Free highlights and match report as goals from Casemiro, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford helped Manchester United complete a routine 3-0 victory over Bournemouth; Erik ten Hag's team are now level on points with third-placed Newcastle
Wednesday 4 January 2023 06:15, UK
Manchester United defeated Bournemouth 3-0 at Old Trafford to move level on points with third-placed Newcastle in the Premier League table.
Casemiro's controlled volley from Christian Eriksen's free-kick put Erik ten Hag's side in front midway through the first half before Luke Shaw doubled the advantage early in the second half by finishing a fine team goal. Shaw's brilliant pass set up Marcus Rashford for the third.
Ten Hag had made changes, welcoming Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford back to the team while Donny van de Beek started his first Premier League game at home for 19 months - although he was forced off injured before half-time following a strong challenge.
But that did nothing to halt United's momentum - Alejandro Garnacho coming on to set up the second goal. It was a thoroughly deserved victory for United, their sixth in succession in all competitions. Bournemouth remain just two points above the relegation zone.
Manchester United: De Gea (8), Wan-Bissaka (7), Lindelof (6), Maguire (6), Shaw (9), Casemiro (9), Eriksen (8), Fernandes (7), Van de Beek (6), Martial (7), Rashford (7).
Subs: Garnacho (7), Dalot (6), Fred (6), Elanga (6), Martinez (n/a).
Bournemouth: Travers (6), Smith (5), Kelly (7), Senesi (5), Mepham (6), Anthony (6), Cook (6), Lerma (6), Billing (6), Christie (5), Solanke (5).
Subs: Stacey (6), Dembele (6), Moore (6), Rothwell (n/a).
Player of the match: Luke Shaw.
Ten Hag tweaked his shape for this one with Bruno Fernandes starting off on the right wing in the absence of the injured Antony but there tends to be a sense of continuity about United these days. It helps that Casemiro is at the heart of that midfield.
The Brazilian was the outstanding player on the pitch in the first half, his passing range and ability to break up play being particularly impressive. But he also made the difference in front of goal here - measuring his volley beautifully to convert Eriksen's cross from the left.
Erik ten Hag made three changes to the team that defeated Wolves with Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire and Donny van de Beek returning to the starting line-up. The three men to make way were Raphael Varane, Alejandro Garnacho and the injured Antony.
Bournemouth boss Gary O’Neil changed two of the side that were beaten at home to Crystal Palace. Chris Mepham and Ryan Christie came in with Jordan Zemura and Kieffer Moore taking their place among the substitutes for this one.
It was another star of United's season who was the architect for the next two. Shaw had been filling in at centre-back of late but in his preferred position of full-back he continued his good form. Driving at the Bournemouth defence from deep, he cut through them.
After picking out Fernandes, the Portuguese helped the ball on to Garnacho and his cross was finished neatly by Shaw on his weaker right foot. The smile on his face suggested that might have surprised him but his pass for the third goal reflected his confidence.
Lofting the ball behind the Bournemouth defence, he expertly found Fernandes and the playmaker's unselfish square pass found Rashford unmarked in the middle of the box. The England man did the rest - scoring for the fourth consecutive match.
Bournemouth did improve once two goals down. David de Gea made a trio of saves in quick succession just before the hour mark and Siriki Dembele's cross even struck the bar in stoppage time, but by then it was far too late. It is seven defeats in eight for them now.
For United, there is real hope that the future is rather brighter. Garnacho sums up the verve with which they are playing right now, and was unlucky not to get himself on the scoresheet late in the game when his effort came off the post. The joy that greeted World Cup winner Lisandro Martinez when he was introduced summed up the current mood around the club.
The feel-good factor is back at Old Trafford and the gap to leaders Arsenal is down to nine points. With Casemiro, Shaw and the rest in this form, expect their progress to continue.
|Casemiro, Shaw, Rashford
|Eriksen, Garnacho, Fernandes
|Shaw (3), Casemiro (2), Maguire (1)
"It was like a tennis match," said Ten Hag in the press conference after the game. "We don't want to play tennis we want to play football. Keep possession. It costs so much energy for the back line. They take a lot of risks and the front players struggle to get back.
"We are still in a process. In the first half, we control the game but don't play brilliantly. In the second half, we make a great counter. But we have to be smart. Stay compact. Make them run. You will have chances.
"We feel strong but we only stay strong if we do our jobs and give 100 per cent in every situation. I did not have that feeling. I had a feeling we thought it was easy and the game was gone. But if they make it 2-1 then the game is not gone.
"The belief is growing and it is good to have that feeling but we have to understand that we have to give 100 per cent in every game."
"Nobody wants to lose 3-0 and we did not deserve to lose 3-0 but if you are going to lose 3-0 that is the way to do it," said Bournemouth boss Gary O'Neil afterwards.
"In the second half, we tried to be slightly more aggressive, press slightly more often, but we get one slightly wrong. We had six big chances and David de Gea [was] making good saves. I thought the majority of United's chances came after we opened the pitch up.
"The only disappointment is that if we arrive in those positions we have to score the goal. At 2-1 it could have been different. The important thing is that it looked like us today. It has done apart from the Palace game. If we produce that every time we will climb the table."
Manchester United host Everton in the FA Cup third round on Friday at 8pm before welcoming Charlton to Old Trafford on January 10, also at 8pm, in the Carabao Cup quarter-final.
United return to Premier League action on January 14 at 12.30pm when rivals Manchester City make the trip to Old Trafford.
Bournemouth host Burnley in the FA Cup third round on Saturday at 3pm before travelling to Brentford in the Premier League on January 14 at 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports.