Man Utd 1-0 Bournemouth: Romelu Lukaku nets winner for hosts
Last Updated: 14/12/17 8:26am
Manchester United got back to winning ways at Old Trafford after the derby tussle with a workmanlike 1-0 victory over Bournemouth on Wednesday.
Romelu Lukaku (25) silenced his critics with the winning strike midway through the first-half, his first goal in five Premier League games although he refused to celebrate.
Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford went close in the second period but it was Bournemouth who created more chances, registering seven shots on target but they found David de Gea once again in defiant mood.
The victory leaves United 11 points behind leaders Manchester City, who won 4-0 at Swansea.
Manchester United: De Gea (8), Jones (8), Smalling (7), Shaw (7), Valencia (7), McTominay (6), Matic (6), Lingard (5), Mata (7), Martial (5), Lukaku (7).
Subs: Rashford (7), Young (6), Herrera (6)
Bournemouth: Begovic (6), Francis (6), Ake (6), Gosling (6), Daniels (6), Smith (6), Fraser (6), Stanislas (7), Arter (7), King (7), Wilson (7)
Subs: Defoe (7), Afobe (6), Cook (6)
Man of the Match: David de Gea
Lukaku, who faced criticism for his part in United's damaging loss to rivals Manchester City at the weekend, showed great determination to head his team in front.
Juan Mata hung a ball up to the back post and the striker rose above Charlie Daniels and Nathan Ake to power a header into the top corner.
At the other end, De Gea was kept busy by the visitors who tested him with five efforts on targets in the first half, the pick of which came from a stinging Daniels strike from 25 yards.
Jose Mourinho made four changes from the derby defeat with Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay handed rare starts. Meanwhile, Dan Gosling, Adam Smith, Harry Arter and Callum Wilson returned for Bournemouth.
United settled better after the break and should have doubled their lead but Martial fired over from five yards after Lukaku was denied from close range.
Substitute Marcus Rashford then rattled the underside of the crossbar on 72 minutes but that was the last of United's attacking intent as they sank deeper to protect their lead.
Despite good territory, the Cherries could not find the killer opportunity although Jermain Defoe was denied by a well-positioned De Gea on 83 minutes.
Bournemouth did have one final chance from a 25-yard free-kick in injury time but Ryan Fraser's powerful effort was held by De Gea, who recorded his 10th clean sheet of the Premier League season.
- Manchester United have won nine of their last 10 Premier League games at Old Trafford (L1), keeping a clean sheet in eight of these victories.
- Since earning promotion in 2015, Bournemouth have taken just 13 points from a possible 87 against the "top six" teams in the Premier League (29 games).
- Since the start of 2016-17, Lukaku has scored 30 goals in 38 Premier League appearances versus "non-big six" sides.
- Mata (18) has made more assists than any other Manchester United player in the Premier League since his debut in January 2014.
- Bournemouth had five more shots on target than the home side in this game - the last opposition side to have more in a Premier League game at Old Trafford was Liverpool in March 2014 (six more than Manchester United).
Jose Mourinho: "When you lose a match it's important you don't lose two in a row. Every team that loses a match tries not to lose the next one. That's the magic of football. We tried and we managed it. We are happy."
Eddie Howe: "They have an outstanding goalkeeper who made a number of good saves and maybe we could have done better in and around their box, but when you consider the opposition and where were playing, I was very pleased with players"
Alan McInally: "Eddie Howe will be gutted they haven't scored, gutted they haven't come away with something from the game, because I think they contained Manchester United. I never saw United really controlling huge parts of the game and really pressing them back. With 10 minutes to go, United had had two shots on target."
Man of the match: David de Gea
This was not quite the brilliance of his Arsenal performance two weeks ago as Bournemouth's finishing lacked the required quality to severely test him, yet he was still outstanding. The Spaniard dealt with every single shot Bournemouth threw at him, where his positioning came to the fore. De Gea has kept the most Premier League clean sheets (10) and has made the most saves in the league of any goalkeeper. World-class.
United are back in action on Super Sunday against West Brom before Bournemouth host Liverpool in the day's second live game.