Manchester United came from behind to record a thumping 5-2 win over relegation-threatened Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Saturday, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men taking another giant stride towards Champions League qualification.
The visitors took a surprise lead after desperate United defending saw them unable to clear their lines, with the ball eventually falling to Junior Stanislas who skipped past Harry Maguire and deceived David de Gea at his near post.
The lead didn't last long as Mason Greenwood's fierce left-footed drive and Marcus Rashford's penalty - following a handball from Adam Smith - saw the home side go ahead, before Anthony Martial's superb long-range effort doubled United's lead before half-time.
Eric Bailly was penalised for a handball in the box shortly after the break allowing Josh King to reduce the deficit from the resulting penalty. However, the Cherries' foothold in the game didn't last long as Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes both struck superb strikes to end the game as a contest.
Key Talking Point
United's forward line looked impressive yet again, but all the talk was about the other end of the pitch, as De Gea dropped another clanger.
The Spaniard was easily beaten at his near post by Stanislas to gift the Eddie Howe's men the lead. While the defending prior to United conceding the opener was far from impressive, De Gea's inability to man his front post while leaving a gaping hole for the Bournemouth forward to aim at was undefendable .
It wasn't the goalkeeper's only rocky moment of the game, as countless simple passes out to Maguire and Victor Lindelof would be either misplaced or spooned towards them putting the pair under unnecessary pressure.
Much has been made of United loanee Dean Henderson's form at Sheffield United, with the England Under-21 man set to return to Old Trafford at the end of the season. On this showing - and on the past season's showing - it's hard to argue that De Gea deserves his spot ahead of youngster.
david de gea can’t even save a word document at this point— liam sweatshirt. (@uncle_davids) July 4, 2020
If David De Gea doesn’t fix up in the remainder of season we have to get Henderson in for next season. David has been far too much error prone. No room for sentiments.— Raza (@_beingNumb) July 4, 2020
It's genuinely sad how David De Gea went from being the best goalkeeper on the planet and 3/4 more consistent seasons away from being a legend of the game, to being so bad that him starting games every week seems like some sort of punishment.— One Punch Dan (@DannyJewitt) July 4, 2020
Manchester United Player Ratings
Starting XI: De Gea (3); Wan-Bissaka (6), Lindelof (7), Maguire (6), Shaw (6); Matic (7), Pogba (7), Fernandes (7); Greenwood (8*), Rashford (5), Martial (6).
Substitutes: Bailly (5), Fred (6), Ighalo (6), Mata (7), James (6).
Mason Greenwood can't be stopped right now ? pic.twitter.com/tgx0YO6OmW— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 4, 2020
Much has been made of United's pursuit of Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho, but on this showing Greenwood could well be the man to spearhead the club's charge for silverware in years to come.
The youngster displayed superb movement and energy all afternoon, offering a constant outlet on the United right.
The 18-year-old's finishing prowess has been well documented, but his two finishes against Bournemouth were on a different level. One with his left foot and one with his right, the youngster displayed the instinctive nature which has seen him become a first-team regular at United, with both strikes powered into the top corner.
Three goals in two games represents a handsome return for a young man who looks to have a bright future ahead of him.
That's 15 goals in all competitions.— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) July 4, 2020
Mason Greenwood is 18.
Talent off the charts. pic.twitter.com/hdlfru8uT3
Key Talking Point
After five seasons in the top flight, Bournemouth's stay in the Premier League looks to be coming to an end.
Howe's men looked solid early on, taking the lead and looking comfortable, soaking up any United pressure. However, as soon as their lead was wiped out there was a clear collective drop of Bournemouth heads and United looked like scoring every time they approached the Cherries' box.
The one positive to take from the game was the amount of chances created by the away side. Howe's men have mustered just two goals in their last four outings, though in truth they could have scored three or four at Old Trafford.
While the amount of chances created will offer a crumb of comfort on the long journey home, it seems too little too late for Bournemouth with the second tier calling.
Bournemouth Player Ratings
Starting XI: Ramsdale (6); Smith (5), Kelly (6*), Ake (5), Rico (6); Brooks (5), Lerma (4), Cook (6), Stanislas (6*); Solanke (5), King (6).
Substitutes: Danjuma (6), Gosling (6), Billing (5), Wilson (5).
In what proved to be a torrid afternoon for the Cherries, Stanislas provided a constant spark and looked threatening on the break.
The former West Ham man has struggled this campaign, failing to open his goalscoring account for the season until the trip to Old Trafford, though his performance against United was as good as he has produced this season.
Constantly surrounded by United defenders, it wasn't easy for him to find space, though he continued to probe and was rewarded with a fine goal following a neat bit of skill to outfox Maguire.
Man Utd's quest for Champions League football sees them travel to Villa Park on Thursday, before a home clash with Southampton.
Meanwhile, the Cherries' bid for Premier League survival doesn't get any easier - though they do have the bonus of back-to-back home games. Howe's men face Tottenham and Leicester at the Vitality Stadium next week, before a daunting trip to the recently dethroned-champions Manchester City.