Manchester United are aiming to make it three wins in-a-row in the Premier League when they host relegation contenders AFC Bournemouth at Old Trafford. They did so in style, with a thrilling 5-2 win stretching their unbeaten streak to 16 games across all competitions. It was Bournemouth who took the lead in the 15th minute after Junior Stanislas outwitted Harry Maguire to score from the near post.
However, that made United turn up their intensity and they found the equalizer in the 28th minute when Mason Greenwood powered the ball into the back of the net. The Red Devils received a penalty in the 34th minute, which Marcus Rashford duly converted to put his side into the lead.
Anthony Martial then added another one minutes before half-time, cutting in from the left before striking a pitch-perfect curler into the top corner to give United a cushioned advantage. Bournemouth started the second-half on the front-foot and were handed a fortunate penalty in the 48th minute which Josh King converted to make it 3-2.
However, Greenwood restored United’s cushioned lead with a powerful strike from his (apparent) weaker again bursting into the top corner, making it 4-2. Bruno Fernandes also got in on the act in the 59th minute with a delightful free-kick from just outside the box.
United could’ve scored a couple few more but were denied by Bournemouth’s Aaron Ramsdale. Nonetheless, another commendable win that now takes them into the top-four with Chelsea to play Watford later today.
Manchester United Player Ratings
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (8.0) –
Ole made the right (but obvious) decision to play his winning combination and it gave him sweet rewards. The gaffer’s clearly worked hard on creating that something special in his attacking line and the way Greenwood-Martial-Rashford interchanged position to trouble Bournemouth is thanks to his clever tactics.
Solskjaer’s ensured his side has positive partnerships all along which allowed them to put on a clinic today. He must maintain this rich vein of form as the games keep coming on in rapid pace.
David de Gea (5.5) –
De Gea was perhaps surprised for the goal, but shouldn’t have let it in from his near-post. Made a great save to deny Bournemouth an early goal after the break. Unable to save the penalty and looked very shaky with his distribution today.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (6.5)-
Wan-Bissaka is once again charging forward with intent and put in a few threatening passes in the initial stages. Played a brilliant pass to Rashford in the 65th for his tap-in goal, but unluckily to see it ruled out. Looked defensively solid as always, but AWB’s work going forward seems to be getting better with each game.
Harry Maguire (6.0) –
Poor defending from Maguire to allow Stanislas to nutmeg him for the opener. Eventually got a hold of his wits to oust the Bournemouth strikers, but was a bit sloppy today.
Victor Lindelof (6.5) –
The Iceman’s being busy early on making some important clearances under pressure. Been quite dangerous moving forward as well. Dealt with Bournemouth’s threat superbly, countering whatever they threw at him. Subbed at half-time for some reason but was United’s best defender in the first half.
Luke Shaw (6.5)–
Shaw isn’t as effective bursting forward today, being unable to find anyone inside the area with his passes. Was almost rewarded for his persistent forward runs, forcing a solid save from the keeper in the 83rd-minute after tip-toeing into the box. Another positive performance from the left-back.
Nemanja Matic (7.5) –
Matic has been the key to the Pogba-Bruno partnership and helped United take control after conceding early. Played a delightful ball to Rashford, stretching Bournemouth’s defence and forcing the equalizer. Played a pivotal role for Greenwood’s second, with his timely interception allowing the youngster to score emphatically.
Once again dominated the midfield show, protected his defenders and bullied midfielders with his hard-hitting style. Looks to be back to his best.
Paul Pogba (7.0) –
Pogba is distributing possession really well to try and stretch the game. Played an inch-perfect long pass to Shaw in the 83rd-minute that deserved an assist. Struck a great free-kick in added time, but saw it saved well. Bit unlucky not to get anything from the game, but he displayed positive energy and helped United dominate the whole game.
Bruno Fernandes (9.0) –
United’s midfield maestro is being especially vocal to move his teammates forward. Cleverly went behind the Bournemouth defence to go one-v-one with the goalkeeper in the 10th, but his chipped attempted went over. Made up with a clever assist for Greenwood, tricking a defender before finding him well inside the area.
Got his customary goal with a stunning free-kick sending the goalkeeper the wrong way. Played a brilliant through-ball to send Ighalo through on goal in the 85th, only to see him scuff his chance. Bossed the park again, drove United forward and now has 10 PL goal involvements for United as quickly as Robin van Persie did!
Mason Greenwood (9.0) –
The 18-year-old is being allowed to play in a free role after his mid-week heroics and made that count. Took Fernandes’ shot really well before taking a surging shot that rippled through the goalkeeper into the net. Bettered his first goal with an exceptional second, gliding past the defender before striking a bombshell with his right-foot into the top corner.
Showcased an impressive work-rate to win back possession, linked really well with his teammates and terrorized Bournemouth all game long. Another top performance from Europe best-performing teenager this season.
Anthony Martial (8.0) –
Martial has an impressive recent goal-scoring record at home. It remains to be seen whether he adds to it today. And he does! Martial took some time to get his shot on goal, but when he did, he beautifully curled it into the top corner to give United a comfortable lead going into the break. Did well to win the free-kick leading up to Bruno’s goal. Refused to be bullied, moving into the channels and interchanging with Rashford really well to trouble the Cherries.
Marcus Rashford (7.5) –
Rashford looks pumping with energy today. Played a beautiful pass to send Fernandes through on goal in the 10th. Struck a swerving free-kick in the 19th which was saved well. Found Bruno well in open space to assist Greenwood’s goal. Gets back to scoring ways, slotting in the penalty with utmost composure.
Created a few great chances with his whipped crosses and showcased great movement, but unlucky not to get an assist. Screwed by VAR to see his tap-in goal after the hour-mark ruled out. Getting better & better.
Eric Bailly (5.5) –
Bailly had a horrific start, failing to clear the ball that led to Bournemouth’s early shot after half-time and then conceding the penalty.
Fred (6.5) –
Looked promising moving forward with the ball and almost got his first league goal of the season when his shot from just inside the area was saved well in added time.
Daniel James (6.5) –
James looked much better operating as a left-winger, creating a few decent chances and linking well in his cameo.
Odion Ighalo (6.0) –
Looks determined to get his goal but scuffed a difficult one-v-one chance wide in the 85th. A bit scrappy with his finishing today.
Juan Mata (6.0) –
Mata showcased some splendid trickery today, linking up well with Bruno but unable to carve anything for himself.
MAN OF THE MATCH
It once again comes down to Greenwood and Bruno today. And it again goes to Greenwood, who scored a couple of scintillating goals to prove why he’s THE real deal for United’s future.