Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood celebrates scoring their fourth goal. (Reuters Photo)
MANCHESTER: Manchester United’s three-pronged attack combined to devastating effect as they crushed Bournemouth 5-2 in the Premier League on Saturday to move into the top four and stretch their unbeaten run to 16 games in all competitions.
Mason Greenwood shone with two superb goals while Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and playmaker Bruno Fernandes added one each for United, who climbed into fourth place on 55 points from 33 games.
As it happened: Manchester United vs Bournemouth
They are one point ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea who were hosting Watford later on Saturday.
Bournemouth, who have now lost 17 of their last 22 league games, stayed 19th on 27 points and face a mountain to climb if they are to avoid relegation from the top flight.
Rashford, who scored his 20th goal of the season in all competitions and the first since the league resumed on June 17 following a three-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic, was delighted.
“The lads enjoyed it today,” Rashford told BT Sport.
“Definitely exciting times. It doesn’t matter who scores as long as we are scoring and picking up points in the table.
He also praised 18-year old Greenwood, who gave his markers a torrid time.
“Left foot, right foot he can finish. I don’t want to put too much emphasis on him, just let him play his football and that he is what he does,” Rashford said. “It is a big bonus to have him in the squad.”
Junior Stanislas fired the visitors into a 16th-minute lead but United hit back through Greenwood before Rashford converted a penalty and Martial rifled a screamer into the top corner to give the home side a 3-1 halftime lead.
Josh King pulled one back for the visitors with a penalty shortly after the break but United came storming back again as Greenwood made it 4-2 with another clinical finish and Fernandes curled in a free kick on the hour.
Rashford and Bournemouth’s Dominic Solanke had efforts disallowed for marginal offside and visiting goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale made several fine saves in a rip-roaring clash at Old Trafford.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also praised Greenwood.
“He is a fantastic goalscorer. The moment he chose the goal, they were very important moments for us,” said the Norwegian.
“He is a very, very talented boy and we will nurture him and manage him as best we can.
“One of the positive things about the forwards is that they are good friends and keep challenging each other.”