Manchester United on Champions League brink after beating Bournemouth
With their next point won, Manchester United will confirm their place in next season’s UEFA Champions League following a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium on Saturday.
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Erik ten Hag’s (69 points - 4th place) also needed Liverpool (66 points) to drop all three points against Aston Villa to clinch a top-four finish, and they nearly did so before snatching a late draw. Still, Manchester United have a game in hand, against Chelsea on Thursday (3 pm ET), needing just one point from their final two games to qualify for the Champions League.
Despite the defeat, Bournemouth (39 points) remain 14th in the Premier League table, mathematically safe from relegation as they close out their first season back in the top flight.
Saturday’s game was all Manchester United to begin the game, and they were justly rewarded, with the opening goal, for their early dominance. Christian Eriksen chipped the ball into the penalty area in the 9th minute, which Marcos Senesi read and reacted to but could only get the slightest of touches. That lifted the ball into Casemiro’s path, at an awkward height albeit, and the Brazilian’s instincts took over from there.
First season a success for Erik ten Hag
Two games into his tenure, it looked like Ten Hag might not make it two months in the job, but it is quite clear 35 games later that the Dutchman has laid some important groundwork ahead of a pivotal summer transfer window for Manchester United. A 4th- (or 3rd-) place finish is all but guaranteed, which was objective no. 1 when the season began.
There is also no small matter of the FA Cup final, and the chance to deny Manchester City a treble of their own, still remaining as well. Champions League football is nice, but finishing the season by lifting a trophy — at City’s expense, no less — would be the real treat for United fans.
Erik ten Hag reacts to United’s important win
Stars of the show
Manchester United will make up their game in hand on Thursday (3 pm ET), when Chelsea visit Old Trafford, before wrapping up their campaign against Fulham on Championship Sunday (all kickoffs at 11:30 am ET), also in Manchester. Bournemouth will head to Goodison Park to take on relegation-threatened Everton.
Bournemouth vs Manchester United, final score: 0-1
9th minute - Casemiro puts Man United ahead with an acrobatic finish
How to watch Bournemouth vs Manchester United live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET SaturdayTV Channel: USA NetworkOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & star players
Bournemouth is getting plenty out of Dominic Solanke and Phillip Billing, while Dango Ouattara continues to bring terrific threat from out wide.
Manchester United may not have Marcus Rashford, but it will hope Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes can keep providing chances for their teammates while newly-fit Raphael Varane keeps things on lock in front of David De Gea.
Bournemouth team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: Antoine Semenyo (leg), Hamed Traore (ankle), Marcus Tavernier (thigh), Ryan Fredericks (calf), Junior Stanislas (other).
Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: Marcus Rashford (other), Tom Heaton (ankle), Mason Greenwood (club decision), Marcel Sabitzer (knee), Donny van de Beek (knee), Lisandro Martinez (ankle).