EDDIE Howe placed his arms around Harry Arter in the 84th minute. Only they will know what he said, but it was the embrace of a manager, of a father and of a man who had inwardly cried every tear shed by his player at the end of the toughest of weeks.

Arter played a game of football on Saturday at the end of the week which could shape him. The emotions he feels now will get stronger, more dominant, before they ease enough for life to go on. But they will never go away completely.

This correspondent has been in the place Arter finds himself now. But this correspondent didn’t play 86 minutes against Manchester United just days later with that level of performance.

It was astonishing strength and bravery from a man who, alongside Howe, tells the AFC Bournemouth story almost without the need for words.

It also showed just what Howe has that perhaps other managers in this division do not. He makes players, like Arter, better. But he helps mould them into the best men they can be, too.

Even after he had departed for Burnley, Arter continued to call Howe “the gaffer”.

Unity, togetherness and hard work form the backbone of this football club’s rise – and now, led by Howe, they are showing just how much they are there for one of their own when he needs them most.

In the opposite dugout here, Louis van Gaal scarcely moved for 95 minutes. Ditto Ryan Giggs until Joshua King had scored what turned out to be the winning goal. Howe, meanwhile, prowled the technical area, encouraging, directing and no doubt keeping a caring and worrying eye on his star central midfielder.

It was the same the other side of the whitewash. United had plenty of possession, but made little of it count. Cherries pressed, hassled and kept the ball well. They looked the sharper of the two sides on the counter attack.

Guillermo Varela was given a torrid time by Junior Stanislas, who is quickly becoming Cherries’ most important player. He scored the opening goal, although it was not without some assistance from United’s goalkeeper, David De Gea.

Just one minute and 40 seconds into the match, Stanislas’s corner from the left whipped in and caught De Gea by surprise. He could only flap at the ball and help it on its way into the top corner.

The last time Cherries led Manchester United at home, it was Milton Graham wheeling away and the stadium faced a different way. Harry Redknapp, watching in the stands, let out a puff of air from his cheeks on the press box monitors, probably just as he did in 1984.

Van Gaal made much of his lengthening injury list in the post-match enquiries, but with £200m on the pitch, United were hardly scraping the barrel. For a time, they showed value for money.

Marouane Fellaini was Van Gaal’s best performer and, with Paddy McNair, forced Artur Boruc into a stunning double save as Dean Court rocked from Stanislas’s goal.

On 13 minutes, King was felled by Daley Blind, but Stanislas failed to test De Gea. Moments later, he breathed a sigh of relief as Anthony Martial skewed his shot wide having been gifted the ball by the Cherries player.

Having fallen behind, United were committing numbers and dominating possession, but as they had done at Stamford Bridge a week earlier, Howe’s men were concentrated and resolute in defence.

Stanislas should have made it 2-0 on 22 minutes. Arter’s wonderful through ball sent the winger on his way, but he took one touch too many and De Gea was able to smother as he looked to shoot from inside the box. What a chance it was.

Cherries were made to pay. Or to Depay if you like. Michael Carrick’s long ball to Memphis caught Cherries napping and although there was a suspicion of offside, Boruc did well to stop his initial shot. The ball, though, spilled to Fellaini who, despite being on his knees, managed to scuff it home. It was a poor goal from Cherries’ perspective.

But they were not flustered. De Gea saved well down low from Stanislas on 28 minutes before United’s injury woes worsened when Jesse Lingard was forced off after just half-an-hour.

King then played in Matt Ritchie four minutes before the break as Cherries broke with intent, but he could only direct his left-foot shot straight at De Gea.

Nine minutes after the break, it was 2-1. Simon Francis covered at least 60 yards before being challenged inside the United penalty box, winning a corner for Cherries.

And from that corner King scored. In a routine straight from the training ground, the former United youngster gave his marker the slip to drive home a half-volley from eight yards.

United were poor from then on. Depay faded and Martial was almost anonymous during the second half. The home supporters chanted “We’re AFC Bournemouth, we come from League Two”.

Cherries were in total control. King crossed but it was too high for Stanislas. The atmosphere crackled.

At the other end, Dan Gosling blocked from Fellaini on the hour mark. In front of the North Stand, Smith crossed for King who failed to connect. It was a breathless period of play.

Glenn Murray, on for the injured King, missed a gilt-edged chance to put the game to bed on 72 minutes. Gosling played in the substitute who turned his man beautifully only to blaze over with just De Gea to beat. United had little answer to Cherries in the final third.

Moments later, Murray fired over again, although this was a tougher chance with United defenders bearing down on him.

Astonishingly, Van Gaal subbed Fellaini on 74 minutes, with only the cheers from a home crowd glad to see the back of United’s best player drowning out the boos from the 1,000 or so fans housed in the East Stand. At that moment, any hopes of a point were seemingly extinguished.

Arter was substituted on 86 minutes to a chorus of emotion as Howe embraced him for a second time. Every supporter in the stadium would have wanted to do the same.