In the early kickoff of the 11th matchday of the 2018-19 Premier League season, Manchester United came back from behind to win a thriller against Bournemouth.
Callum Wilson’s goal was cancelled out by Anthony Martial and it was United’s ‘Golden Boy’ Marcus Rashford who fired in a late winner to steal all three points from the Vitality stadium. FOX Sports Asia looks back at the top 5 talking points of this brilliant game.
5. Callum Wilson is Eddie Howe’s main-man
Ever since Harry Kane put his mantle down as England’s undisputed number 9, the Three Lions have struggled to find a proper understudy for the English and Tottenham Hotspur captain. The likes of Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, Jamie Vardy tried their best but failed.
And now it seems like time has for Gareth Southgate to put Callum Wilson’s name in the list of potential understudies for Kane. Because the Bournemouth forward has been brilliant this season. To put into context as to exactly how good he has been for the Cherries, only Eden Hazard of Chelsea has been involved in more goals and assists than the Englishman (6 goals, 4 assists).
Wilson’s form is one of the biggest reasons that Bournemouth is within touching distance of the top 4 this season.
Against United, Wilson was showing signs of intent from the word go. He was chasing down and pressing United’s defenders with serious intent. Whenever he received the ball, he looked for options or just ran himself against Chris Smalling and Co.
It took him just 11 minutes to bear the fruit of such intent as he turned in Bournemouth’s opener from a Junior Stanislas cross. Last season, he managed just 8 league goals in 28 Premier League appearances for Howe’s men but he is already up to 6 in 11 games this season, becoming the spearhead of the Cherries attack over Joshua King.
4. Bournemouth is one seriously well-oiled machine
In this day and age of clubs changing managers every now and then, Bournemouth have stuck by Eddie Howe ever since their Championship days. This loyalty, this trust has started showing up, this season especially where Bournemouth have been exceptional.
They have been brilliant in literally every part of the field. From the man between the sticks i.e. Amir Begovic to the one banging in the goals, namely Callum Wilson, the combination and understanding among the players are sensational.
From taking the lead to the final whistle, Eddie Howe’s men have shown how determined they are to play European football next season. The chemistry between the midfield and the defence is phenomenal. The entire team is willing to work for each other.
The best example being when Nathan Ake cleared a certain goal from Rashford off the line, Bournemouth didn’t go to sleep. Instead, Brooks cleared the rebound from Pogba, showing just how alert Bournemouth truly are.
The way Simon Francis and Co. stopped Martial, Pogba throughout the match but for one instance underlines how well Howe has trained his men.
3. De Gea is undoubtedly United’s best player
Well, this was never really in doubt. But if anyone ever had doubts about it, they shouldn’t be having so after this match. Against Bournemouth, De Gea truly proved why he is the best player for United and arguably the best keeper in the world.
From the first whistle, United were struggling to contain the lively Bournemouth team and the Cherries had a brilliant chance to go in front in the opening 5 minutes through Ryan Fraser but guessed who stopped them? De Gea.
The Spaniard saved quite a lot throughout the match but another of his eye-catching saves was at the start of the second half when he brilliantly gathered Brooks’ attempt. De Gea is the man who has been keeping United within the top half this season and after this match, no one should doubt this statement.
2. Martial proves his worth yet again
Throughout this season, we’ve been hearing reports of Jose Mourinho having problems with Anthony Martial, something that has been the case since last season. But this season has been such a disaster for the Red Devils that Jose has been forced to keep his ego aside for a much-needed change and actually play Martial.
This was the Frenchman’s fifth successive start in the season and how he capitalized on the chance.
After going behind, United were looking short of ideas and Bournemouth defence was keeping them at bay. The attack looked disjointed and once again, it was Martial who pulled the team up and restored parity. From an Alexis Sanchez cross, he netted his 5th in the last four games, continuing his purple patch.
1. United doing justice to the ‘Comeback Kings’ tag again
After Sir Alex Ferguson retired, Manchester United looked like they had lost their ability to come back and win matches from behind. Be it David Moyes, Louis van Gaal or even Jose Mourinho, the team looked out of ideas whenever they went behind.
But this season, it looks like that the tag is about to return.
United came back brilliantly against Newcastle United to win a thriller. But when they went down against Bournemouth, not many would have given them chance seeing the form of the Cherries. But United stuck by their task. They struggled, but not for once second they looked like they were ready to give up.
Pogba, Martial tried their best. The team kept on knocking on the doors of Bournemouth. And in the 92nd minute, it was Marcus Rashford who got the better of the brilliant Begovic to win all three points for United.
With comebacks becoming a thing this season, United look like they’ll be doing justice to the ‘Comeback Kings’ tag once again.