Manchester United hosted Bournemouth at Old Trafford as the team looked to extend their winning run since the resumption of club football.
Ten Hag confirmed that Antony missed the game against Bournemouth because of an injury.
Here are three things we learned from Manchester United’s 3-0 victory against Bournemouth.
Emphatic first half
United were easily the dominant side in the opening 45 minutes. The team headed into the break a goal up courtesy of Casemiro.
The Brazilian got on the end of a superb cross from Christian Eriksen to fire the ball past the Bournemouth keeper.
To highlight the Red Devils’ supremacy in the first half, Ten Hag’s men finished the period with a mammoth 64% possession to the Cherries’ 36%.
United had five shots at goal. Bournemouth on the other hand only had two cracks at goal with none troubling David de Gea.
United were solid defensively and did not look to be in any threat of conceding. Maguire and Lindelof were formidable, with their passing out from the back also impressive.
Beyond scoring the goal, Casemiro as is the norm with him, controlled the midfield, exerted his authority and shielded the defence to great effect. An added bonus was how much he contributed offensively, something he crowned with his excellent finish for his side’s opener.
Martial and Rashford linked well with each other and proved to be a constant threat, with the Englishman’s runs-in-behind causing Bournemouth a host of problems.
Ten Hag would have undoubtedly been happy with his players’ first-half performance and asked for more of the same in the second period of the game.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is giving Ten Hag a decision to make
While Luke Shaw will undoubtedly take the plaudits in terms of full-backs for his brilliant run culminating in a goal for United’s second of the game, Wan-Bissaka was also exceptional.
Wan-Bissaka was reintegrated into the team due to Diogo Dalot’s injury and has taken the opportunity with both hands.
The 25-year-old’s improvement in all of United’s competitive games since the World Cup break ended has been visible for all to see.
Against Bournemouth, Wan-Bissaka held down the right side well both offensively and defensively. His passing was very good and his decision-making at crucial moments much better.
The biggest compliment that can be paid to Wan-Bissaka at the moment is that in Dalot’s absence, he has ensured the Portuguese has not been sorely missed.
Wan-Bissaka, who a few weeks ago seemed to be entirely destined for a January loan exit, may be forcing Ten Hag into a rethink. Not necessarily for keeping him in the starting XI when Dalot is rendered fully fit but at the very least remaining at Old Trafford for the rest of the season.
He is showing that he is an able deputy for Dalot and has the potential to provide sufficient cover in the position.
Van de Beek’s injury makes the need for a January signing more urgent
United fans will be waiting with bated breath to learn the nature and extent of Van de Beek’s injury.
The Dutchman had to be taken off during the first half after a nasty collision left him limping and unable to carry on.
Hopefully, the injury is not as serious as it looked but it’s ominous that he had to be taken off in tears.
United were already in urgent need of an attacking recruit to come in during the January transfer window but this need has been made more desperate by Van de Beek’s injury.
A player of Van de Beek’s profile that United have been linked with is Joao Felix – someone who can play up front and behind the striker.
Whether it’s Felix or another alternative, an attacking signing is a must this month.