Marcus Rashford strikes again as Manchester United outclass Bournemouth

Marcus Rashford scored a fourth consecutive goal as Manchester United won 3-0 at Bournemouth.

Casemiro’s and Luke Shaw’s goals had already given United the upper hand, and this result was routine – something that has been missing at Old Trafford in recent times but is returning as Erik ten Hag changes the club’s mentality.

United didn’t perform well in their free form – Casemiro’s goal was the only shot on target in the first half – but he didn’t have to play against Bournemouth, who never looked threatening for Manchester’s first ever league victory.

Newcastle’s draw with Arsenal kept United fourth, but it was their fourth consecutive home league win without conceding for the first time since 2017, a sign of United’s rediscovery of resilience.

Casemiro is celebrating

Casemiro fired United forward (Tim Goode/PA)

Ten Hag has certainly changed the mood at the club, but the back four came straight from the reign of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof brought back at center back and Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Shaw as full-backs.

Lisandro Martinez, available again after Argentina’s World Cup victory, was limited to an 88th-minute induction after parading with a winner’s medal before kick-off.

Rashford inevitably returned from a missed alarm which meant he had to come off the bench to get a winner in Wolves’ game on Saturday, with Antony out through injury.

In the first 20 minutes, the game barely sparked as United’s tight threesome struggled to find a way to break through Bournemouth’s defence.

The breakthrough came from a set-piece after Rashford tied Adam Smith’s foul from the left and Christian Eriksen floated in a deep ball that Casemiro, freeing himself from Dominic Solanke, met at the near post to volley home.

Luke Shaw is celebrating

Luke Shaw doubles United’s lead (Tim Goode/PA)

Maguire, starting his first league match since October, had a bad moment just after half an hour of play when he cleared the ball for a Bournemouth corner but the Cherries lacked the quality to capitalize on it.

Donny van de Beek, who had never started a home league win for United before, had his first opportunity to make amends since May 2021 and did so but failed to complete the first half, sent off by a poor challenge from Marcos Senesi.

Alejandro Garnacho was sent in to replace him and had an assist just four minutes into the second half as United used the acres of space left by the Bournemouth defense to double their lead.

But the credit was mostly due to Shaw, who took the ball out of his own half, moved it to the right, then arrived to apply the finish as Garnacho rolled the ball back into the penalty area.

Manchester United is celebrating

Marcus Rashford hit for the fourth time in a row (Tim Goode/PA)

Bournemouth had threatened just an hour before – Philip Billing should have beaten David De Gea when he hit Smith’s cross from a cross and then had to stretch to prevent Jaidon Anthony’s shot, but moments like this were all too rare for the visitors.

Anthony Martial headed straight into the tunnel with a potential injury when he was substituted in the 69th minute, but United kept pressing.

Garnacho shot wide of the post before Mark Travers made a good save from Diogo Dalot coming on as a late substitute and Bruno Fernandes.

A third goal seemed inevitable and came in the 86th minute when Fernandes’ stoppage gave Rashford a chance to slam into the empty net.

United finished the night just one point behind rivals City, who travel to Chelsea on Thursday before arriving at Old Trafford on January 14.

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