Report: United 3 Bournemouth 0
Manchester United picked up a fine 3-0 win at Old Trafford over Bournemouth to move on equal points with third-placed Newcastle United in the Premier League table.
Casemiro’s well-taken finish gave Erik ten Hag's men the lead in the first half, before two beautiful team goals after the break, from Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford to make it three against the Cherries.
United extend our lead over fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur to five points and close on Newcastle, who drew 0-0 with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
FIRST HALF - UNITED DOMINATE
Before the game began, Lisandro Martinez took to the Old Trafford pitch to show off his World Cup winner's medal to the United faithful, who welcomed the defender back with a thunderous reaction. A banner with a butcher’s cleaver on the Argentina flag was shown off in commemoration of Martinez, while United fans serenaded their defender with “Argentina” chants.
United gained a foothold on the game early and managed to hold the majority of play in the Bournemouth half in the first 10 minutes. The best chance of the early period went to Anthony Martial, when Bruno Fernandes picked out a beautiful pass to Shaw, with the left-back's cross finding the French striker but the resulting header went wide.
Ten Hag’s men would not release their grip on proceedings and took full advantage of that when Christian Eriksen’s incredible free-kick whipped into the box, and Casemiro guided the ball past Mark Travers to open the scoring and claim his first Old Trafford goal.
Bournemouth’s best attack came when Casemiro gave away a free-kick - Philip Billing's strike hit the wall and went out for a corner. The Cherries tried to move quickly when the ball fell to Chris Mepham, who fed Dominic Solanke, but the ex-Liverpool striker couldn’t get the header on target.
Moments later, United came forward with multiple attacks, the first fell to Donny van de Beek, when Eriksen’s cross tried to pick out the Dutchman but was cleared away to Bruno Fernandes. His ball made its way to the in-form Rashford, but before he could react, the ball was blocked very well by Lloyd Kelly and cleared away.
Van de Beek was unfortunately then injured, by a challenge from Marcos Senesi, and was replaced by Alejandro Garnacho.
SECOND HALF - MORE OF THE SAME
United started the second half exactly how we ended the first, with total domination of possession. The rain continued to dampen the hallowed turf of the Theatre of Dreams, but that didn’t stop the Reds from grabbing another strike, when Shaw started a well-worked team goal.
His give-and-go pass to Rashford sparked the move and the England international proceeded to dart his way towards the Stretford End. He found Fernandes, who had the awareness to see substitute Garnacho and gave him the opportunity to whip the ball to Shaw, who finished the attack with a right-footed effort and doubled the advantage for United.
That goal spurred the Reds to carry on with the attacks, the best of which came to Martial, but, under pressure, United’s no.9 couldn’t guide his header towards the goal.
Bournemouth did not give up and right-back Adam Smith burst away to send in a great cross to Billing, whose header forced a miraculous save from David De Gea. That inspired the Cherries to keep up the pressure, when Billing’s pass found winger Jaidon Anthony who was unable to beat De Gea, when the Spaniard made another great stop.
Ten Hag decided to make three changes at the 68-minute mark when Martial, Eriksen and Aaron Wan-Bissaka made way for Fred, Diogo Dalot and Anthony Elanga to provide fresh options in the closing stages.
However, it was the early substitute Garnacho who had a great chance to make it three, when Fred found the speedy Argentinian. He cut past Jack Stacey, and tried to curl the ball past Travers, but the ball ricocheted off the far post and went wide.
In the last five minutes of the game, Shaw sent a great ball over the top of the Bournemouth defence into the path of Fernandes. The Portuguese magnifico squared the ball across the box to Rashford, who slotted it home to register his sixth in a row at Old Trafford for the forward and his fourth since the restart.
United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka (Dalot, 68), Lindelof (Martinez, 87) Maguire (c), Shaw; Casemiro, Eriksen (Fred, 68); Fernandes, van de Beek (Garnacho, 45), Rashford; Martial (Elanga, 68).
Subs not used: Heaton, Malacia, Varane, McTominay.
Scorers: Casemiro 23, Shaw 49, Rashford 85.
Bouremouth: Travers, Smith (Stacey, 63), Mepham, Senesi, Kelly, Christie (Dembele, 76), Cook, Lerma (Rothwell, 84), Anthony, Solanke, Billing (Moore, 76)
Subs not used: Plain, Stephens, Zemura, Pearson, Lowe.
Booked: Smith, Stacey, Billing.