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Manchester United vs AFC Bournemouth at Stadion.Core.ViewModels.Matchday.LocationViewModel


Manchester United

, Romelu Lukaku ‘25'

AFC Bournemouth

FT 13th December 2017 8:00 PM
Old Trafford
Stats Sponsored by MSP Capital

Resilient Cherries edged out at Old Trafford

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Graham Scott

AFC Bournemouth were edged out by a solitary goal against Manchester United on a drenched and bitterly cold evening at Old Trafford.

AFC Bournemouth were edged out by a solitary goal against Manchester United on a drenched and bitterly cold evening at Old Trafford.

On the balance of play the Cherries were much the better side, and were only denied what would have been at least a deserved point by a string of fine saves from United stopper David De Gea.

In the end Romelu Lukaku’s goal midway through the first half proved decisive.

Eddie Howe’s team yielded four changes to the starting XI that had previously battled to a point away at Crystal Palace four days earlier.

Harry Arter and Dan Gosling were paired in the midfield engine room, with Adam Smith and Callum Wilson also back in from the off.

The Cherries started positively. On two occasions inside the opening ten minutes Junior Stanislas found space in between the United midfield and defence, but was unable to find a killer final pass.

The home side were seeing plenty of ball in the Bournemouth half, but Asmir Begovic was rarely troubled.

Instead it was the boys in blue who created a couple of chances either side of the 20-minute mark.

First, Wilson’s clever dummy following Ake’s low pass released King, who after fronting up his marker saw a low shot well blocked by Phil Jones.

Charlie Daniels then worked David De Gea, weaving his way infield from the left flank before seeing a low skidding shot palmed away by the Spaniard.

Gosling was next to try his luck, collecting Ryan Fraser’s dangerous cross from the left before seeing his shot punched clear by the United stopper.

But, arguably against the run of play, Bournemouth’s positive start to the game was undone on 25 minutes.

Juan Mata’s pinpoint cross from the left was met by Lukaku, who powered his header beyond Begovic from six yards out.

A goal down, the Cherries persisted with their attacking intent, as Gosling released Stanislas down the right, who then saw a low shot skid off the surface and in to De Gea’s midriff.

The final 15 minutes of the opening half passed without any real incident, aside from Fraser’s cross almost catching out De Gea at his near post.

The second half started as the first had ended, and it took until the 60th minute until the next event of note.

As Bournemouth could only half-clear a United attack, the ball was nodded back in to the left channel where an unmarked Lukaku saw his shot superbly blocked by Begovic. The loose ball then fell to Martial, who with the goal gaping blazed over the bar from six yards out.

On 70 minutes Howe introduced both Afobe and Defoe in place of Wilson and Stanislas, as the Cherries committed men forward in search of the equaliser.

But instead it was another substitute, Marcus Rashford, who came close in spectacular fashion. The United wide man cut inside from the left, before unleashing a howitzer of an effort from all of 30 yards that cannoned off the underside of Begovic’s crossbar and away from goal.

As the game entered its final throes, a couple of half-chances came and went for the Cherries, the best of which saw Defoe cap a fine counter attack with a shot from an acute angle that was well blocked by De Gea.

Ultimately the Cherries were unable to find a break through and despite a gutsy effort left the north west empty handed.

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