Manchester United and Jose Mourinho inaugurated their new era with an away win at Bournemouth, after goals from Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped United register a 3-1 victory, while Adam Smith’s superb goal for the Cherries couldn’t propel his team for a comeback.
Here are five things we learned from the game at the Vitality Stadium…
Wayne Rooney lacked sharpness in the Community Shield clash against Leicester City and things haven’t improved. The Englishman wasted a chance, which was set up exotically by Zlatan, compounded with poor touches and a less energetic performance could be some worrying symptoms of the age (now 30-years-old).
Rooney scored from Anthony Martial’s miscued shot, taking his tally to 246 goals, needing three more to overtake Sir Bobby Charlton as Manchester United’s all-time top scorer.
But his goal doesn’t cover his poor performance and might worry Red Devils fans.
Mourinho’s appointment seemed to indicate that Mata’s days were numbered at Old Trsfford. The rumours were further fuelled when Mata (who came as a substitute) was substituted in the Community Shield.
But the Spaniard didn’t miss the chance to impress Mourinho’s first team, as he scored the first goal of Mourinho’s Premier League debut with the Red Devils. Constant pressure by Mata led to a string of defensive errors from Bournemouth players and Mata took the advantage, giving United the lead.
United have struggled to find suitable replacements to Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, but it seems that they have found one in Eric Bailly.
So with Daley Blind or Chris Smalling in the squad, has an era of new partnership been born at Old Trafford?
Bailly has continued his good performances and has begun to garner plenty of fans.
The season has just begun and seems Bailly is settling well in the Premier League. The Ivorian was a little rash in his recent two outings for United, and he must learn to control himself to avoid suspension later in the season.
The big Belgian is struggling to be accepted whole heartedly by United’s supporters following his first three seasons at the club, but Mourinho does trust the Belgian.
The Red Devils boss handed Fellaini a starting role against Bournemouth, even after his error during the Community Shield clash led to Leicester’s equaliser.
But Fellaini didn’t disappoint this time and altogether demonstrated a different style. The Belgian regularly broke up Bournemouth’s attempts to get forward.
The self-proclaimed god of Manchester, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, had a terrific impact on his first Premier League game of the season.
After scoring the winning goal at Wembley last weekend, Ibrahimovic sealed the game again, this time scoring from distance.
Apart from the goal, Ibrahimovic made his presence felt through a thunderous shot from a free kick, tussling with defenders and fulfilling his defensive duties.
Winning is all that matters for Mourinho, and he did register his first Premier League win with Manchester United.
But we didn’t witness attractive and attacking football from Manchester United and their new boss. But it seems United are taking things steadily as the possession based, safety first approach was still evident.
The goals weren’t a result of a solid gameplay, but scoring three goals and winning is surely not a bad start for the Red Devils and Mourinho.
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