Match Report and Mom v Man U

Neil Dawson

Fans' Favourite
#1
Late ‘Rash’ Challenge squashes Cherries...

Bournemouth, so often the plunderer of late goals last season, were hoisted by their own petard when a 91st min smash and grab from Rash denied them a deserved point at a blustery Dean Court this afternoon.

The archetypal game of two halfs had unfolded beforehand with Bournemouth’s glorious first half matched by United direct second half. As Bournemouth understand only too well though...the second half is the best half to find form as the task is better understood.

Eddie made a change with a flat back four returning and Daniels dropping to the bench to allow in Stan. Brooks moved behind Wilson in the ten role. His team couldn’t have got off to a more explosive start gunning at Utd from the off with power pace and overloads in every position. Fraser was the first in...put clean through but always looking uncomfortable on his left foot and De Gea saved too easily. The returning Stanislas then shot wide from another great opportunity.

Bournemouth fans were wrestling with the enduring image of their team keeping United in their own penalty area when the afternoon got even better. From a cleared corner Cook’s majestic throughball released Stan to cross low and hard for WILSON to thump home a glorious opener.

The red wave continued with Brooks heading wide and Smith’s long range pass almost creeping in..it was inches away from haunting De Gea on bloopers videos for ever. Stan was up next curling a drive too close to De Gea before Brooks looked to be flattened when about to head the ball but ref Tierney was having none of it and waved play on.

This decision, right or wrong, flattened the rest of the half. Perhaps not surprisingly Bournemouth ran out of steam after that 25 min blitzkrieg and gradually U tied inched their way into the match. As is often the puzzling way for Bournemouth, their opposition scored with their first serious chance. Young and Sánchez combined in the right and MARTIAL kept up his recent run of form with a calm finish when he arrived late.

HT Bournemouth 1 United 1

The second half was a different ball game. Despite much maligning you don’t have the career Mourinho has had without spotting necessary changes. Effectively he bypassed our team by going long..brought Rashford on to create a rapid front two with Martial and brought Herrera on to sit deep and allow Pogba to move forwards. This stretched Bournemouth and allowed United to win the ball back higher up and create space behind our defence.

We didn’t have an answer to it other than to swap Gosling for Cook. A better option to me would have been to go 3-4-3 and pull the wingbacks back when defending as Franno was exposed by Martial and Pogba a few times in an obvious half time planned tactic. Our wide players looked shattered and our inability to get out hurt immensely. First Shaw broke into the box and Begovic saved brilliantly, then the big Bosnian had to act lively to keep out Sánchez header.

The only respite saw Fraser create havoc with a trademark run along the byline but Brooks effort was well saved by De Gea.

Bournemouth had their backs to the wall but were defending with great character, the best example of this being a miraculous double goal line clearance from Ake and Brooks after Young’s free kick had rebounded from the bar. Herrera then shot fractionally wide as the pressure grew.

Ibe arrived and did a few trademark runs and was involved in his teams best second half interchange of passes before Brooks shot straight at De Gea again. Goslings first touch deserted him when he broke into the box into another fine move.

The half finished with Bournemouth hanging on though...and eventually they succumbed. It looked like a routine cross but Ake and Cook had got sucked into the middle and a far post header broke down into a goalmouth scramble for RASHFORD to toepoke a late winner and break Bournemouth’s hearts.

FT Bournemouth 1 United 2

Begovic 7. Some excellent saves and no fault with goals.

Smith 8. Barnstorming runs, clever interplay and solid defence.
Cook 7. Solid and uncompromising his excellent season continues
Ake 9. How long will he be here...a cut above anything on park again.
Francis 7. Good on ball...spun by Martial a bit.

Stanislas 6. A quiet game back but showed quality with cross for goal.
Cook 6. A little profligate and faded but some great first half moments.
Lerma 7. Showed he can hold it among the best company strength wise.
Fraser 7. Outstanding first half but faded.

Brooks 6. (See Fraser but with less impact)
Wilson 7 A strong running all action goal scoring display.

Mom.. Ake was everything we know him to be. Immense. Smith wasn’t far behind in my book.

Verdict
If you are going to beat the top teams (when they are on form) you are going to need 1) a strong performance yourself 2) take your chances when on top 3) a ref that refs the game not the names. Ultimately we only had the first of these things go our way today.

We can take great comfort though from the manner of the defeat and the style and verve of the first half which will have been enjoyed all around the world. We should have taken two or three chances though and I think we missed King in that respect. Fraser and Brooks can sometimes lack the ice in their veins particularly when on their weaker foot which both often are playing as reverse wingers.

The interchanges though are getting better as the season goes on and some of the football resembled Arsenal in their better days.

That said no game is won at 45 mins and we had no answer to the shift to channel and long balls by Mourinho. This is no surprise...we are always better against tidy football than direct football. I think we could have swapped to last weeks formation but it’s a brave manager to change defensive shape at 1-1 so I understand why we didnt.

I think our dynamic openings sap us in the second half. Fraser, Brooks and Stan tired visibly. Neither are unfit so it’s a by-product of the huge amount of early pressing we do. It needs addressing though as we have been dominated for the last twenty mins of three of the last four home games. Leicester were already 4-0 down when they took us apart to score twice with ten men, Southampton’s purple patch saw us bring on Gosling at 0-0 rather than press for the win and we all know Gabbiadini should have snatched the late winner Rashford did today.

