Ahead of the FA Cup semifinal against Tottenham, Manchester United players needed a convincing win to boost their morale. They certainly did that against Bournemouth, as the Red Devils emerged victorious on Wednesday night.
Bournemouth (4-4-1-1): Asmir Begovic; Charlie Daniels, Nathan Ake, Steve Cook, Simon Francis; Jordan Ibe (Lys Mousset, 56′), Andrew Surman (Dan Gosling, 75′), Lewis Cook, Ryan Fraser; Josh King (Jermain Defoe, 82′); Callum Wilson.
Manchester United (4-3-3): David De Gea; Matteo Darmian, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw; Ander Herrera (Nemanja Matic, 72′), Paul Pogba (Daley Blind, 80′), Marouane Fellaini; Jesse Lingard (Romelu Lukaku, 62′), Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial.
Goals: Smalling (28′), Lukaku (70′)
Yellow card: L. Cook (49′), Smalling (61′), S. Cook (62′), Surman (69′)
Jose Mourinho made seven changes to the side that suffered the humiliating defeat against West Bromwich last Sunday. With this new eleven, United started brightly at the Vitality Stadium. In fact, both sides looked positive in the beginning stages and it was evident that the spectators were in for a treat.
At the stroke of 28th minute, the visitors broke the deadlock, thanks to a fabulous move that started in the middle of the pitch. Herrera sent a magnificent through ball to the right side and Lingard was the one to reach it before Bournemouth defenders realized. The youngster’s square pass then fell nicely on the path of Smalling who made no mistake to slot the ball home from a close range.
Bournemouth tried their best to pull one back in the first half, but they failed to trouble De Gea in the end, and the two teams went to the break with the scoreline 0-1.
Early in the second half, the home side got a good chance, and eventually Shaw fouled Wilson inside the box to stop the attack. However, referee chose to ignore the appeal for penalty and Bournemouth players were clearly agitated at this decision.
Afterwards, Mourinho brought Lukaku to the pitch to bolster the attack. And that paid off very soon. Eight minutes after coming on to the pitch, the Belgian was fed a delicious ball by Pogba. The striker needed only a perfect touch to beat an onrushing Begovic and to send the ball into the Bournemouth nets. United were 2-0 up with 20 minutes to go.
Rest of the match saw resilient defending from the visitors as Eddi Howe’s men failed to pull anything back. Eventually, United got a well-deserved win that will set them up nicely for weekend’s big match against Tottenham.
Bournemouth vs Manchester United highlights:
Bournemouth vs Manchester United stats:
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