Ratings: AFC Bournemouth 1-3 Manchester United – Premier League 2016/17

Manchester United got their Premier League season underway with a solid 3-1 win over AFC Bournemouth. Goals for Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, on his Premier League debut, helped United climb to the top of the table. Eric Bailly claimed the EPL Man of the Match award after another impressive performance from the Ivorian. Bournemouth faded as the second half went on, United’s superior possession tired them out and punished them for it but Adam Smith did get a consolation goal for the Cherries with a tidy finish beyond De Gea. Here are the ratings for today’s game.

Man of the Match: Eric Bailly

Goals: Juan Mata 40′, Wayne Rooney 59′, Zlatan Ibrahimovic 64′

Assists: Anthony Martial 59′, 64′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw; Fellaini, Herrera; Mata (Mkhitaryan 75′), Rooney (Memphis 89′), Martial (Schneiderlin 85′); Ibrahimovic

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Rojo; Carrick; Rashford

Bookings: Ander Herrera 86′

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Didn't have much to do all game with Bournemouth struggling to create chances, nothing he could do with the goal but made a good save towards the end. Comfortable.


25 Antonio Valencia

Another great game for Valencia, got forward well, played a big role in the Rooney goal and put a few defensive fears away with a solid performance at the back, not being beaten on the outside all game.


3 Eric Bailly

Premier League Man of the Match and well deserved, distributed the ball fantastically from the back and made his presence known with big challenges and strong clearances. Really impressing on his EPL debut and looks a real diamond signing.


17 Daley Blind

A typical Blind performance, read the game well and seems to partner Bailly quite comfortably. Distributes from the back terrifically providing a calm and collected technician at the back.


23 Luke Shaw

Sloppy first half but grew into the game, didn't link up with Martial especially well but put in real effort. His fitness is getting better and better by the day too, more to come!


27 Marouane Fellaini

Not everyone's favourite player but actually put in a decent shift today. Put himself about physically in the first half and in the second played deeper and looked composed. A few key interceptions and sensible passing meant there wasn't anything to criticise, besides the hair of course.


21 Ander Herrera

Another tidy game for Herrera, looks good in the box to box role. Does the simple things well and provides a little flair in his vision from time to time. Nothing amazing today but a solid performance from the birthday boy.


8 Juan Mata

Got his goal with good perseverance but again shows his best position is at number 10 rather than out wide. Didn't have the pace to beat Daniels but a solid performance from a man under pressure.


Ratings: AFC Bournemouth 1-3 Manchester United – Premier League 2016/17

Doesn't often get the praise he deserves, another strong shift put into this game and took his headed goal with great composure. Seemed to link up well with Zlatan when he went through on goal 1-on-1 but couldn't beat Boruc. Good performance overall.


9 Anthony Martial

Not the best of days for the young Frenchman, struggled to beat his man on a number of occasions but proved key with 2 assists for the opening two goals. Not sure he looks 100% match-fit but is getting there.


10 Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Another goal on another debut for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. His 25-yard effort beat Boruc to the bottom corner to make it 3-1. Played well dropping back and could see signs of him linking well with Rooney but it'll take some time. Hopefully, when Mkhitaryan and Pogba come in there will be more creativity to assist him.



22 Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Came on for Juan Mata after 75 minutes. The game was won when he came on and as United were shutting up shop, he didn't have much to add to the game. Need to get him on earlier or from the beginning to see his real impact.


Ratings: AFC Bournemouth 1-3 Manchester United – Premier League 2016/17

Came on for Anthony Martial. Only featured for 10 minutes to help close the game out at 3-1. Not the amount of time he would like.


Ratings: AFC Bournemouth 1-3 Manchester United – Premier League 2016/17

Came on for Wayne Rooney in the 89th minute but made two decent runs in the five minutes he managed.


Starting XI: AFC Bournemouth v Manchester United – Premier League 2016/17

Manchester United face AFC Bournemouth in their opening match of the new Premier League season this afternoon. Last season, this fixture saw United defeated 2-1 by a resurgent Bournemouth with Jose Mourinho looking to change that and have his new side start the new season with a bang. Manchester City beat Sunderland 2-1 yesterday, albeit from a penalty and a late own goal scored by former United Academy player Paddy McNair. United will be looking to match City to form a title charge this season. Premier League champions Leicester City were beaten by Hull City in the early kick-off on Saturday, so United will also be looking to take advantage of that. Mourinho has a full squad aside of Chris Smalling and Paul Pogba, who are both suspended for today’s match. Here are the starting XI’s and list of substitutes for both teams.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw;

Fellaini, Herrera;

Mata, Rooney, Martial;



