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What We Learned: Manchester United 3-1 Bournemouth – Barclays Premier League 2015/16

And that’s it! The league season is done and dusted. Fifth place on goal difference sums everything up really. But still, three goals, three points and happy faces (though not very many inside the ground) all round. No bomb scares tonight, and here is what we learned.

United can play good football

It’s taken 38 league games to do, but in the second half tonight (and the latter stages of the first half) United were superb. All three goals were sumptuous in their build-up, it was a delight to watch. In between were some real flashes of excellence and brilliant teamwork. It’s wonderful to watch, and yet so infuriating too. Where has this been all season? Why couldn’t this have happened more often? It’s certainly bittersweet. But let’s concentrate on the sweet, as there have been so few opportunities to do so this term.

The standouts may save some money

It’s no secret whoever finds themselves in charge next season needs to spend, but tonight there were two or three players that have perhaps saved a few bob on their showings this evening. Antonio Valencia was excellent tonight in all aspects of his game. Defensively he was rock solid, and in the attack was a constant threat. It made me reminisce back to when he was on fire. Wayne Rooney in the midfield has been a revelation. Tonight he was no different. Everything good came from him and the ball he provided to Antonio Valencia was spot on, then his cheeky dink to Ashley Young even better. A well-deserved goal ensured the perfect performance from the captain. Finally is Marcus Rashford. What more can be said about this young man? One chance, one goal, link up play with his teammates and strength to match his ability. Not an eyelid was bat for his goal, composure personified and in abundance. He excites me so much.

Conclusion

There isn’t a great deal more can be said about this evening. It was, in truth, a dead rubber game – 19 goals was always going to be a bit of a task. It’s a crying shame de Gea doesn’t get to cap his season off with the golden glove, Chris Smalling ruining the party well and truly with that own goal! So fifth place it is, and guaranteed Europa League football which is something I am reasonably apathetic about as the appeal for the competition is akin to that of shooting oneself in the face. It’s a frustrating end to the Premier League season, as it really ended so brightly after a year of complete and utter dross. Still, the F.A Cup final is ahead of us all, and the opportunity to end it with silverware is something I am certainly excited for. There are certainly reasons for optimism going forward, but there are possibly more of concern that needs addressing before the glory days can be recaptured. Until August, there’s now nothing to do every weekend, and although it’s been a bit of a dog’s dinner I’ll miss it. After all, what would we do without it!

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