Manchester United 4-1 Bournemouth: 5 Tactics from Solskjaer that won the game
Manchester United had failed to win 3 consecutive games under Jose Mourinho this season. They had won two games on the trot only twice so far, a run which had ended with a draw against Wolves once and a defeat to Manchester City on the other occasion. It was one of the main reasons of United's dismal form; their inability to put together a good run of form had cost them dearly.
As such, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prepared for the visit of AFC Bournemouth in his third game in charge, he had a golden opportunity to boost the morale at Old Trafford, by making it three wins in a row. The Norwegian would have been desperate to end the year on a high and the team he set out for his second home game in charge clearly stated his intentions.
Solskjaer made 4 changes to the team that faced Huddlesfield. He brought in Young in place of Dalot and Bailly got his first start under his new manager, replacing Phil Jones. Lindelof and Shaw continued in their respective positions for the third game running, with De Gea in goal.
In the middle, Ander Herrera returned to partner Matic and Pogba, who had started every game under Solskjaer now. Ahead of them, the front three were Lingard, Rashford and Martial - who had been reinstated in place of Juan Mata. The trio had tormented the Cardiff defence a week ago and the Norwegian would have been expecting the same from the three again.
United started the game well, scoring as early as the 5th minute through Pogba. The Frenchman double the lead in the 33rd minute before Rashford almost sealed 3 points just before halftime. However, Bournemouth got one back through Ake before the break.
In the second half, Lukaku, replacing Rashford, scored United's 4th goal and took the game away from Bournemouth. Bailly's late red card did give United a cause for concern, however, the team saw the game through. As such, Solskjaer' dream run at Old Trafford continued and today we take a look at 5 strategies from the Norwegian that won United the game.
#5 Rashford and Martial as the wide forwards
Since taking over at Old Trafford, Solskjaer had to be content without his No. 9 as Romelu Lukaku continued to be on compassionate leave. This meant that the Norwegian had to use either of Rashford or Martial as the No. 9. Solskjaer did show a preference to start the English youngster through the middle, however against Bournemouth, he did something new.
Martial started from the left, while Rashford started from the right of the front three. Lingard worked as the false 9, working tirelessly, but having little impact. However both the wide strikers had a fantastic day out, continuously troubling the Bournemouth defense and taking up the space between the fullbacks and the central defenders.
To make matters worse, Rashford and Martial seamlessly switched positions and made light work of their markers. Their speed, movement and tenacity was one of the reasons that Bournemouth could hardly get a moment's relief and it ultimately led United to three points.