Romero; Rojo; Memphis, Carrick, Schneiderlin, Mkhitaryan; Rashford

AFC Bournemouth:


Smith, Francis, S. Cook, Daniels;

Surman, L. Cook Arter;

Ibe, Wilson, King;


Federici; Ake, B. Smith; Gosling, Gradel; Afobe, Grabban

Scouting The Opposition: AFC Bournemouth v Manchester United – Premier League 2016/17

A new season, same opponents.  Manchester United kick off the new Premier League season this weekend, against the team they finished against in May. After a shambolic end to an underwhelming campaign, United will look to use this early rematch to prove their title-winning credentials. Both clubs have had a busy summer. Eddie Howe and Jose Mourinho will hope that big changes to both squads will be enough to make this year an improvement on the last. Attack proved to be the best form of defence for Bournemouth last season as they exceeded expectation by securing a 16th place finish. Despite conceding more goals than any other team besides Aston Villa. Yet Eddie Howe and his men are used to having the odds stacked against them. They proved they are comfortable as underdogs during a pivotal 2015 Christmas period that saw them beat both Manchester United and Chelsea in quick succession.

Manager: Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe enjoyed praise from his peers last season for bringing Bournemouth out of the Championship by playing expansive, attacking football. Yet those who praised his work also doubted the Cherries’ ability to stick to their philosophy and maintain Premier League status. Vindication for Howe arrived when his team finished five points above the relegation zone without discarding their commitment to a particular style of play. At 38, Howe was part of a trend for young, talented British managers that included Gary Monk and Alex Neil. While his contemporaries faltered, Howe emerged from the campaign with his reputation enhanced.

Leading to his consideration for the role of England manager, before Sam Allardyce took the job. Howe did a fantastic job to keep Bournemouth in the Premier league despite huge injury problems. His attacking philosophy meant they let in plenty at the back but were able to score enough goals to see themselves safe before their final match. This term, Howe will hope the contributions of new signings Lewis Cook, Jordan Ibe and Lys Mousset will elevate the Cherries to at least a mid-table finish. An ambitious manager with a progressive attitude, it is unlikely Howe will want to stop there.

Form Guide

Reading 1-1 AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth 1-0 Cardiff City

AFC Bournemouth 1-1 Valencia

Starting XI

Key Player: Callum Wilson

An impressive Championship season in 2014/15 saw Callum Wilson rack up 20 goals and 13 assists. As a result, expectations were high for the young Englishman making the step up to the Premier League. Unfortunately, a cruel knee injury kept him out of the side for much of the season. With the benefit of a full pre-season, this time, around, the young striker will be hoping to make his presence felt at the highest level. His prolific finishing could prove invaluable to a side hoping to build on survival from last year.  Yet his record for assists hints at an unselfish nature and desire to bring others into the game that could benefit new signings such as Jordan Ibe. He is helped, in no small part, by stalwart Charlie Daniels. As a mainstay at left-back for the Cherries, he could eclipse his five assists from last year by the end of this season, should Wilson live up to his potential.

Score Prediction

Bournemouth 1-3 Manchester United

With an extra 90 minutes under the belt of many of United’s big hitters, this should prove a tough opening test for the Cherries. Emboldened by his first goal for the club in last Sunday’s Community Shield, Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be hoping to build on that in his first Premier League appearance. While he spent long periods of last week’s match drifting in and out of the action, his already high confidence levels will have been boosted by that winning goal. Luke Shaw showed flashes of his old form at Wembley. His pace and tenacity from left-back gave much-needed width to the attack.

Although not exactly the marauding attacking performance many fans had hoped for after Louis van Gaal’s departure, it looked more promising for the season ahead. Saturday’s Premier League opener could also see the debut of world record signing Paul Pogba. With no pre-season behind him, his appearance would likely be a cameo at best. The Cherries’ preference for attacking over defence should give United plenty of opportunities. Though this may also cause a new look back four, with Chris Smalling still absent, some uncomfortable moments. Bournemouth has a habit of upsetting the odds against superior opponents. Yet, with the firepower and renewed optimism around Mourinho’s squad, an early season away win looks promising.

Tactical Preview: AFC Bournemouth v Manchester United – Premier League 2016/17

The new season has finally arrived and United face a tough trip away to Dean Court against Bournemouth. The last time United travelled down to the South coast they were on the receiving end of a 2-1 defeat courtesy of a wicked gust of wind. Mourinho and his men will be looking to correct that display and stamp their own footprint on this Premier League season.

