United finally managed to play Bournemouth in the league finale at Old Trafford, two days after their scheduled game due to the debacle of Sunday where a training exercise had culminated in a bomb scare and thousands of disgruntled fans being forced to leave the stadium as the match was abandoned.
By the time United did kick off on Tuesday, Manchester City had already gained the point they needed against Swansea so there was no chance of the Reds gaining Champions League football- unless they won by 19 goals, which has never happened in the history of the club, the premier league, or any form of English top flight game. Ever.
So what did we learn from Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth?
1)Wayne Rooney can play in midfield. The United skipper was excellent in a much deeper role than usual, dictating the play, breaking up Bournemouth attacks, scoring, setting up goals and showing a range of passing Paul Scholes would have been proud of. Easily his best performance of the season.
2)Marcus Rashford is the real deal. Every time Rashford has had a quiet game of a spell where the doubters may find their voice, he reminds the world what a talent he is. On Tuesday the teenager produced a sublime stepover for Rooney’s opener and a superb finish in the second half for his well taken goal. Believe the hype this kid is for real.
3)Chris Smalling needs to stay switched on for the entire game. Smalling’s late, late own goal which cost David De Gea the golden glove was avoidable and just as he did at Wembley for the FA Cup semi final, the defender showed that at times he can lose his concentration which has proven costly.
4)Ashley Young still has a part to play. After being thought surplus to requirements, only to shine under Louis van Gaal, then suffer a series of injuries, it seemed as though Young may be heading towards the end of his United career, but his late goal reminded us all there’s plenty of life in the former Aston Villa man.
5)The fans are no longer hiding their dislike of van Gaal. The booing of Louis van Gaal when he gave his speech to the crowd showed that even fans as loyal as the Red army have had enough of the boring football and the failure to qualify for the Champions League- with or without an FA Cup final.