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Christian Eriksen the heartbeat for Man United against AFC Bournemouth

by David O'Neill

Manchester United managed a 1-0 win over Bournemouth today in a difficult fixture at the Vitality stadium.

The result brings the Red Devils ever-closer to Champions League qualification, with Aston Villa failing to do United a favour against Liverpool.

Erik ten Hag’s side did their bit, however, and are now a point away from a coveted top four spot.

It was United preferred midfield trio that shone on the South Coast, with Casemiro scoring the winner and Bruno Fernandes his usual creative self.

But the heartbeat of the team was undoubtedly Christian Eriksen.

The Denmark star registered 91 touches – more than any player on the pitch bar Casemiro (93) and Luke Shaw (108), both of whom finished the game – and his passing was a joy to behold.

Man United have slowly been developing into more of a possession team over the course of the season, and their 59% recorded here was aided by Eriksen’s accuracy with the ball.

He found a teammate with 91.7% of his passes, with only Luke Shaw (94.2%) boasting greater precision.

But Eriksen’s typically positive play made him the centre of United’s possession play, and his creativity unlocked Bournemouth a number of times.

He registered two key passes, not including the delightful chipped pass into Casemiro that led to the winner.

A touch off a Bournemouth boot on the way to the Brazilian denied Eriksen the assist, but it was an example of sublime vision and technique to set up the crucial goal.

It should also be noted that the midfield maestro was not afraid of the dirty work either, with five tackles made as he relished his defensive duties.

Christian Eriksen was signed on a free transfer in the summer, and has been an unmitigated success for Ten Hag this season.

(All stats via SofaScore)

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