The Red Devils is quite on roll at the moment with the United Vs Bournemouth game ending in an easy win against The Cherries.
This result has a lot to do with the new interim manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has completely changed the mood at Old Trafford in just a couple of weeks. The players seem to be happier. They now play with gusto, looking supremely confident, and are producing the performance expected of them.
Solskjaer’s United has produced the football that the fans have been crying out for. The Red Devil’s have now played 3 games under the new manager and each game has ended in a convincing victory for the men in red.
United’s latest game at home was against 12th placed Bournemouth which ended in a 4-1 win for the home side.
Here are some takeaways from the game.
Pogba Finally Looking Worth His Value
Manchester United paid £89m to bring Paul Pogba back to Old Trafford from Juventus. However, he found life difficult in the Premier League upon his return to his boyhood club. Things became extremely bad for the French midfielder in Mourinho’s later days at the club. Inconsistent performances and supposedly a bad relationship with the manager saw Pogba being dropped from the starting XI time and time again.
Pogba has become a completely different player under Solskjaer’s management, though. The Norwegian manager has given Pogba a more advanced and attacking role in his team and the later has repaid his manager’s faith with 4 goals and 3 assists in the previous 3 games.
— Manchester United ? (@ManUnited_ENG_) December 30, 2018
The World Cup winner has produced consistent performances in Ole’s first 3 games as manager, bagging the Man of the Match in all 3 games including the United Vs Bournemouth tie.
It looks like Pogba is finally doing what he was bought to do. Although, there are still bigger tests ahead of the Frenchman, but for the time being, he is the Man of the Moment.
Lukaku’s Role Under Solskjaer
Romelu Lukaku came on as a 70th-minute substitute in the United Vs Bournemouth game, after missing United’s last 2 games on grounds of compassionate leave.
The Belgian international roughly took 2 minutes to get his name on the scoresheet. Lukaku replaced Rashford who went off after putting in another exquisite performance.
70': Comes on vs Bournemouth
72': Scores vs Bournemouth
63': Comes on vs Newcastle
64': Scores vs Newcastle
Romelu Lukaku has become Solskjaer's Solskjaer. ? https://t.co/wTNWhk9KTq
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 2, 2019
Lukaku played a completely different style of football than Rashford, though. Where Rashford stretched the defence, got on the ball, dribbled past players, Lukaku remained more central. He was more of a target man around whom United’s other forwards played freely.
Lukaku won aerial duels and linked up with players like Pogba, Martial, and Lingard, taking only one or two touches on the ball before laying it off to his mates.
Toward the end of the United Vs Bournemouth game, the ex-Everton forward also cleared a couple of set pieces while tending to his defensive duties.
His return gives Ole more options to try different styles of play and field different formations.
United Vs Bournemouth Game Shows Defence Still Needs Work
Though United have been emphatic while going forward, defensive stability still remains a concern. Clean sheets have been a rarity this season for the Reds of Manchester.
Victor Lindelof has become a mainstay in United’s backline this season. He performed well under Jose Mourinho and now has 3 good games under Solskjaer.
Phil Jones has also been in decent form in the past couple of games. However, his volatile fitness is something that will worry the manager despite his form.
Eric Bailly, after being solid for the majority of the United Vs Bournemouth game, showed his rashness once again towards the end. The 24-year-old defender lunged into a two-footed tackle and earned himself a red card in the last quarter of the game.
Both Bailly and Lindelof still have a long way to go and need to mature a lot before they can be tagged world class. In the meantime, United must bring in an experienced world class defender who can lead the back-line, and help the team keep clean sheets.