Paul Pogba: Manchester United are now playing as they should do - offensively
- Author: Michelle Webb Dec 31, 2018,
Dec 31, 2018, 2:44
Despite handing praise to Mourinho for his ability to grind out results, Pogba just couldn't help praising Solskjaer for the attacking brand of football he's clearly enjoying so much. The big news though, is that Romelu Lukaku is part of the matchday squad, starting on the bench against Bournemouth. 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.
TALKING POINT - Can United stop the defensive rot? Pogba, a World Cup victor with France, celebrated that goal by performing a playful shimmy with his arms folded across his stomach - a move that TV cameras revealed he had been practising on the pitch before kickoff. But the team remain defensively weak, having kept just two clean sheets so far this season.
The unimaginative, stupefyingly boring football which blighted the final months of José Mourinho's tenure has, in just three games under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, been replaced by the kind of inventive, buccaneering brand of play once regularly served up by the home side at Old Trafford. The players have more freedom of movement with the Norwegian than with the Portuguese.
The late dismissal for Bailly - who was shown a straight red for a wild lunge on Ryan Fraser - was a blemish for United, but it had little impact on the outcome.
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After Rashford made it 3-0, Nathan Ake gave Bournemouth some hope by pulling a goal back with a header just before halftime, but United rarely looked troubled after the break and Lukaku added the fourth from a suspected offside position in the 72nd. His two goals aside, his movement and passing repeatedly caused Bournemouth problems.
Burnley picked up three valuable points at the other end of the table with their 2-0 win over West Ham.
United were not finished in the first period, however, and scored their third in the 45th minute when Rashford stretched to turn an excellent Anthony Martial cross into the back of the net.
Ander Herrera busily zipped about around him, slotting in to provide cover for Victor Lindelöf when he carried the ball out of defence and popping up on the right to provide the cross from which Pogba scored his second.
It wasn't a ideal day for United - they had defender Eric Bailly sent off for a reckless challenge later in the second half.