Manchester United began their assault on the Premier League title with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Bournemouth.
Jose Mourinho’s side got off to a laboured start in the match as they knocked the ball around without too much penetration, while Callum Wilson had the first effort of the match as he fired wide for Bournemouth with four minutes gone.
The game proved physical and cagey as the minutes ticked by with neither side able to manufacture any real chances. Then, with 24 minutes gone, Anthony Martial produced United’s first effort on goal as his curling shot sailed just wide.
Wayne Rooney forced the first save of the game just two minutes later after being played in following great work down the left by Antonio Valencia. Jordan Ibe then produced a magical moment for Bournemouth but no player was able to stab home his cross.
The deadlock was finally broken by Juan Mata in the 40th minute as a two horrendous errors in the space of two seconds by the Bournemouth defence allowed the Spaniard to slot home into an empty net. The sides duly headed in to the interval with the score unchanged at 1-0.
The second-half began with renewed pressure from Bournemouth but it was United who had the next chance as Rooney was denied from close quarters with 50 minutes gone.
The second period was proving far more energetic as Bournemouth continued to press while United dug in and looked to make quick counters. Then, on the stroke of the hour mark mark, Rooney put United 2-0 up as he redirected a shot into the back of the net with a header.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic forced a save off a free kick as United looked to add a third, but the big Swede was not to be denied for long as he powered home United’s third after 63 minutes.
Adam Smith pulled one back for Bournemouth in the 69th minute as he powered home from the edge of the box after setting up the shot with an excellent touch.
Ibrahimovic came close to setting up another as he beat his man to charge into the box, but with just six minutes left to play, he couldn’t find the intended target.
A late save from David de Gea ensured that at the full-time whistle the score remained 3-1.
Photo: Premier League Website