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First Team

Historic win for Cherries at Old Trafford


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Andoni Iraola presided over one of the greatest wins in the history of the Cherries – a first victory at Old Trafford against Manchester United, the 20-time champions of England.

The Spanish head coach saw goals from Dom Solanke, Philip Billing and Marcos Senesi earn the visitors a famous 3-0 triumph, their third away win in succession.

Despite beating the Red Devils on two occasions at Vitality Stadium in their first spell in the top flight between 2015 and 2020, the best the Cherries could do at Old Trafford was a share of the spoils in March 2017.

But that all changed as Iraola’s team wrote a new chapter in the record books, with Solanke starting the ball rolling with a finely-taken fifth-minute opener.

The Cherries heroically defended their lead in the face of strong pressure from United and were in dreamland when they netted twice in the space of five minutes to make it 3-0.

Headers from Billing and Senesi – with Marcus Tavernier assisting for both – gave United goalkeeper Andre Onana no chance.

Neto, who kept a clean sheet for Valancia against United at Old Trafford in the Champions League in 2018, was rarely tested as his teammates repelled everything the hosts threw at them.

And it could have been worse for Erik ten Hag’s team with Solanke hitting the post in the first half and Dango Ouattara having a fourth goal ruled out for handball late on.

Tavernier was restored to the Cherries starting line-up as head coach Andoni Iraola made one change following the 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

Tavernier, who came off the bench to have a hand in Kieffer Moore’s late second goal at Selhurst Park, replaced Luis Sinisterra, who was named among the Cherries substitutes.

Solanke went to ground in the early stages as he looked to intercept a backpass from Luke Shaw but referee Peter Bankes deemed no foul had been committed by United goalkeeper André Onana.

And after United had mounted their first attack, a flurry of activity inside the 18-yard box ended with Sergio Reguilón seeing his shot blocked.

The Cherries opened the scoring in the fifth minute, the goal owing much to the foresight of Cherries midfielder Lewis Cook.

Cook anticipated Bruno Fernandes’s pass, nipping in to gain possession before squaring for Solanke to apply a delightful finish, the striker delicately flicking the ball past Onana from six yards.

Solanke’s superbly-executed ninth goal of the season – and his fourth in his past five Premier League games – silenced home supporters inside a packed Old Trafford.

As United went in search of an immediate response, Neto had to be alert to tip Harry Maguire’s looping header over the crossbar after Reguilón had centred.

Tavernier created an opening after 16 minutes, the frontman wriggling free on the edge of the box, only to fire straight into the grateful arms of Onana.

The Cherries had the ball in the net after 24 minutes but Tavernier’s effort was ruled out as Solanke had strayed offside when he met a cross from Milos Kerkez.

United defender Diogo Dalot was forced to turn behind a header from Illia Zabarnyi after the Ukraine international had met Tavernier’s 28th-minute corner with a glancing header.

Tavernier then skied an effort high over the crossbar before Neto saved comfortably after Anthony Martial had pulled the trigger from 20 yards.

Solanke went within a coat of paint of doubling the Cherries’ lead after Cook had again picked him out, the striker’s low shot hitting the base of the post with Onana beaten in the 39th minute.

A rapid counter-attack by the Cherries in first-half stoppage time was nipped in the bud by Maguire’s timely interception which prevented Solanke from fastening on to Antoine Semenyo’s pass.

Kerkez produced a stunning double block at the start of the second half, the defender throwing himself in front of Scott McTominay’s drive and diverting Fernandes’s follow-up for a corner.

Neto was untroubled by McTominay’s header from Antony’s cross, the Scotland international nodding it straight at the Cherries goalkeeper.

Marcos Senesi blocked bravely from United substitute Rasmus Højlund, while Kerkez did likewise after Antony had seized on the loose ball.

Antony then linked with Dalot down the right-hand side, although the defender could only find the side netting with his resultant shot.

The Cherries doubled their lead with another well-crafted team goal midway through the second half after again gaining possession from United.

Solanke raced forward and spread the ball wide to Tavernier whose inch-perfect cross was met by Billing, the Dane outjumping his marker and nodding past Onana.

And Iraola’s team extended their lead just five minutes later when Senesi’s towering header from Tavernier’s corner gave Onana no chance.

Ouattara poked home from close range after Sinisterra and Solanke had combined to set him up in added time, only for the effort to be ruled out for handball.

Manchester United: Onana, Dalot, Maguire, Reguilón, Shaw (Evans, 79), McTominay, Amrabat, Antony (Pellistri, 79), Bruno Fernandes, Garnacho (Rashford, 79), Martial (Højlund, 56).

Unused subs: Varane, Wan-Bissaka, van de Beek, Mainoo, Bayindir (g/k).

Booked: Reguilón, Højlund, Bruno.

AFC Bournemouth: Neto, Smith, Senesi, Zabarnyi, Kerkez, Christie, Cook (Rothwell, 88), Tavernier (Ouattara, 88), Solanke, Kluivert (Sinisterra, 70), Semenyo (Billing, 58).

Unused subs: Mepham, Kilkenny, Brooks, Moore, Travers (g/k). 

Booked: Tavernier, Zabarnyi.

Referee: Peter Bankes.

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