Manchester United have bounced back from their recent 1-0 defeat against Manchester City, with a win over bottom half team AFC Bournemouth last night at the Old Trafford. This was a must-win game for The Red Devils and according to manager Jose Mourinho, the Premier League title race is far from over.
A change is Manchester United’s playing style was clearly visible last night, as Mourinho’s men looked to get a good grip and control in the match, rather than play in their usual attacking manner. However, 25 minutes was all it took for United to open the scoring as Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku– who has received a lot of criticism for his costly mistakes against City, scored the first goal of yesterday’s match via a header following a cross from Juan Mata into the six-yard box. This was just Lukaku’s third goal in 15 matches. As for Bournemouth; The Cherries had two good chances to level up the scoreline but, Simon Francis’ 32nd-minute shot went high over the crossbar and two minutes later Stanislas’ shot on target was saved by David De Gea. The Red Devils went into the break leading the scoreline 1-0.
Manchester United restarted the match in a much more pacy manner and almost had the chance to double their lead via Anthony Martial at the hour mark, as the Frenchman failed to tap in the ball from close range. Eddie Howe’s team had a few changes in the second half but failed to cover any of them, Jermain Defoe also had a great chance to level the score but a simple stop from David De Gea was enough to deny the former Spurs man. In the end, Manchester United managed to cross the line and were successful in denying Bournemouth from scoring an equalizer, despite The Cherries seeing more or the ball in the final few minutes of the game. However, despite getting all three points United are still 11 points behind table-toppers Manchester City, who thrashed Swansea 4-0.
Manchester United vs AFC Bournemouth Highlights:
Manchester United vs AFC Bournemouth Line-ups:
Manchester United: David De Gea; Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw (Ashley Young 83′), Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard (Ander Herrera 71′), Anthony Martial (Marcus Rashford 66′), Romelu Lukaku.
AFC Bournemouth: Asmir Begovic, Smith, Simon Francis, Nathan Ake, Charlie Daniels, Junior Stanislas (Jermain Defoe 71′), Harry Arter, Dan Gosling (Lewis Cook 77′), Ryan Fraser, Joshua King, Callum Wilson (Benik Afobe 71′).
Manchester United vs AFC Bournemouth match stats:
Shots on target– 2:7
Possession– 57:43 (In %)
Fouls (bookings)– 14 (1):12 (2)