The Red Devils’ afternoon got off to the worst possible start, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer already under mounting pressure after back-to-back defeats to Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir in the Premier League and Champions League respectively.
United’s defenders were ripped apart for the way they performed in Turkey in midweek and it was more of the same from the visitors in Saturday’s midday kick-off as Dominic Calvert-Lewin beat Victor Lindelof to a header with ease to set Bernard on his way.
The Brazilian ran with purpose at Wan-Bissaka before squeezing the ball past David de Gea at his near post to break the deadlock.
A pair of quickfire goals from Bruno Fernandes gave United the lead going in the break but Cole chose to focus on United’s poor defending for Bernard’s 19th-minute strike while analysing the game at half-time.
‘This goal here, you talking about bad defending,’ the former Chelsea winger said.
‘Calvert-Lewin is causing Lindelof a terrible time, using his physicality, flicking on.
‘But also, we’re talking about bad defending, you’ve got to know Calvert-Lewin is a problem so Wan-Bissaka has got to be alive and switched on.
‘So many times when you watch him, players run off him.
‘Bernard just picks up a nice position, lovely shuffle of his feet, he cuts inside and it’s a great finish.
‘He was excellent in the first half.
‘But from a defensive perspective, if the ball has gone up to Calvert-Lewin and there’s a challenge if you’re the right-back or the other centre-half, you have to be alive and stop it.’
It’s not the first time Cole has picked apart Wan-Bissaka’s defending this season.
The ex-England international took aim at the right-back for failing to pick up on several ‘warnings’ in United’s narrow victory over Brighton.
Cole said: ‘I’m here and I was screaming at Wan-Bissaka: “Look over your shoulder, look over your shoulder!”
‘He had a warning. He’s not done anything, Solly March, it’s a lovely ball into the position, he’s ghosted in and he’s finished it. He could have got three or four from there.
‘You don’t get the chance at this level to be given a warning that many times.
‘They deserved at least a point out of this game, Brighton, and you do feel for them.’