Jose Mourinho’s new-look Manchester United side travel to the south coast on Sunday to face Bournemouth on the opening weekend of the 2016/17 Premier League campaign. The Reds ended the previous campaign by beating The Cherries at Old Trafford however finished outside the top four on goal difference to rivals and neighbours Manchester City.
A lot has changed at The Theatre of Dreams since the curtain came down on a disappointing Premier League season last time out. Louis van Gaal is no longer in charge, relieved of his duties despite leading United to FA Cup glory at Wembley. Former Chelsea manager Mourinho now has the task of putting together a title challenging side, something the Reds haven’t done since Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement in 2013. With Bournemouth on the horizon, let’s take a trip down memory lane and look back at the last three meetings between the two sides, starting with the final game of last season.
Manchester United 3-1 AFC Bournemouth, Premier League – 17th May 2016
If there was a game to sum up United’s season, this was it. The original game was due to be played on Sunday 15th May but was abandoned prior to kick-off after a suspect package was found in the stadium, although Greater Manchester Police later confirmed that the device was fake and was left behind by a private company following a training exercise.
The game was rearranged two days later and by this point, United knew their fate, they couldn’t qualify for the Champions League due to City’s draw against Swansea on the final day and their superior goal difference. Captain Wayne Rooney opened the scoring in the first half following a neat dummy from Marcus Rashford before the youngster added a second with 15 minutes to play. Ashley Young bundled in a third late on before Chris Smalling’s own goal pulled one back for the visitors.
AFC Bournemouth 2-1 Manchester United, Premier League – 12th December 2015
The match up back in December of last year was only the ninth between meeting the two sides and incredibly the first league meeting between the two clubs. The Reds went into the weekend in fourth place but just three points adrift of league leaders Manchester City while Bournemouth sat just outside the drop zone on goal difference.
It was the worse possible start for United as Junior Stanislas’ in-swinging corner in the first few minutes evaded everyone including David De Gea as the ball bounced off the far post and into the net. Marouane Fellaini bundled in an equaliser midway through the first half before former United player Joshua King struck the winner following a cleverly worked corner routine 10 minutes into the second half.
Manchester United 1-0 AFC Bournemouth, FA Cup – 22nd February 1989
United and Bournemouth have only ever faced off 10 times and two of those occasions came last year in the league. Before the league meeting in December 2015, you’d have to go way back to 1989 to find the last match played between the two sides.
United faced Bournemouth in the FA Cup fifth round replay at Old Trafford after the initial tie ended all square. Brian McClair scored the only goal of the game to knock out Harry Redknapp’s side. The Reds were later beaten in the quarter-finals by Nottingham Forest.