Football news - Paul Pogba brace leads Manchester United to emphatic win over Bournemouth
Premier League, Old Trafford - Manchester United 4 (Pogba 5', 33', Rashford 45', Lukaku 72') Bournemouth 1 (Ake 45')
A brace from Paul Pogba helped Manchester United to an emphatic 4-1 victory over Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said ahead of Sunday’s match that the key objective of his team was to build with pace in order to secure victory over Bournemouth – and they didn’t disappoint.
Once more answering his critics, should there be any left after some great performances since the departure of Jose Mourinho, Paul Pogba gave his team the early lead in the fifth minute, ably assisted by the tremendous footwork of Marcus Rashford.
Looking like a completely different team, United played with verve and vigour, and it wasn’t long before Pogba's second goal came, this time heading the ball from Ander Herrera’s cross.
Eric Bailly & Paul Pogba (Manchester United)Getty Images
Rashford inflicted further pain shortly thereafter, but for all their prowess in attack United still have defensive frailties, exposed by Nathan Ake on the cusp of half-time.
Romelu Lukaku came on as a sub with 20 minutes left to play, to find the net just two minutes later thanks to an assist from Pogba, once again, to some consternation by Bournemouth fans who thought the Belgian to be just offside. Adding insult to injury, this followed shortly after The Cherries were denied a penalty when Charlie Daniels’ face fell foul of a high kick by Eric Bailly in the penalty area.
Perhaps then they were happier after Bailly was sent off in the 79th minute for a reckless tackle, though it did nothing to alter the score line as United played on with the verve and vigour seen so far under the caretaker manager.
TALKING POINT – Can United stop the defensive rot?
So far Solskjaer has done well to play to United’s attacking strength – one that predecessor Mourinho was unable to capitalise on. But the team remain defensively weak, having kept just two clean sheets so far this season. With the January transfer window approaching, United are in need of a defensive overhaul – something which may not be easy given current uncertainty around the management team going forward.
Manchester United's Norwegian caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gestures Getty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH – Paul Pogba
Pogba continued his post-Mourinho rampage with a hand in all of the goals that came, today – including scoring two of them. Speaking after the match he commented on the freedom with which the team were playing, and it’s clear how much the Frenchman is enjoying and benefiting from it.
Paul Pogba of Manchester United celebrates as he scores his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and AFC Bournemouth at Old Trafford on December 30, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom.Getty Images
5’ GOAL! Pogba gives United an early lead thanks to a run by Marcus Rashford who gives the assist to the Frenchman in front of the goal, ready to tap it in.
33’ GOAL! Pogba makes it two from a cross from Herrera outside the area. Pogba gets his head to it and it's 2-0.
45’ GOAL! This time it's Rashford who slides at Martial's ball from the middle of the box. 3-0.
Manchester United's English striker Marcus Rashford (R) shakes hands with Manchester United's Norwegian caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (L) after being substituted during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and BournGetty Images
47’ GOAL! Nathan Ake receives Brooks ball from the far corner of the box and heads it in the goal. 3-1
72’ GOAL! It's substitution Lukaku! He receives the ball from Pogba on the near side of the box to whip it in the goal.
79’ RED CARD! Eric Bailly has been sent off thanks to a particularly lairy sliding tackle.