Manchester United come into the game off the back of a solid 2-1 win against Leicester City in the FA Community Shield, with Lingard and Ibrahimovic getting the goals to give Mourinho his first silverware of his United tenure. The system Mourinho went with against Leicester was billed at the ever so popular 4-2-3-1 with two holding midfielders behind an attacking trio of Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney, and Jesse Lingard, in reality, however, it’s a standard 4-3-3 with Michael Carrick sitting deep allowing Ander Herrera and Rooney to get forward more, especially when the opponent sits deep like Leicester did on Sunday. This seemed to suit Ander Herrera, after coming on for Carrick, much more than last season where he featured as either the number 10 or as the holding midfielder alongside Carrick, his ability to keep the ball moving and find space was clear to see against Leicester and it provided the attacking composure this side has been crying out for. Herrera will keep his place in the United line-up against Bournemouth but may struggle to retain it once world record signing Paul Pogba is available to play, who is currently suspended.

4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 it doesn’t seem to affect how the two wing-backs are expected to play. Both Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia had fantastic games against Leicester with their runs down either flank providing great back-up to the attackers as well as both keeping Riyad Mahrez and Marc Albrighton quiet for most of the game. Valencia, who is traditionally a winger, has been given the responsibility at right-back over last year’s signing Matteo Darmian because of his attacking qualities. Valencia has suffered his fair share of criticism in the last year or so over his defensive capabilities, he is rarely out-paced but struggles one-on-one which places more pressure on the centre-halves to cover the space in behind. With this weekend in mind, Valencia will be up against either Jordan Ibe recently joined Bournemouth from Liverpool. or former United player Josh King who both offer pace and trickery which will give a real test to his defensive abilities. Jesse Lingard has been a major help defensively for Valencia as he has the engine to get up and down the field all game providing cover and tracking back every time with the opposing left-back, this is likely a key reason in why Lingard has been given the nod over new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who provides a greater attacking threat but will struggle to come back and help Valencia every time. IF Mkhitaryan comes in for Lingard then it would be likely Darmian would also replace Valencia at right-back because the Italian international is a genuine right-back who is happy to stay put defensively.

Bournemouth is coming into the new season with confidence after a good first year in the top flight, finishing 16th but mainly avoiding relegation. Eddie Howe played a 4-5-1 formation for the vast majority of last season with either Josh King, Benik Afobe or Callum Wilson as the lone striker, relying on the counter attack to catch teams like Manchester United out rather than playing the possession game United will adopt on Sunday. The main way Bournemouth will threaten Manchester United on Sunday will be with set-pieces. United looked vulnerable last season and during the pre-season games against corners or free-kicks. Bournemouth scored 15 of their 45 league goals from set plays and it will be a weapon this weekend with Charlie Daniels, Simon Francis and Sylvan Distin providing a threat in the air.

Bournemouth goals from set-pieces Premier League 2015/16

Bournemouth goals from set-pieces Premier League 2015/16 [Squawka]

Key Battles

Valencia v Left-Winger

After stressing this battle above I won’t put too much more onto it but whoever plays on that left-hand side for Bournemouth will be relishing the chance to run at Valencia, they won’t give him the opportunity to settle defensively which could be key in how they look to break this United team down. Valencia needs to step up this weekend or he won’t last long with Darmian and Fosu-Mensah both looking for that first team place.

Wilson/Afobe v Bailly and Blind

With Chris Smalling out suspended for the game, it’ll be the defensive pairing of Eric Bailly and Daley Blind who have the task of controlling things from the back and managing either Benik Afobe or Callum Wilson for Bournemouth. Both of the strikers are physical players who use their presence to beat defenders. They’ll struggle to beat Bailly for pace or strength but this is where the partnership will be tested as Blind will need to read the game well and Bailly will need to be the aggressor. If either striker can expose Blind early on, it could spell danger for United.

Rooney v Pugh/Surman

Bournemouth tended to play both Andrew Surman and Marc Pugh as their two holding players and if this trend continues on Sunday, Wayne Rooney will have a difficult job in beating them both and having the time on the ball to make key passes through to the attacking line. Rooney loves to play the “Hollywood passes” sweeping the ball from one side to the other but this season, his link up with Zlatan Ibrahimovic is vitally important to United so Rooney needs to drop these passes and focus on supporting the striker with sensible passes and good runs in behind, something Surman and Pugh will be attempting to stop. With Wayne not being in terrific form going into this game, if Bournemouth silence the captain, United’s attack will be blunted.

