Manchester United beat Bournemouth 5-2 at Old Trafford as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side put in a dominant performance with Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood all on the scoresheet.
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Greenwood scored twice, while Bournemouth went ahead through Junior Stanislas and Josh King made it 3-2 early in the second half before Man United’s offense exploded once again to boost their top four hopes.
With the win Man United momentarily move into fourth place on 55 points, while relegation-threatened Bournemouth remain in 19th place and are one point from safety but their goal difference took a big hit.
Three things we learned
1. No need for new winger with Greenwood around: What a start to the restart Greenwood has had. 18 years of age and Greenwood is a natural finisher with both feet. He is a striker by trade but is playing on the right and with Rashford and Martial, they compliment one another perfectly. With Man United linked with a $130 million move for Jadon Sancho, why would they need to buy him? Greenwood could be just as good as Sancho and maybe even better. What a future he has.
2. Bruno Fernandes has huge impact: He scored one, set up another and gave the penalty kick to Rashford to boost his confidence. Fernandes is a total team player and Solskjaer has built his team around the Portuguese magician. Perhaps no Man United signing since Eric Cantona has had such a big impact and it feels like Fernandes was one of the final pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. What a player both technically and from a leadership point of view. Fernandes knits this entire Man United team together and is encouraging his teammates and he makes his teammates better.
3. Bournemouth at least creating chances: Yes, Bournemouth were thumped but at least Eddie Howe’s side were back to creating chances and scoring goals. Anything from this game would have been a bonus but Bournemouth are deep in relegation trouble and in their final five games they face Tottenham, Leicester, Southampton, Everton and Man City. How many of those games will they win? They need probably three wins to drag themselves out of the bottom three and time is running out. Bournemouth need to take chances and attack. This game proved they can do it.
Man of the Match
Mason Greenwood – This kid is the real deal. At the age of 18 he is showing up and he now has 15 goals in all competitions this season. What a talent. Fernandes could have been Man of the Match too, but it has to go to Greenwood.
Man United looked dangerous early on as Fernandes was played in over the top but his lobbed finished looped over the net.
Stanislas then stunned Man United as a cross into the box wasn’t cleared properly and after the Bournemouth winger had his first shot cleared, he picked up the loose ball, nutmegged Harry Maguire and beat David de Gea at his near post to put the Cherries ahead. The shock was well and truly on.
Fernandes’ free kick was saved well by Aaron Ramsdale but the Bournemouth goalkeeper was soon picking the ball out of his own net. Nemanja Matic found Marcus Rashford who played it to Fernandes, who picked out Greenwood to smash on goal and Ramsdale failed to hold onto the ball as Man United were level. 1-1.
Soon after they were ahead as a cross in the box saw Jefferson Lerma miss his clearance and the ball then hit Adam Smith on the hand and a penalty kick was awarded.
Rashford stepped up and stroked home the penalty to put Man United ahead before half time and Martial then extended their advantage with a superb curler. 3-1.
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Eric Bailly was brought on at half time and made a big mistake right away. He handled the ball right on the edge of the box and after a lengthy VAR check, a penalty kick was given and King slotted the spot kick home to give Bournemouth a lifeline. 2-3. Game on.
But just when it looked like Bournemouth had a chance of getting back in the game, Man United scored another stunner as Greenwood worked the ball onto his right foot and smashed home into the far top corner. The teenage sensation has been a revelation since the restart.
Fernandes then curled home a beauty of a free kick to make it 5-2 as Man United kicked on in the second half and Bournemouth had no answer to the fluid attacking play of the red-hot Red Devils.
Rashford then had a goal chalked off for offside as Bournemouth struggled to contain the rampant hosts and a host of subs saw the scoring end as Ramsdalde denied Pogba and Fred.
Man United extended their unbeaten run to 16 games in all competitions with minimum fuss.