Talking Points: Bournemouth v United
Manchester United's winning run on the road was brought to an end at Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon, with a game that delivered a number of discussion topics - as rounded up below.
Carry on from Carrow Road
While the midweek Carabao Cup tie at Chelsea provided Ole with the usual opportunities to promote a young player - Brandon Williams - and give Sergio Romero a game in goal, the boss opted to name an unchanged Premier League XI against Bournemouth after last Sunday's 3-1 away win over Norwich City. The substitutes were also the same seven men who filled the bench at Carrow Road.
Martial penalty claim
The Reds were awarded three penalties in the last two games, at Norwich (taken by Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, both saved by Tim Krul) and Chelsea (scored by Rashford), but there was no such joy on the south coast when Martial went down under a challenge from Colombia international Jefferson Lerma. Lancashire referee Chris Kavanagh declined to award a spot-kick and the official in charge of VAR, Mike Dean, did not intervene either. Instead, two players - Lerma and United’s Fred - were booked after the angry melee that flared up.
“I'm sorry but for me, it was a penalty. I didn't see the difference between what we've seen this afternoon and what we saw at Norwich last week. Lerma never got anything on the ball, he certainly wrapped his leg around Martial as he was probably about to shoot. It wasn't looked at [by VAR] - why not?“ Sammy McIlroy countered:“There was a little bit of contact but for me, it wasn't enough for it to be a penalty. I think the way Martial went down may have made the referee think he was playing for it.”
Steve Cook, Bournemouth's long-serving captain, put in two contrasting challenges on Marcus Rashford at opposite ends of the second half. His reckless lunge not long after the break was punished with a yellow rather than a red card; Cook was therefore still on the pitch when our no.10 bore down on goal in the 85th minute and was able to slide in and brilliantly steer the ball out for a corner.
King, of Norway
Bournemouth's hero Josh King is a player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows only too well, having coached our Academy graduate in United's reserve team, as well as watching him play on numerous occasions for their native Norway. This was probably the first time our boss has been directly on the receiving end of the Oslo-born forward's scoring prowess, although the Reds have conceded two King goals in the past - an equalising penalty at Old Trafford in March 2017, and another winner when our December 2015 visit to Dorset ended in a 2-1 defeat.
With this being Bournemouth's closest home game to Remembrance Day, both sides had poppy symbols on their shirts, a period of silence was impeccably observed ahead of kick-off, wreaths were laid and a soldier played The Last Post on his bugle. Old Trafford's turn to pay tribute to the men and women lost in war will come next Sunday when another south-coast club, Brighton and Hove Albion, will be United's visitors.
Ashley Young's fifth yellow card of the season, accrued for a foul on Bournemouth's right winger Harry Wilson, means the skipper will be suspended for our next domestic game - at home to Brighton in the Premier League. This could present another chance for Brandon Williams to play at left-back or left wing-back in the first team, as might Thursday night's Europa League meeting with Partizan Belgrade at Old Trafford.
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