Manchester United cruised to a 3-1 victory over Bournemouth to hand Jose Mourinho a winning start to his tenure at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
- Bournemouth 0 Manchester United 1
- Mata opens scoring just before HT
- Rooney heads home the second
- Ibrahimovic scores on debut
- Smith pulls one back for Cherries
The opening half produced nothing of real quality and even the opening goal was a gift when miscommunication between Simon Francis and Artur Boruc allowed Juan Mata to tap the ball into an empty net.
Second-half goals from Wayne Rooney and debutant Zlatan Ibrahimovic was enough to secure all three points for the Red Devils, despite Adam Smith’s consolation effort 20 minutes from time.
It was a cagey opening 15 minutes with only Callum Wilson having a chance to score but he failed to captialise on a Luke Shaw blunder just inside the area.
A few minutes before the end of the first half United were handed a gift – a hopeful ball over the top from Ander Herrera was chased down by Mata, who was handed a surprise start by Mourinho.
However, a comedy of errors ensued as Francis’ poor backpass was nicked by Mata, whose shot was blocked by an onrushing Boruc and ricocheted off Francis straight back to the Spaniard for an easy tap-in from close range.
The second half produced a more open game with the Red Devils creating a host of chances and Mourinho would be enthralled to have witnessed all four of his attackers on the day have a hand in the three goals scored.
Albeit a mistimed shot, Anthony Martial provided an assist for Rooney to head in his first of the season and double United’s advantage and shortly after, Ibrahimovic produced a moment of magic.
The towering Swede never touched the ball in the Cherries box once in the game but he showed why he didn’t need to with a sublime 25-yard grass-cutter that flew beyond an outstretched Boruc.
With the third goal scored it seemed as if the flood gates would open but the hosts reacted well when Lewis Grabban’s neat backheel found right-back Smith, who smashed the ball past David De Gea.
With 20 minutes left both managers looked to bring on fresh legs but not much changed in the overall flow of the game and United held out to secure their first win in the Mourinho era.