United face a big game this weekend against Bournemouth, a match which not so long ago would have looked easy.
Jose Mourinho’s first Premier League game as United boss came away to the Cherries and it was a comfortable 3-1 win.
Goals from Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic made it a successful away day.
Since then Bournemouth have improved considerably, and United have gone backwards this season.
As the league table stands, Bournemouth are in sixth, three points ahead of United in eighth.
This is not a game United can afford to take lightly.
A defeat could undo the recent good progress and set Mourinho back to square one. It is an acid test of our credentials to catch up to the top four.
Bournemouth are a tough test
The prospect of falling six points behind the Cherries is grim, but Eddie Howe’s side deserve respect.
They are in sixth for a reason, having solved a leaky defence which plagued their early seasons in the Premier League.
Key to their success is Nathan Ake, linked by The Telegraph with a move to United earlier this month.
Their attack of Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser, and former United talent Josh King have posed several sides problems this season and Mourinho’s men will have to be at their best to keep the home team quiet.
United’s 3-1 win in 2016 boasted two different forwards, Rooney and Ibrahimovic, but apart from that, the core of Mourinho’s side is similar.
Only one other player started that day is no longer at the club, Daley Blind, who partnered Eric Bailly in central defence.
Anthony Martial started the 2016 win and he has been in terrific form over the past fortnight, scoring five goals in his last three matches.
The big question is who will play with him, Marcus Rashford, or a recall for out of form Romelu Lukaku.