That’s the bit that will be troubling Eddie (but not too much considering we are sixth!). Is it the backfire from the blistering opening twenty? is it individual player fitness...Brooks, Fraser and Cook are the main three always? Is it just the fact we are used to being behind and fighting back...not sat wondering whether to twist or bust? He doesn’t trust Mousset or Defoe to run the channels and get energy further up field so our subs are becoming Surman and Gosling which invites pressure rather than dissipates it.

Anyway...it seems almost churlish to pick fault in the season we are currently loving...today we went toe to toe with world class footballers and out footballed them. That’s as much as any fan base can dream of. Onwards to the toon we go...13 points better off than when we played them in the same week last season....
 
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#3
I am away this weekend, so good to read your report as always. Just one point, I wouldn't say Everton came back to draw as we were 2 down! However we should have put them away in the first half, so get what you are saying.
 

wallmth

Fans' Favourite
#4
Agree about the tiredness . Always remember when your paying 50 or 60 million for an individual player your more often than not also getting a superior athlete ,it showed near the end today ..still a great effort , think we won a lot of fans across the world today .
 
#5
I think in the later stages it was crying out for an extra midfield body so I was dissapointed with the straight swap of Cook for Gosling,although I understand L Cook was flagging.
Our bench today was pretty weak as well,theirs arguably won the game along with Mourihos tactical change.
Not complaining though,we went toe to toe with one of the biggest clubs in the world whereas last season we bent over for them.
 
#6
Thanks Neil, good report.

Thought Cook and Lerma were outstanding in the first half and Eddie's decision to take Lewis off was bizarre, it went further down hill after that. Bringing Surman on was waving the white flag and it was no surprise when United scored, it was always coming.

Lerma was at least an 8, absolutely immense at times and matched Pogba for much of the match.

Lewis was at least a 7.

Very unlucky today, lets hope we can bounce back next week.
 
#11
Thanks Neil, good report.

Thought Cook and Lerma were outstanding in the first half and Eddie's decision to take Lewis off was bizarre, it went further down hill after that. Bringing Surman on was waving the white flag and it was no surprise when United scored, it was always coming.

Lerma was at least an 8, absolutely immense at times and matched Pogba for much of the match.

Lewis was at least a 7.

Very unlucky today, lets hope we can bounce back next week.
Totally agree about taking off Lewis when we needed an extra midfielder, not a straight swap.
 
#12
Lewis Cook's cut back pass to Junior for the goal gets better each time I look at it.
Yes we looked leggy in the second half.

Played them off the park for 30 minutes,amazing when you consider Pogba cost more than our entire team!
Would not take any of their defence over our players.
Good report as always,thank you
 
#14
Good report.

I liked Brooks as a number 10 personally and thought he could pin that spot down if he carries on like that - great workrate As well as a bit of magic.

Lewis Cook did well first half but did fade. I don't agree with those that say we got worse after Gosling came on for him - we started to get back into the game a bit when we'd been getting hammered for ten minutes with them playing through us at will.

I thought Cook was brilliant at the back and at least as good as Ake.

My MOM was Calum though as he worked his socks off. Has to get a call from Gareth soon surely.
 

Neil Dawson

Fans' Favourite
#16
Good report.

I liked Brooks as a number 10 personally and thought he could pin that spot down if he carries on like that - great workrate As well as a bit of magic.

Lewis Cook did well first half but did fade. I don't agree with those that say we got worse after Gosling came on for him - we started to get back into the game a bit when we'd been getting hammered for ten minutes with them playing through us at will.

I thought Cook was brilliant at the back and at least as good as Ake.

My MOM was Calum though as he worked his socks off. Has to get a call from Gareth soon surely.
I think that hinges on him playing well in front of Gareth. We have a habit of getting humped by average opposition whenever he turns up hence why our players don’t get noticed.

We need that luck to change.
 
#17
Might have been the tv coverage but I felt Lerma all but disappeared after being booked. This was exactly the situation where we needed him to stand up and take the game by the scruff of the neck with some serious display of tackling or athleticism to fire everyone up. You know how a crowd can really feed off something like that.

I'm not saying he was poor today. He was... alright. Great in the first half, less so in the second like much of the team. I was just hoping he would be the player in this scenario to really stand out as this is a situation in which we've often struggled before. It was the perfect platform for him to really get his name out there. Instead it was Ake who took the plaudits again.
 
#19
Might have been the tv coverage but I felt Lerma all but disappeared after being booked. This was exactly the situation where we needed him to stand up and take the game by the scruff of the neck with some serious display of tackling or athleticism to fire everyone up. You know how a crowd can really feed off something like that.

I'm not saying he was poor today. He was... alright. Great in the first half, less so in the second like much of the team. I was just hoping he would be the player in this scenario to really stand out as this is a situation in which we've often struggled before. It was the perfect platform for him to really get his name out there. Instead it was Ake who took the plaudits again.
I said similar - went very quiet after the booking. Would be interesting to know if their players would have gone quiet after being booked. Unfortunately we'll never know thanks to that dickhead in the middle.