Sunday, April 11, 2021

Manchester United fire four past Bournemouth at Old Trafford

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Tom Beresford
Sports journalist. Non-League football reporter. YouTuber, presenter, podcast host. Previously heard on FiveLive and Love Sport Radio. Managed by Epic Sports Management

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United continued their levels of intensity as they made light work of Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side at Old Trafford. For United, that’s now 12 goals in three matches in Solskjaer’s short reign at the helm of Manchester United, and this afternoon’s performance was arguably their finest display under Solskjaer. The hosts piled the pressure on Bournemouth from the first whistle with the likes of Rashford, Lingard, Pogba, Martial etc bombarding the Bournemouth penalty area.

It took the home side just five minutes to open the scoring as Marcus Rashford produced a sensational moment as he tricked his way down the right hand side making light work of the Bournemouth defence to pick out Paul Pogba who slotted the ball home to gift United an early lead. As the first half went on, the hosts continued to push for more goals as Martial, Pogba and Rashford all created some openings, and on 33 minutes, United managed to grab a second goal.

Ander Herrera picked out Paul Pogba with a pinpoint cross which allowed the Frenchman to fire a close-range header past a stranded Asmir Begovic in the Bournemouth goal. The second goal really lifted the levels of intensity even higher as United contiuned to keep the ball well, and United managed to create another opening as Anthony Martial fired a low driven pass across the box to pick out Marcus Rashford who fired the ball into the bottom right corner.

Right on the stroke of half-time, Bournemouth were allowed a way into the match, and for Solskjaer, he’ll be concerned that he team switched off for a second or two as Nathan Ake rose above Nemanja Matic to head home David Brooks’ cross. The goal came completely against the run of play, and it gave Eddie Howe’s side some added confidence heading into the interval.

In the second half, Solskjaer’s side controlled the ball and really pressed Bournemouth when out of possession. Lots of one-two passes, and patiently waiting to catch Bournemouth on the break. In the 66th minute, United opened up the Bournemouth defence once again as Marcus Rashford recieved a precise pass deep in the penalty area as he fired a shot across the face of goal, but Begovic was equal to the effort with a fantastic stop.

As United turned up the heat, their perseverance paid off as Romelu Lukaku latched on to Paul Pogb’s inch-perfect cross into the the box as the Belgian bundled the ball past Asmir Begovic to make it 4-1. In the dying embers of the game, Eric Bailly was awarded a red card for a dangerous chellenge. Overall, it was another sublime display from Solskjaer’s men, and the Norwegian was delighted with his teams performance, and the way that they controlled the play, especially in the second-half.

As Solskjaer faced the press following his sides third successive win, and he was visibly delighted with the win: ” You have to enjoy sitting down watching the boys express themselves, go forward, win the ball back, and the work rate is second-to-none. That’s the biggest compliment you can get, when you see the players working like this, and the enjoyment that we have working hard, and that’s the foundation of any team.

Solskjaer went on to say: “The boys know that they play at Man United, that means that they’re skillful, they’re good players, so if we have the same work-rate, then we cannot be outworked by any team. Man United should never be outworked. I played with Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Beckham down the wings, Keano, and no-one ever outworked them.

Solskjaer also shared his thoughts on Eric Bailly’s red card in the final few minutes: “It’s a mis-timed challenge, he’s knows he’s excited of course because he’s back in the team, and he wants to prove himself, but he timed that wrong, and he’s the first one to admit that.

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