Report: Smalling and Lukaku pop the Cherries in 2-0 Manchester United victory


Manchester United beat Bournemouth 2-0 in the Premier League at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday evening. Chris Smalling, scoring his third goal in 2018, his fourth of the season struck in the 28th minute with substitute Romelu Lukaku scoring the second goal of the game in the 70th minute. It was not the best United performance, but it will do.

Jose Mourinho’s side were seeking a return to winning ways after their 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday. It was not the best of starts with Ander Herrera giving away a free-kick in the opening two minutes, which came to nothing for the home side. Anthony Martial, linking up well with Paul Pogba, had an early opportunity to open the scoring, Bournemouth standing firm.

United started to play well around the eighth minute of the match with Martial using the left flank to attack, cut into the box and try to create something and Pogba sending a lofted pass over the top to Marouane Fellaini, the Belgian midfielder being ruled offside. Bournemouth had a chance through Jordon Ibe in the 10th minute of the match, the former Liverpool forward was off target.

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United had been attacking for much of the past ten minutes of the game with Martial breaking through on the left a few times but Luke Shaw also showing his ability and pace on the left also, even tracking back to regain possession after losing it. The game started to lose momentum soon after with United passing backward, the game becoming dull.

Bournemouth had a chance to gain something from the match in what was the best expansive football shown by the home side this evening. The shot deflected off Phil Jones and went out for a corner, which came to nothing. Jones then made the clearance to deny Bournemouth from creating another chance, giving a throw-in.

United had a chance to open the scoring in the 27th minute of the match with Marcus Rashford though and taking the show on. Asmir Begovic made the save, giving United a corner, which was taken by Rashford. United looked to try and keep the threat alive with Jesse Lingard looking to create something, breaking through and setting Chris Smalling up for United’s 200th in the Mourinho era.

In the 33rd minute of the match, United could have doubled their lead by Lingard was unable to connect with Rashford’s ball from inside the box. United’s front three were working hard trying to get behind the Bournemouth defence to cause more problems for them. Not all that impressed with Matteo Darmian, playing poor football and seems to dawdle when out of position.

Bournemouth had a chance on the break with Josh King on the ball. After a scuffle outside United’s box, the advantage was played and King shot towards goal with David De Gea making the same and United then clearing the danger. It was a good chance for the former Manchester United Academy striker. A minute was added on at the end of the half. United led 1-0 at the break.

There were no changes at the start of the second half for either side. United continued their dominance in the final third, looking to attack from the very first minute of the second half. Lewis Cook was the first player to receive a booking in the match for fouling Lingard just inside Bournemouth’s half, giving away a free-kick.

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United, through Martial and Rashford, were looking much livelier on the ball and a threat on the attack. Rashford broke through in the 51st minute of the match, unable to play the pass in the box to create something for the Red Devils. Bournemouth had a chance through King in the 56th minute of the match which maybe should have been a penalty against Shaw for Callum Wilson.

Eddie Howe made his first change of the game bringing on Lys Mousset for Ibe. Smalling was booked for a tussle in which Wilson seemed to be the aggressor. Steve Cook was then booked for Bournemouth after a tackle from behind on Pogba, who was on the attack with the ball. Mourinho made his first change in the 63rd minute with Romelu Lukaku replacing Lingard.

United won a free-kick at the edge of the box after Pogba was fouled in the 66th minute. Lukaku took the kick, hitting the Bournemouth wall, which did the job on that set-piece. Andrew Surman was booked in the 68th minute of the match for a late foul on Herrera, which was without malice. In the 70th minute, Lukaku scored his 27th goal of the season, putting United 2-0 up.

The goal was created by Pogba, who had the ball in midfield and was running into the final third. He poked the ball towards the Belgian, who from an angle, doubled United’s lead. Just after the goal, Mourinho made his second substitution with Nemanja Matic replacing Herrera in the 72nd minute. Howe made his second change with Dan Gosling replacing Surman in the 75th minute.

Mourinho made his third substitution in the 80th minute of the match with Daley Blind replacing Pogba. United, despite the 2-0 advantage were still pressing the Cherries late in the game. Blind was playing in on goal by Martial, fluffing his lines with a miss kick. Bournemouth then broke forward and Matteo Darmian headed the ball out for a corner, defending well for his side.

In the 89th minute of the game, Martial, on the left set up Lukaku, who was in the box for a certain third goal of the game but the ball was too high for the Belgian to get anything on it to pressure the Cherries. There were four minutes of added time at the end of the second half. United won 2-0, heading into the FA Cup semi-final against Spurs on Sunday with more confidence.

Goals: Chris Smalling 28′, Romelu Lukaku 70′

Assists: Jesse Lingard 28′, Paul Pogba 70′

Manchester United: De Gea; Darmian, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Herrera (Matic 72′), Fellaini, Pogba (Blind 80′); Lingard (Lukaku 63′), Rashford, Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Pereira; Bailly, Young; Sanchez

Bookings: Chris Smalling 61′

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