Manchester United hosted AFC Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Tuesday for the last game of their 2015/16 campaign, after the match was rescheduled after a bomb scare right before kick off in the weekend. Manchester United needed a win to secure the fifth position and qualify for the Europa League, while AFC Bournemouth could jump up two places and finish their first season at 16th position.
The match went Manchester United’s way after they decided to put their foot on the gas during the final moments of the first half, with some great goals by Wayne Rooney, who also netted his 100th at Old Trafford, Marcus Rashford and Ashley Young, and a second own goal for Chris Smalling, the match ended with a score of 3-1, this also meant that David de Gea lost out on the Golden Glove.
The starting moments of the game were pretty Man United-esque, credit given to Carrick in deep mid field, who probably played his last league game and Wayne Rooney, to keep possession and regulate the ball well, however, nothing ended behind the net for the first 40 minutes, it was pretty boring. The first goal, after an assist by Anthony Martial, was scored by Wayne Rooney and that seemed to help the overall morale of the team, of course, they couldn’t score the 19 required to take up 4th position but the game became slightly more entertaining. After a much better second half everyone was hoping to see De Gea with the golden glove, but that all went down the drain as Chris Smalling ended the ball past him and into the hosts’ net.
- David de Gea had a decent game, wasn’t called to action much but did his part when required, I can’t help but feel sad for him, missed a golden opportunity and that too by an own goal, but he’ll come back, that’s for sure
- Antonio Valencia did well on the right, crosses were decent, didn’t make a lot of mistakes, a good game for him
- Other than the own goal, even Chris Smalling had a good game, and of course, it wasn’t his fault, much of the hate he’s receiving his utterly useless, he’s one of the most improved and matured defenders and he’s shown that in this game as well.
- Daley Blind was good again, not a lot went past him in defence was solid as well when attacking
- Cameron Borthwick Jackson started for the first time in two months and had a good game as well, he paired up well with fellow youngsters Rashford and Martial and has a bright future ahead
- Michael Carrick, who probably played his last league game, was pretty good in deep midfield, his passes were on point and he got close to scoring twice, one of them being a long range effort which hit the crossbar, overall, a good game after a few not so good ones
- Juan Mata was on the wing when the game began and was pretty much invisible for majority of the first half, but he played some good balls and made a few good touches in the second, to be fair, he could have had a better game
- Jesse Lingard had a fine game as well, he didn’t have as much of an impact as he would’ve wanted, but it was a fair game for him, made a few good touches, but again, nothing major
- Wayne Rooney made all the difference in the end, his goal was a huge morale booster, and like most of his recent games, his passing was magnificent, overall, he seems to have matured a lot and fits into the role of captain (Man. United and England) very well
- Anthony Martial was pretty good as well, he seemed to be trying hard to get a goal in the first half, and it was after some cheeky skill that he was able to secure an assist for the first goal, another fine game for the frenchman
- Marcus Rashford had been the topic of speculation after being included in the EURO 2016 provisional English squad, but he silenced everyone after scoring another beautiful goal, he has a bright future, and I’m sure he can do wonders in the Euros.
Overall, this is the kind of game that we wanted to see against sides like Norwich, West Brom or Sunderland, had that happened, we would not have to worry about qualifying for the Champions League, it could’ve been Louis Van Gaal’s last game at Old Trafford and he certainly wanted it to be special.