I had hoped to be writing an easy, stress-free review of this match. One which was solely on United’s comfortable 3-0 victory over a much struggling side. On my way to Old Trafford, I was relaxed, confident and even when I saw the team news, I was sure it would be a good day. United were in fine form coming into this game. Four Premier League wins on the spin as well as an EFL Cup win sandwiched in there for good measure. Whereas the Cherries were leaking goals faster than you could say they were a team that concedes a lot of goals.
1-1 it finished, and I have absolutely no idea how! United had four or five gaping opportunities to score within the first 20 minutes of the game. Bournemouth worked really hard to let Zlatan and Co score. Misplaced passes and awful defensive shape allowed Martial, Zlatan and Mata to get in behind with ease only to be stopped at the last by Artur Boruc. In my preview of this match I said I wouldn’t be surprised if he got Man of the Match as it seems most keepers decide to have the game of their life at Old Trafford. Boruc made a couple of very good saves as well as a few routine ones which were just poor finishing from the United front men.
Bournemouth had one shot on target. A Josh King penalty levelled the game after a lazy challenge from Phil Jones who had a poor game. The second half was an Attack vs Defence training drill. Every Bournemouth player in their own third while wave after wave of United attack rained down on them. In all honestly United were poor second half. Jose Mourinho said the players lost their ‘football vision’ and I agree with that. There was a severe lack of creativity and desire. It seemed everyone thought that it [scoring] would just happen at some point.
The refereeing performance was one of the worst I’ve seen. Any professional ref that books a player twice and forgets to send him off, only to realise a few minutes later needs to find receive his fixture schedule and the first game on the list is Newport County vs Blackpool.
However the ref was never the reason United didn’t win this game. Zlatan was shockingly poor, you’ll know I think he’s been average most of the season but this was a new low. He will probably receive a 3-match-ban for his elbow on Mings and I’m not actually that bothered. I called him missing the penalty straight away and he squandered a few golden chances. Pogba wasn’t much better. He was slow, disinterested and lost the ball far too much.
It is 2 points dropped and those 2 points could be massively important come the end of the season. United blew the chance to get out of being stuck in 6th place since October and put pressure on that top four. No Premier League fixture until the 19th March so it is important to get back to form against Rostov in the Europa League. That competition has become very important as it might be the only way Champions League football returns to Old Trafford.