Man Utd Close on Champions League Place With Scrappy Win at Bournemouth

United’s victory brought them within reach of qualifying automatically for Champions League. Following Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, United climbed from fifth into fourth and now need just one point from their remaining two matches to guarantee automatic qualification for next season.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag issued a warning to his players following Liverpool’s chaotic performance, yet these words apparently went unheeded.

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Casemiro’s early volley

Manchester United are now on the brink of their top-four target after Casemiro’s spectacular volley sealed victory at Bournemouth. United have taken steps closer towards reaching their primary objective this season under Erik ten Hag, as Liverpool drew 1-1 against Aston Villa and Casemiro scored his stunning goal to bring victory in Bournemouth – while David de Gea was in outstanding form keeping out a determined Bournemouth side that created few chances.

In the ninth minute, the visitors took the lead when Marcos Sensei made an error when trying to retrieve Christian Eriksen’s pass behind their defense; instead, his touch was poor and Casemiro capitalized on it with style volleying the ball into goal with ease. De Gea was called into action shortly after halftime when Dominic Solanke shot low across goal before De Gea tipped a stinging volley from Brooks around the post; just minutes later Fellaini hit an attempt on half-volley which was well saved by Boruc.

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Junior Stanislas’s first goal for Bournemouth

Stanislas has seen limited action this season due to injuries, making only seven appearances for the Cherries. But his smart winger who joined on free transfer from Burnley in 2014 has become their go-to attacking outlet since Callum Wilson left them.

Stanislas quickly picked up the loose ball before using his dexterity to fool Harry Maguire and send a shot past David de Gea for an impressive goal that gave Bournemouth an instantaneous lift, although United quickly responded – Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford both having excellent chances to equalise quickly after.

But United held on with Marcos Senesi’s sensational late volley just missing the crossbar, while United’s defence held firm against Brighton. Even with defeat, United remain third – six points behind Manchester City and four clear of fifth-place Tottenham – with Solskjaer having the chance to go top of the league with victory against Brighton this Saturday; doing so would guarantee qualification for Champions League – something Sir Alex Ferguson won with them back in 2004!

Marouane Fellaini’s equaliser

Fellaini came on at 2-0 down against Japan in the World Cup and immediately helped turn around the match. His inclusion, alongside Nacer Chadli’s, caused havoc for their opposition while giving Romelu Lukaku freedom on breakaways.

Belgian midfielder Marko Marin may not be everyone’s cup of tea as a player, but his value to his team should not be underrated. He provides physical presence inside the penalty area while playing direct passes that force defenders back and make them reconsider their strategy.

After an underwhelming weekend performance for United, Fellaini gave their fans hope that he can get back into form this season. While his attempted dribble against Bournemouth may have been considered “poodle-like”, Fellaini kept possession when under pressure and showed commitment when staying with the ball to improve his game; hopefully this trend continues when facing Bayern Munich and Barcelona in Champions League play-offs in coming weeks.

Josh King’s second goal

At Arsenal’s heels, it would have been disastrous for Newcastle to let this game slip away from them. Had Jacob Murphy’s early shot hit the post or not been overturned by a linesman’s flag, their home side would likely have fallen behind early and been facing an insurmountable 2-0 deficit at halftime.

Simon Francis’ poorly judged back-pass hit Mata and bounced onto King, who quickly ran at goal and tapped it home gleefully. Norway striker King has recently been linked with leaving Cherries permanently and United made an offer worth PS25 million for him but this bid was turned down and now King has something to prove in these final weeks of the campaign.

Manchester United will attempt to secure their place in the Champions League with two more wins over the next fortnight, starting against Chelsea on Thursday night. You can watch all the action live through your usual TV channels or via SportsNet World’s VPN solution.

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