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Man United beats Bournemouth 3-0, Rashford scores again

Man United beats Bournemouth 3-0, Rashford scores again
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MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Marcus Rashford scored for a fourth consecutive game as Manchester United eased to a 3-0 win over Bournemouth in the Premier League on Tuesday to cement its place in the top four.

Casemiro and Luke Shaw had already netted for United before Rashford added the third on his return to the team after being dropped against Wolverhampton for oversleeping and missing a meeting.

Rashford came off the bench to score the winner against Wolves and was on target again against Bournemouth in a result that had a routine feel, something which has been missing at Old Trafford in recent times but which is returning as manager Erik ten Hag shifts the mentality of the club.

United was not at its free-flowing best — Casemiro’s goal was the only shot on target in the first half — but did not need to be against an opponent that never looked threatening.

United is in fourth place and tied on points with third-place Newcastle. It was a fourth home league win in a row without conceding for the first time since 2017, a sign of United’s rediscovered resilience.

Ten Hag has certainly altered the mood around the club but the back four came straight from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign as Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof were both restored at center half while Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Shaw were the full backs.

Lisandro Martinez, available again after Argentina’s World Cup victory, was limited to an 88th-minute introduction after parading his winner’s medal before kickoff.

United’s breakthrough came from a set piece after Rashford drew a foul from Adam Smith on the left. Christian Eriksen floated in a ball that Casemiro met at the near post to guide home on the volley.

Donny van de Beek did not finish the first half because he was sent hobbling from the field by a poor challenge from Marcos Senesi.

Alejandro Garnacho was sent on to replace him, and had an assist just four minutes into the second half as United took advantage of the lots of space left by the Bournemouth defense.

Shaw carried the ball from his own half, shifted it to the right, and then arrived to apply the finish as Garnacho rolled the ball back into the box.

Anthony Martial headed straight down the tunnel with a potential injury when he was replaced in the 69th minute, but United kept pushing and Garnacho bent a shot against the outside of the post.

A third goal seemed inevitable and duly arrived in the 86th minute when Bruno Fernandes’ lay-off set up Rashford to sidefoot into an empty net.

United ended the night only one point behind Manchester City, which visits Chelsea on Thursday before coming to Old Trafford on Jan. 14.