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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

United 3-0 Bournemouth: Casemiro, Shaw and Rashford score as Reds’ run continues

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Manchester United recorded a comfortable 3-0 win over Bournemouth in their Premier League clash at Old Trafford on Tuesday, with Casemiro, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford finding the net. United have now won five of their last six league games, and have provisionally moved within a point of second-placed Manchester City.

Erik ten Hag made four changes to the side that beat Wolves on New Year’s Eve, including a return to the starting lineup for Rashford, who replaced Alejandro Garnacho. Donny van de Beek made a surprise start with Antony ruled out through injury, while Victor Lindelöf and Harry Maguire returned to form United’s central defensive partnership.

United dominated the first half, with a defensive Bournemouth offering very little in attack. They stifled ten Hag’s charges fairly effectively in the game’s opening quarter, but were undone by a smart set-piece midway through the opening half. Christian Eriksen swung a perfect free-kick from wide left in behind the Cherries defence, where Casemiro calmly volleyed home for 1-0.

It proved the only real chance of a less-than-spectacular first half, which sadly ended with van de Beek limping down the tunnel after an aggressive tackle from Bournemouth defender Marcos Senesi. The Dutchman was replaced by Garnacho, as ten Hag shunted Bruno Fernandes from wide-right to a more central position.

Both players were involved as United doubled their lead less than four minutes into the second half. Shaw drove infield from the left, offloading to Fernandes who picked out Garnacho right of Bournemouth’s penalty area. His low cross found the onrushing Shaw, who slotted calmly past Mark Travers for 2-0.

United were well on top, and should have killed the game off with a third 10 minutes later. Casemiro hung a deep cross towards Anthony Martial at the back post, though the Frenchman failed to make a clean contact and the chance went to waste. Bournemouth responded with their first opportunities of the game, though David de Gea denied Philip Billing and Jaidon Anthony in quick succession.

With United’s lead still comfortable, ten Hag made a triple substitution, replacing Martial, Eriksen and Aaron Wan-Bissaka with Anthony Elanga, Fred and Diogo Dalot respectively. Garnacho almost curled a fine effort inside Travers’ far post with just over 10 minutes remaining, though the youngster’s low drive clipped the outside of the post on its way behind.

Instead, it fell to the on-form Rashford to score United’s third, which was beautiful in its simplicity. A long, raking pass from Shaw was squared first-time across the six-yard box by Fernandes, leaving Rashford to tap into an open net. The cheers that greeted the goal were matched only by those that welcomed Lisandro Martínez onto the field moments later, marking the Argentine’s first appearance in a United shirt since lifting the World Cup.

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