Preview: AFC Bournemouth v Manchester United – Premier League 2016/17

Vitality Stadium, Dean Court, Bournemouth

Premier League 2016/17

Sunday 14th August 2016 – KO 13:30 [Live on Sky Sports]

Referee: Andre Marriner

Assistant Referees: Simon Beck and Scott Ledger

Fourth Official: Roger East

Manchester United start their Premier League season away to AFC Bournemouth, a fixture they lost 2-1 last season. Jose Mourinho, United;s new manager will be looking to get his season started with a victory in his bid to win the league with his new side, the first time they will have done so since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson more than three years ago. United have stuttered under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, with Mourinho now in to steady the ship and bring back the glory days. The signings of Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba suggest that is going to be the plan under the Portuguese with United making a statement to their rivals. The squad is much stronger, players have left or will before the end of the summer transfer window, with United maybe making more signings to fortify the squad.

United suffered a mixed pre-season, beating Wigan Athletic, losing to Borussia Dortmund 4-1 in China, seeing the Manchester derby cancelled in China due to a mixture of the weather and a poor playing surface, meaning one less match would be played this summer. United then went to Sweden beating Galatasaray 5-2 with Ibrahimovic making his debut – scoring inside the first four minutes of the match. United then drew 0-0 with Everton at Old Trafford for Wayne Rooney’s testimonial before travelling to Wembley where they beat Leicester City 2-1 to win the FA Community Shield. United are not back to their best but are well on their way to getting there.

Paul Pogba re-signed for the club he left four years ago this week in an £89 million world record deal. Pogba is suspended for United’s visit to Bournemouth though after accumulating two yellow cards in the Coppa Italia last season, equaling a suspension in England. He was probably not going to be ready to play anyway after only returning to training earlier in the week with Mourinho suggesting that bu Tuesday next week he will be ready to play – making his debut at Old Trafford against Southampton one of the local rivals of Bournemouth. Chris Smalling is also suspended after being sent off in the Emirates FA Cup final back in May, where United beat Crystal Palace 2-1 in extra time to lift the historic domestic trophy – Louis van Gaal’s first and last for the Old Trafford club and United’s first FA Cup in twelve years.

Bournemouth had a good season in the Premier League last season, finishing sixteenth with 42 points, five clear of Newcastle United who were relegated with Norwich City and Aston Villa. Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side beat United in this fixture in December last year, winning 2-1 in a period where United failed to win six consecutive matches in the Premier League, a period where Louis van Gaal was tipped to be sacked with Mourinho also being sacked by Chelsea and then linked to the Old Trafford hot seat. United’s form picked up, losing only five more league matches in total, but finishing fifth, on goal difference to Manchester City. I am sure United will be back, especially with the signings made and after the fact that Mourinho has instilled the confidence into his side, which will in time bring back the winning mentality, resulting in the fear factor returning and hopefully United having a period of dominance once again. Come on UNITED!

Manchester United Form:- WDWLW

Leicester City 2-1 W, Everton 0-0 D, Galatasaray 5-2 W, Borussia Dortmund 4-1 L, Wigan Athletic 2-0 W

AFC Bournemouth Form:- WDWDDW

Angers SCO 1-0 W, Valencia 1-1 D, Cardiff City 1-0 W, Reading 1-1 D, Portsmouth 3-3 D, Minnesota United 4-0 W

Manchester United Squad;

Manager: Jose Mourinho

Goalkeepers: David De Gea, Sergio Romero, Sam Johnstone

Defenders: Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Matteo Darmian, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson

Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Memphis Depay, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Antonio Valencia, Marouane Fellaini, Morgan Schneiderlin

Forwards: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford

Suspensions/Injuries: Chris Smalling, Paul Pogba (both one match suspension), Jesse Lingard (ankle/foot), Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (groin)

AFC Bournemouth Squad:

Manager: Eddie Howe

Goalkeepers: Artur Boruc, Ryan Allsop, Adam Federici

Defenders: Simon Francis, Steve Cook, Nathan Aké, Charlie Daniels, Brad Smith, Adam Smith, Tyrone Mings, Rhoys Wiggins, Corey Jordan, Baily Cargill

Midfielders: Dan Gosling, Andrew Surman, Marc Pugh, Harry Arter, Shaun MacDonald, Joshua King, Lewis Cook, Junior Stanislas, Emerson Hyndman, Ryan Fraser, Eunan O’Kane, Jordon Ibe

Forwards: Benik Afobe, Max Gradel, Callum Wilson, Lewis Grabban, Lys Mousset, Tokelo Rantie

Suspensions/Injuries: Baily Cargill (groin), Emerson Hyndman (ankle/foot), Junior Stanislas (inguinal hernia), Tyrone Mings (knee)

Predicted Starting XI:

Predicted Score:

AFC Bournemouth 1-2 Manchester United

Press Conference: Jose Mourinho wants to win the Premier League; Pogba suspended!

