Marcus Rashford earned an extremely late victory for Manchester United against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Red Devils started horrifically against Eddie Howe’s men and were deservedly behind in the 11th minute as Callum Wilson fired home following a slick move from the hosts. However, Martial stepped up to the plate once again for United to finish from close range before the break to haul the visitors level. Both sides continued to create chances after the break but it was United who were to secure victory as Rashford coolly converted in the last seconds of the game.
Dave saves – again
Manchester United started slowly at the Vitality and could have been a goal behind early on had it not been for the fantastic instincts of David De Gea. Ryan Fraser was released beyond the United defence but the Spaniard was out well to thwart the speedy Scot when one-on-one.
The United keeper was called into action again only minutes later as Adam Smith floated an excellent ball into Wilson but De Gea reacted well to deflect the ball behind for a corner. David Brooks then also went close as he let fly from the edge of the box only to see the ball drift wide.
Wilson continues hot streak
De Gea could do nothing about Bournemouth’s next chance as they opened the scoring through Wilson. Lewis Cook released Stanislas with a clever pass, before the latter centred the ball with a driven, low cross. Wilson was waiting only six yards out to tap home.
They nearly doubled the lead as Smith went on a mazy dribble down the left wing before putting an effort well wide of the post.
Bournemouth thought they were deserving of a penalty as David Brooks appeared to be shoved in the box by Luke Shaw but the referee was uninterested.
Martial hauls under-performing United level
Despite United’s poor showing in the first-half at the Vitality, they were level just before the break. Good play between Alexis Sanchez and Ashley Young saw the ball worked into the area. Martial was unmarked at the back post to stab the ball beyond Begovic.
Bournemouth nearly regained the lead on the stroke of half-time as Ryan Fraser forced a good stop out of the United keeper. However, both sides headed into the break level.
Chances go begging for both sides
The Scot so nearly had an impact in another early Bournemouth strike in the second-half as he teed up Brooks. The former Sheffield United youngster attempted a smart backheel but once again could not get past De Gea.
Martial’s confidence was clearly at an all-time high in the second-half and he should have doubled his afternoon’s work as he was played through by Juan Mata but Begovic reacted well to halt the French forward. The Bosnian stopper then did excellently again as Luke Shaw tried his luck.
United carve open Bournemouth and strike late
Jose Mourinho’s troops continued to improve throughout the second-half but were simply not able to find a second goal and turn the game around. Sanchez had a close range effort stopped by the Bournemouth keeper before Ander Herrera put a spectacular effort just wide.
Most United fans thought the Red Devils had scored with their next attack but alas, they were once again kept at bay. Ashley Young at first thundered a free-kick onto the crossbar before Nathan Ake did well to clear the ball after Rashford latched onto the follow-up. He then had another bite of the cherry only for Brooks to get back and clear off the line.
Despite both teams going toe-to-toe for the majority of the second-half, it was United who were to be the victors thanks to Rashford. Great work from Paul Pogba allowed him to toss in a teasing cross into the Bournemouth penalty area. Rashford chested the ball down and slotted past Begovic for what was only his second goal of the season.
United were once again a huge contrast in both halves of the game. Completely undeserving of anything before the break, they were a different beast after half-time and were probably deserving of their win in the end. They go into their clash with Juventus on Wednesday in a confident mood.
Elsewhere, Eddie Howe and his troops will be disappointed that they were not able to take any points. They certainly challenged the Red Devils but had any reward snatched away in the closing stages. They next do battle with Newcastle United.
AFC Bournemouth: Begovic (8); Ake (8), S. Cook (7), Francis (6); Fraser (7) (Ibe (6), 74′), Lerma (6), L. Cook (7) (Gosling (6), 68′), Smith (6); Stanislas (7) (Surman (N/A), 90+1′), Brooks (7), Wilson (8).
Manchester United: De Gea (8); Shaw (6), Lindelöf (6), Smalling (5), Young (6); Pogba (6), Matic (6), Fred (5) (Herrera (6), 56′); Sanchez (6) (Lingard (N/A), 78′), Martial (7), Mata (6) (Rashford (7), 56′).
Goals: Wilson (11′), Martial (35′), Rashford (90+2′)
Referee: Paul Tierney
Yellow Cards: Shaw (54′), Stanislas (63′), Wilson (64′), Young (82′), Smith (83′), Rashford (90+3′)
Red Cards: N/A
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