Manchester United travelled to the South Coast on Saturday, as they looked to guarantee their participation in next season’s UEFA Champions League. Three points would be enough to secure a spot in the top four, if Liverpool tripped up at home against Aston Villa.
BOU: Neto; Kelly, Senesi, Zabarnyi, Smith; Lerma, Cook; Anthony, Christie, Brooks; Solanke
MUN: De Gea; Shaw, Lindelof, Varane, Wan-Bissaka; Eriksen, Casemiro; Sancho, Fernandes, Antony; Martial
The Cherries couldn’t hold on for long at the Vitality Stadium, finding themselves trailing after less than ten minutes. Christian Eriksen’s ball over the top of the defence wasn’t cleared well, and the chance eventually fell to Casemiro – the Brazilian midfielder fired United into the lead with a spectacular bicycle kick that settled in the back of the net via the crossbar.
Bournemouth came close to equalising as the thirty-minute mark approached though, forcing a great save from David De Gea to deny Dominic Solanke. The striker took a few steps to dart through the defence, but the Spanish ‘keeper was equal to his low strike.
The hosts seemed to have grown into the game as the half progressed, and a free-kick gave David Brooks an opportunity to bring his side back into the action – but it struck the top of the United wall and the chance was wasted. There was to be one last chance in stoppage time for the Cherries, as Solanke connected with Smith’s cross. His headed effort settled on the roof of the net though, and the hosts trailed at the interval.
De Gea was put to work within minutes of play resuming, tipping the ball over the woodwork after Brooks looked to pick out the gap between the Spaniard and the underside of the crossbar. Dominic Solanke attempted to create another chance for a teammate – but there was nobody there to slot home as he drilled a ball across the box.
An error from Kelly gave Weghorst chance to pounce and extend United’s lead, but his drilled effort was pushed away well by Neto. The ‘keeper was forced into action soon after, as Erik Ten Hag’s side seemed to have regained control of the match – but once more, Neto was able to deny Bruno Fernandes’ half-volleyed strike.
The action was far from over though as Bournemouth continued to fancy their chances of clinching a point, but David De Gea was able to keep Moore’s strike out. Desperation seemed to grow in stoppage time, as Senesi struck a volley from distance – but that would be the last chance of the game, settling on the roof of the net as the referee blew the final whistle.