Home » Manchester United’s victory over Bournemouth leaves them on the tails of Manchester City

Manchester United’s victory over Bournemouth leaves them on the tails of Manchester City

by Conner Botterill

Manchester United’s comfortable victory over Bournemouth last night has left them in the box seat for Champions League qualification next season.

With teams around them all dropping points ove the New Year period, Ten Hag’s side have chalked up three straight victories to leave them five points clear of fifth place Tottenham and seven clear of Liverpool in sixth.

It has also catapulted United level on points with Newcastle in third, having played a game less and a point away from neighbours Manchester City in second, who travel to Chelsea tomorrow evening to play their game in hand.

If Chelsea were to take points from the Champions, the Manchester derby in 10 days time would give United a chance to leapfrog City into second.

The turnaround represents a minor miracle given United’s catastrophic start to the campaign and their 6-3 hammering in the first derby of the season back in early October.

Naturally, the optimism is approached with caution, given United’s fragility over recent years.

But this is a new United; solid, hard to beat and playing with a passion and commitment not seen at Old Trafford for too long to mention.

Erik ten Hag’s imprint is beginning to take hold; Casemiro has proved an inspired signing, Rapha Varane and Lisandro Martinez have forged an outstanding partnership at the heart of his defence and Marcus Rashford is flying up front.

The handling of the Cristiano Ronaldo circus gave Ten Hag an opportunity to set his stall out, no ill-discipline will be tolerated and the squad has responded. He is getting the big calls right.

Even the emergence and integration of Alejandro Granacho has papered over the Jadon Sancho sized crack as he continues to individually train an a bid to get back to full fitness.

Sancho could be like a new signing for the second half of the season if he hits the ground running on his return.

Ten Hag has expressed his desire for a centre forward in January to boost United’s finishing power in what he will hope to be a busy and exciting end to the season, with United fighting on four fronts.

A couple of domestic cup games stand between United and their litmus test next league fixtures; City at home and league leaders Arsenal, away.

Top four was and is still the objective but if Ten Hag is able to deliver positive results in those two mammoth matches, it will leave United fans daring to dream about a magical 2023.


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