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho sat with the media ahead of the club’s opening Premier League match away to Bournemouth on Sunday. Last season in this fixture, Louis van Gaal’s United side lost 2-1 in what was seen as a shock defeat. This season, United will be looking to put that defeat behind them and starting their new season and another new era on a high. The signing of Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Paul Pogba have lifted the club’s spirits ahead of the new season and beating the reigning Premier League champions Leicester City 2-1 at Wembley last Sunday will only raise spirits all the more – the last four matches between the two sides had resulted in a 5-3 defeat and three 1-1 draws. Pogba, the club’s new world record signing will not be eligible to face Bournemouth as he has banned, as is Chris Smalling. He accumulated two yellow cards in the Copa Italia last season, which is carried over to the Premier League. Not that he would have started anyway and now he can make his second debut for the club at Old Trafford in a weeks time against Southampton.

Here are the main points from today’s press conference:

Jose Mourinho on Manchester United’s title aim this season:

“We feel that we are a candidate to win the title. We know that others have the same ambitions as us. If, at the end of the season, somebody who is champion has been better than us, then great – that is football. In this moment as Manchester United Football Club, we cannot speak differently. We are going to fight for the title.”

Mourinho on Adnan Januzaj fitting in his plans, which is why he’s gone on loan to a Premier League club:

“He fits in my plans which is why he’s on loan at a Premier League club. If he didn’t fit then we don’t care we send him to Dortmund. We care about him and think he’s a talented player. I want to give him all the conditions to develop and to play well. He is in the right place with a manager that likes him a lot. Hopefully, everything will go well for him because we want him back!”

Mourinho on Paul Pogba’s suspension and his fitness:

“I knew the situation with the yellow cards but I didn’t know at that time if an accumulation of yellow cards would bring a player to suspension. I didn’t know if the suspension would be in Italian football, a suspension for the same competition, or the correspondent competition in England, the FA Cup. I didn’t know that, so I was waiting for the decision.”

Mourinho with a little dig at Manchester United’s rivals:

“Many more teams have the same ambition as us [for the title] but they are afraid to say it. They prefer not to say. They prefer to play a defensive game in words. They prefer to hide or play defensively with the words. That’s not our way.

“I think Man United has to say we want to win the title, with all the respect for the others. And maybe we don’t win. Maybe we arrive at the end of the season and we are happy that we’ve finished top four. Maybe. It depends on how the season goes.”

Mourinho on the job Eddie Howe has done at Bournemouth:

“It is a good stable team, for sure it will be a difficult match for us (on Sunday). Stability, same players, same manager year after year, they didn’t change their style.”

Mourinho on professionalism at the Old Trafford club:

“Professionalism. We are not here to have fun or to enjoy the sunny weather, we are here to work and give everything for the club.”

Mourinho on injuries:

“We don’t have any. We are fine.”

Jose Mourinho seems positive that his start at his new club will be a good one. The signings he has made, despite one not being eligible to play in the first match of the season, was a good lift for everyone. United will be in much better spirits to tackle their rivals this season – aiming to win the Premier League, which is what we all want to hear. No more comments like; ‘We aspire to be like Manchester City’. Manchester United seem to be back. The rival supporters are once again mocking United like they used to, in a way that shows they are threatened. Many suggest United are still in the gutter, but the business they have conducted this summer shows that it is not the case. Perhaps in a few months time, we could be talking about the fear factor being present at matches again. Manchester United taking no prisoners and defeating their opposition week in and week out.

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe spoke about Manchester United in his press conference, saying:

Eddie Howe on Manchester United:

“Jose Mourinho’s first game, it’s a fantastic game for us. We are privileged to host everyone, but it will be special.”

Howe on Manchester United’s players being a threat:

“I think you can pick any player in their team as a threat, especially the full-backs; Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw.

Howe on Manchester United winning the Premier League:

“Of course they can win the league. But so can anybody. I won’t rule anyone out.”

Howe on Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the threat he will pose against Bournemouth:

“That’s a good question. I think he will probably play. A real talent and it’s great to see him here. We won’t be in awe.”

Howe on beating Manchester United last year:

“It did everything for the players’ belief systems. From then on we went on a good run.”

This season could be a good one for all Manchester United supporters. It is not the greatest that UEFA Champions League is not part of the season, but United will aim to get back inside the top four by the end of the season. Mourinho wants Champions League football and players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly, not to mention players already at the club want it too. Next season, United may well be back up there where they belong. First, we tackle this season, take no prisoners, and get back to being a team more reminiscent of Manchester United.

copyright: JW