The England striker snatched all three points for the Red Devils by netting at the second attempt following Paul Pogba’s cross. Marcus Rashford scored a dramatic injury-time winner as Manchester United came from behind to beat in-form Bournemouth.
United had been fortunate to be level at the interval after a lacklustre first-half display. The Cherries had come close three times inside the first 10 minutes before a corner was half-cleared to Lewis Cook. The young England midfielder played a superb through pass to Junior Stanislas, whose pinpoint right-wing cross was stabbed in by Callum Wilson.
And the visitors were lucky not to be further behind by the time Ashley Young burst down the right and played in Alexis Sanchez, who cut it back for Anthony Martial to guide home.
United improved after the break, and nearly took the lead when Young rattled the frame of the goal with a free-kick. Rashford’s goal-bound follow-up was cleared off the line by Nathan Ake, before David Brooks hacked Pogba’s effort clear.
But Rashford eventually found a way through – and victory will lift United boss Jose Mourinho at the start of a week during which his side have two more away trips – to Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday, and Manchester City next Sunday.
Man Utd labour on the road
Only a win by a four-goal margin would have allowed eighth-placed United to displace Bournemouth from their lofty position in the top six, but that did not look like happening as they were caught cold early on.
United goalkeeper David de Gea had already been called into action to block efforts by Ryan Fraser and Wilson before Cook opened up the defence and De Gea was given no chance by the in-form Wilson – who, like his manager, was nominated on Friday for a Premier League monthly awards.
While their defence was regularly threatened by the pace of Fraser and Wilson, United were disjointed in midfield, where there was a private battle between the two clubs’ record signings to dominate the centre of the park, and attack.
Bournemouth’s £25m capture Jefferson Lerma had the better of the £89m Pogba for much of the game, while Sanchez had a frustrating afternoon, often left isolated up front or beseeching referee Paul Tierney to give a decision in his favour.
But a double substitution 11 minutes after the interval improved United’s fortunes, with Rashford and fellow replacement Ander Herrera both going close.
It was the home side who were hanging on by the end, although the visitors still threatened on the break and De Gea stood firm to keep out Brooks before Rashford’s late winner.
Bournemouth still standing tall
It shows how far Bournemouth have come in their rise through the divisions that a one-goal defeat by Manchester United – in a league fixture whose very existence was unthinkable five years ago – must feel such like a kick in the teeth for their fans.
Indeed, based on the first quarter of the game, there was only one team here deserving an invitation to a European Super League, as United and others have reportedly been given – and it was not the visitors.
Despite having been sixth in the table after 10 games, it would be premature to suggest the Cherries are ready to pit their red and black striped shirts against those of AC Milan or other European opposition, but it would have been a different result if they had added a second goal during their period of first-half dominance.
Bournemouth – as ever, so much more than the sum of their parts under Eddie Howe – have the pace and skill in attack to threaten any Premier League team.
While they had to defend in numbers at times – with Steve Cook and particularly Nathan Ake standing tall in central defence until that late winner – Howe’s men can count themselves unlucky not to have taken a point.
Between now and the end of December, Bournemouth face some stiff tests against the Premier League’s elite – with six of their next 10 league and cup fixtures against Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham before they travel to Old Trafford for the return fixture with United on 30 December.
If they can maintain a top-half placing in the table by the time 2018 becomes 2019, it will be a considerable achievement for the Dorset club.
Man of the match – Marcus Rashford
Last-gasp Rashford – the stats
- Bournemouth lost at home for the first time in seven Premier League games (W4 D2), since losing to Manchester United in April (0-2).
- No team has come from behind to win more points in the Premier League this season than United (seven, level with Arsenal and Leicester).
- United have kept just one clean sheet and conceded 18 goals after 11 Premier League games this season. At this stage last season they had registered eight clean sheets and shipped just five goals.
- Mourinho is unbeaten in his 21 Premier League meetings with English managers with United, winning 17 and drawing four.
- In 11 Premier League appearances this season, Wilson has already equalled his tally of goal involvements from last season (10), achieved in 28 games.
- Stanislas has had a hand in four goals in his past five Premier League home games (three goals, one assist), one more than he managed in his previous 14 (three).
- Rashford has scored two 90th-minute winning goals in Premier League games for Man Utd – no player has netted more for the club (level with Paul Scholes and Robin van Persie).