Nine talking points from United v Bournemouth
Manchester United enjoyed a superb 5-2 victory over Bournemouth on Saturday, as we strengthened our Champions League claims by, at least temporarily, moving into the top four.
After such an exhilarating game, we’ve rounded up the major talking points from a hectic afternoon at Old Trafford...
A UNITED FIRST
Saturday’s game was the first competitive match the Reds have ever played in the month of July. Sadly, the weather didn’t match the occasion and it was a grey, gloomy affair in Manchester. The encounter was also significant because it marked the first 15:00 BST United kick-off in the league to be broadcast live in the UK.
The match in photosGallery
Get closer to the action between United and Bournemouth at Old Trafford by browsing the trending images.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinted before the game that he would make changes, but when the sides were announced pre-match, the boss opted to stick with the same XI who beat Sheffield United and Brighton & Hove Albion in our last two league games. This team is clearly the boss’s first choice at present.
MASON AT IT AGAIN
On Tuesday, against Brighton, we saw Mason Greenwood cutting inside with a jinking run to smash the ball past Mat Ryan’s near post. Yet against the Cherries, the youngster showed what a versatile goalscorer he is. Mason’s first of the afternoon came from the attacker firing across Bournemouth keeper Aaron Ramsdale and towards the back post. His second strike was perhaps the pick of the bunch as he dropped the shoulder and blasted the ball in with the inside of his right foot. The goal also means he’s the youngest United player to net 15 goals in a season since Norman Whiteside in 1983!
When the Reds were awarded a penalty after 33 minutes, most of our supporters were expecting Bruno Fernandes to step up and take it. So were the media team! However, it was Marcus Rashford who calmly slotted the spot kick home - the striker’s first goal since Project Restart. Earlier in the campaign, Marcus and Paul Pogba were sharing penalty duties and, who knows, Ole may be deploying a similar policy again.
COMING FROM BEHIND
The Reds haven’t been conceding too many goals of late and therefore, it’s no surprise that it’s been quite a while since we came from behind to win a league match. In fact, we last did that in March 2019, when the Reds overcame a goal deficit to ultimately beat Southampton 3-2.
Twitter was AMAZING during the win with posts from Opta, Statman Dave and United legends dominating timelines...
With Mason, Marcus and Anthony all scoring, our top-scorer race continues to be a compelling battle. Rashford and Martial are level at the summit with 20 strikes a piece in all competitions, and in achieving that tally, it’s the first time United have had two 20+ goalscorers in a single season since Dimitar Berbatov (21) and Javier Hernandez (20) in 2010/11. Meanwhile, Mason’s goals moved him up to 15 in all competitions, and maybe still with an outside chance of finishing top of the pile.
Our supporters are showing their colours for today's Premier League clash with Bournemouth.
United were forced into a half-time change with Victor Lindelof picking up a knock. The Swede, who has missed just three Premier League games this season, was replaced by Eric Bailly, whose handball led to Joshua King's penalty reducing the arrears to 3-2. The early assessment of Lindelof is he has a back problem but will hopefully be fit for Thursday's trip to Aston Villa.
BEND IT LIKE BRUNO
With the Reds notching five goals, you couldn’t expect Bruno not to get in on the act. The Portuguese midfielder, who provided the assists for Greenwood’s first goal and Martial’s sublime curling effort, bagged our fifth strike of the afternoon courtesy of a free-kick. Our no.18 stroked the ball past Ramsdale after 59 minutes, which was actually United’s first free-kick goal in the 2019/20 Premier League.
United’s win means we move up to fourth in the table for now, with Chelsea not playing until 20:00 BST on Saturday. Fellow Champions League hopefuls Leicester City were also in action at the same time as the the Reds, and their 3-0 win over Crystal Palace means the Foxes maintain their three-point lead over Ole’s men. Meanwhile, Wolverhampton Wanderers face Arsenal at 17:30 BST on Saturday as the games keep coming thick and fast.
We are all United as the Reds go marching on! On sale now, get your 2019/20 kit while stocks last.