BOSS Eddie Howe admitted he would look back with fondness and frustration over his side’s dazzling opening spell against Manchester United.

Cherries had dominated the opening half hour at Vitality Stadium and took the lead through Callum Wilson’s 50th goal for the club.

Other opportunities fell for the likes of David Brooks, Adam Smith and Ryan Fraser, as the Dorset outfit had Jose Mourinho’s team of big hitters reeling from the get-go.

But Anthony Martial levelled before the interval and Marcus Rashford struck a painful second in stoppage time to earn the 20-time English champions all three points.

While insisting his troops “gave everything” to the cause during the 2-1 defeat, boss Howe admitted he was irritated not to come away with a famous victory.

Quizzed on Cherries’ blistering start against the Red Devils, Howe told the Daily Echo: “During that period there was some great play.

“There were so many good things to come from the game. It was one of the best first-half performances we have seen in the Premier League since we have been promoted.

“We passed the ball well. Had really good intensity to our play and created a number of good chances. There was disappointment at half-time as we weren’t winning. In terms of our performance, I thought we deserved to be leading by more than one.

“I’m sure I will enjoy watching it back but with a lot of frustration that we haven’t been able to turn it into three points. We didn’t sustain it for the whole match.

“All credit to them for sticking in the game during that first period because it couldn’t have been easy with the way we played and how difficult it was to defend our attacking players. Some of the movement was second to none.

“They stayed in the game and, from our perspective, we were disappointed with their first goal. That could have been easily avoided. That was probably what cost us the game.”

Despite the absence of Belgian frontman Romelu Lukaku though injury, United eventually turned the screw.

They brought on England internationals Jesse Lingard and goalscorer Rashford, as well as Spanish star Ander Herrera, who had a big impact on proceedings.

“We knew the second half was going to be a different game. They changed things, made some good substitutions and the game was different,” said Howe. “We found that on Saturday, the small margins went against us and we were disappointed with that.”

Cherries’ next test comes with a trip to Newcastle on Saturday (3pm) before taking on Arsenal, Manchester City, Huddersfield and Liverpool.

“Every phase of the season is so important. We are entering a period where we have some really difficult games but I would say every game is so tough at this level,” added the Cherries boss.