Manchester United vs Bournemouth. Premier League.
Report and highlights as United extended their unbeaten run to 16 matches across all competitions
Sunday 5 July 2020 08:57, UK
Manchester United put on an electric showing of attacking flair to beat Bournemouth 5-2 and temporarily move into the top four.
An early error at his near post by David de Gea helped the Cherries take the lead through Junior Stanislas (16) but going behind sparked United's breathtaking attack into life.
Mason Greenwood grabbed the first of his two goals with a powerful left-footed strike (29) before Adam Smith handled inside his own six-yard box which allowed Marcus Rashford to net from the spot (35). Anthony Martial scored for the 20th time this season when curling home a stunner (45), but Bournemouth hit back after the break when Josh King (49) fired home a penalty after substitute Eric Bailly had been penalised for a handball of his own.
With the game free-flowing from end-to-end, Greenwood restored United's two-goal cushion with another fine strike (54), this time with his right foot, and Bruno Fernandes got in on the act, curling home from a free-kick (59).
United's fine recent form has catapulted them firmly into the Champions League qualification picture, but Chelsea's 3-0 win over Watford meant Frank Lampard's side leapfrogged them back into fourth later on Saturday.
Bournemouth remain firmly in relegation trouble with just five games to save their season.
Man Utd: De Gea (5), Wan-Bissaka (6), Lindelof (6), Maguire (6), Shaw (7), Matic (8), Pogba (7), Greenwood (9), Fernandes (8), Rashford (8), Martial (8).
Subs: Igahlo (6), Mata (6), James (7)
Bournemouth: Ramsdale (7), Rico (6), Kelly (6), Ake (6), Smith (5), Brooks (6), Lerma (6), L.Cook (6), Stanislas (7), Solanke (5), King (6).
Subs: H.Wilson (6), Stacey (6), Danjuma (7), Billing (6)
Man of the match: Mason Greenwood
Eddie Howe called for a reaction from his Bournemouth players after a woeful performance in their home defeat to Newcastle in midweek, which he got in the early stages.
Brave without the ball, the Cherries weren't afraid to push men deep into the United half and got their rewards on 15 minutes with De Gea again leaving himself open to criticism.
There didn't look much on for Stanislas on the by-line but a sublime nutmeg on Harry Maguire opened up possibilities. He had two team-mates waiting for a cut back but he decided to take on the strike and somehow De Gea allowed himself to be beaten at his near post despite the tough angle.
The leveller arrived on 29 minutes as Rashford strode away down the left and found Fernandes on the edge of the box. He quickly moved the ball across to Greenwood, whose left-footed strike was full of power and flew past the grasp of Aaron Ramsdale.
There was a sense of ruthlessness about United's attacking play thereafter and they soon took the lead. Referee Mike Dean had no hesitation pointing to the spot when Adam Smith handled, with Rashford stepping up to slot home the penalty.
Ramsdale was picking the ball out of his net once again just before the break when Martial arched a quite sumptuous effort from 22 yards into the top corner.
Bailly replaced Victor Lindelof at the break and it upset United's rhythm as Bournemouth put them under severe pressure in the early stages of the second half.
De Gea denied Lewis Cook from range before substitute Arnaut Danjuma hit the near post after Bailly went to sleep.
Still seemingly in a daze, Bailly then raised his arm to control a backpass and, following a lengthy delay, VAR decided to award a penalty for handball.
King made no mistake with the penalty. Bournemouth had their tails up and an equaliser looked very possible until Greenwood got United out of trouble with another emphatic finish on 54 minutes.
United grabbed a fifth minutes later when Fernandes fired home from a 20-yard free-kick to put the result to bed.
Two shots. Two on target. Two goals. That is the sign of an elite marksman - and it's frightening to think this one is just 18-years-old.
Greenwood epitomises this new era of Manchester United, which is looking very exciting especially with next season in mind. They are now box-office. One of the hottest tickets in town, if tickets were available. It was the kind of match where the absence of supporters was a cruel twist as United, with Greenwood at the forefront, put on an attacking masterclass as they hit five at home in a Premier League game for the first since December 2011.
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: "It's exciting. It was great attacking football, with some fantastic goals.
"It's too bad our fans couldn't be here and spur us on because you can see the energy in the team, you can see the atmosphere within the team, but, if that crowd is here, that lifts you even more. That's a game for the fans, that's one the Stretford End would have enjoyed. It could have been six or seven or eight then, so, of course, it's a strange feeling playing in front of no one, but I think the team is doing exceptional.
"I think they're doing whatever they can to create that atmosphere themselves."
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe: "It was much better from the attacking sense. We were a threat in the game today from start to finish.
"On the counter-attack we had pace in wide areas, front positions, scored a good goal so that was a big improvement on recent weeks.
"But defensively today once we conceded the first goal, that was not our finest hour.
"We know we're in the Premier League and I think if you don't get every detail right, you will find it difficult.
"I think the most disappointing goal for me is the first goal. I think we'll look back at that as a key moment in the match.
"We had the lead and I haven't seen the goal again but my gut feel is we didn't deal with it anywhere near well enough.
"I think that changed the game in terms of momentum. I think the second goal was a harsh penalty to give against us. Third goal was an unbelievable finish.
"The really good thing is the beginning of the second half we came out with real intent, got back in the match. And the fourth goal probably knocked the stuffing out of us."
United are back in action on Thursday night against Aston Villa while Bournemouth host Tottenham - both games are live on Sky Sports.