A huge step was taken towards Champions League qualification as Manchester United beat Bournemouth 1-0 at the Vitality.
United took the lead in the 9th minute through Casemiro’s unique bicycle kick finish, converting Christian Eriksen’s delightful pass.
The game after this was rather disappointing, with little to report on…
However here are the five things we learned in United’s 1-0 win over Bournemouth…
Casemiro’s acrobatic finish
Casemiro opened the scoring early on as Eriksen found him with a beautifully weighted ball over the top. With the ball coming over his shoulder, the Brazilian managed to turn his body, converting a wonderful overhead kick.
Yet another important goal from Casemiro this season who has shown himself to be far more than just a defensive midfielder.
David de Gea wins the Golden Boot
Through results elsewhere, de Gea was confirmed officially as the golden glove winner for the 2022/23 season. After Alisson conceded to Aston Villa’s Jacob Ramsey, the prestigious award was guaranteed to go to the Spaniard.
De Gea went on to put in a top display in the United goal however, keeping his 17th clean sheet of the season. He also displayed an improvement in distribution and claiming crosses, something fans have longed for.
With the goalkeeper’s contract still counting down the days, United have a huge decision to make.
The threat from Antony was little to nothing as he struggled to get involved in the game, regularly playing passes backwards.
On one occasion the Brazilian winger was through on goal, but because he was on his right foot, he came to a halt and turned around before the attack amounted to nothing.
If Antony is to be a success here, he will have to develop his right foot in order to become more of a threat.
Antony was only as poor as the man on the other flank, with Jadon Sancho also failing to make an impact.
Grinding out three points in poor display
United were poor at the Vitality and didn’t look likely to add to their lead despite the majority of possession. With just five shots on target and a majority being speculative, United didn’t create enough at all.
Sub-par performances from all of the front four made for a difficult watch. With little attacking threat, only substitute Garnacho looking eager to attack the home side.
However the performance won’t concern many, given that a win was pivotal in the top four race. Although it will likely be something for Erik ten Hag to mull over ahead of next season .
United all but wrap up top four
United look set for Champions League football now, with just a point needed from the last two games. Chelsea and Fulham both come to Old Trafford, with a point needed to secure top four.
Due to Aston Villa taking two points off Liverpool, they can only get to 69 points with one game left. As United sit on 69 points currently with two games to play, top four seems a given.
This will be a huge relief for many, as it looked before as though a nervy week awaited United.