when you give a team like Manchester United the lead."
Bournemouth will be hoping to get their season up and running next week Sunday - when they travel to the Olympic Stadium to face West Ham United.