Manchester United vs AFC Bournemouth Match Analysis

Yes. It was just Bournemouth. Even before this game, it was just Cardiff and Huddersfield. But for the Manchester United fans, it doesn’t matter. What matters to them at this is the swagger of Manchester United and this swagger is well and truly back at Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United may have very well won these three game but it was the manner of these victories that has really excited the supporters.

Solksjaer’s second home game in charge started exactly the way the Norwegian would have wanted it to. Marcus Rashford had the ball near the right-hand corner and was surrounded by two Cherries defenders. But what he did next left really left thousands on the Stretford End gasping for air. His quick feet and a dribble left him free on the byline and he put in a teasing cross across the face of the goal and Paul Pogba duly obliged. It was 1-0 and not even five minutes had passed on the clock.

Eddie Howe is one of the world’s best young managers and his Bournemouth side responded in a way that he has prepared them to.  They had a proper go at United and De Gea had to even make a couple of smart saves. But around the 30-minute mark, United worked the ball again along the right channel. This time Ander Herrera put a dangerous cross into the box and Paul Pogba was there again, this time with a header and just like that United were 2-0 up.

Mourinho’s United probably would have put a brake on the match at this moment of time but under the new found freedom, United players pushed on and on for more. This resulted into yet another goal when a brilliant outside the foot cross from Anthony Martial found Marcus Rashford in the six-yard box who found the back of the net. But there are certain things that not even Ole can fix at this moment of time and that is the lack of clean sheets. With seconds to go for the halftime whistle, United failed to clear the ball from a Bournemouth corner and Nathan Ake eventually put one past David De Gea. United might be the richest club in world football but at this moment of time, United can’t even buy a clean sheet.

United came into the second half with the same intensity and even close to extending their lead via Marcus Rashford but was denied by the huge frame of Asmir Begovic. 

Romelu Lukaku came on for Rashford around the 70th min and within 120 seconds, even the big Belgian found the back of the net. The only aberration on the night for United was the red card of Eric Bailly. The Ivorian went into a rash challenge on Ryan Fraser and the gave the referee no other option but to show a direct red.

What Manchester United did for the next 15 minutes or so after going down to 10 men wouldn’t make the headlines but it showed how Solksjaer has trained his side to see out games in a very professional way. United had over 86% possession for the last 15 minutes and this made sure that Bournemouth never got a sniff at 10 men of United.

So, 2018 ended with the best way possible. Manchester United, after a long long time, look like Manchester United of old. Paul Pogba who might have had attitude issues earlier this season, looks like a player reborn, right from the ashes and everyone is just awed by the brilliance of his unreal performances. 4 goals and 4 assists in 3 games is the kind of return that turns haters into believers. 2019 brings in more challenges for United and Solksjaer. United looked to have a brilliant plan A against the teams that United were supposed to win anyways but now United fans would want to see what their #20 Legend has in the locker for the big boys. A trip to Newcastle is next on the horizon and Solksjaer will hope for more of the same from Pogba and Co.


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