United leave it late but strike once more in ‘Fergie Time’ to pick off Cherries
Rashford was the hero on the south coast.
Marcus Rashford hit a stoppage-time winner as Manchester United came from behind again to continue their revival, this time securing a 2-1 victory at in-form Bournemouth.
Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth had won five of their past six fixtures and were on course to win again when Callum Wilson gave them a deserved lead, but as they similarly did against Newcastle and Chelsea, United regrouped, securing a valuable victory through finishes from Anthony Martial and Rashford.
The rebuild required since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement remains a steady, ongoing process, but if their rediscovery of the resilience that gave them so many points late on in games under Ferguson becomes a regular feature it will ensure they maintain their present momentum.
In the absence of the injured Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez was handed his first league start for United since the 1-1 draw with Wolves on September 22, starting as the central striker as Rashford dropped to the bench.
If his recall therefore represented the chance he had been pushing for, Bournemouth swiftly threatened to seize it from him when in only the fourth minute Wilson sent Ryan Fraser clean through on David De Gea, who did brilliantly when spreading himself to save low from his shot.
The goalkeeper had saved again from Wilson and watched Junior Stanislas go close when, in the 11th minute, they were rewarded by taking the lead.
From Luke Shaw’s headed clearance, Lewis Cook fed Stanislas on the right, and after he sent a low cross in behind United’s low defence, the in-form Wilson calmly met it first time with a left-footed finish beyond De Gea to secure his fourth goal in four league games.
The hosts again went close when Adam Smith cut inside on his right foot and watched his inswinging cross go narrowly wide of the far post after Chris Smalling and De Gea curiously refused to cut it out, but were then ruthlessly punished by United.
It was in the 35th minute when, after Sanchez had been fortunate not to be penalised for handball, he exchanged passes with Ashley Young, collected possession in the area and cut-back to Martial, who routinely finished past Asmir Begovic from in front of goal to score his fifth league goal from four.
Fraser was responsible for creating the first clear chance in the second half when he attacked from the left and cut-back to David Brooks, who flicked towards goal with his heel to force De Gea into a reaction save.
United gradually recovered the momentum, and almost took the lead on the hour mark when Sanchez headed towards goal from Smalling’s knockdown to force another save from Begovic.
Young, Rashford and Paul Pogba then went closer still when, after Young was fouled and had curled a free-kick from the edge of the area against the crossbar, Rashford’s rebound was brilliantly blocked by Nathan Ake and then hit Pogba, who saw it roll towards the goal-line from where Brooks cleared.
In the second minute of added time, with a goal still likely, Martial found Pogba on the left wing, and he sent a superb cross to Rashford, who chested down and atoned for his earlier miss by finishing low from close range, further easing the pressure on Jose Mourinho.