A NEW YEAR and the new dawn under Erik Ten Hag continues to be a bright one.
After two games this season you wouldn’t have put a quid on such a scenario.
Those opening defeats at home to Brighton and 4-0 at Brentford are a world away.
Victory last night makes it one defeat in 16 in all competitions, 13 of those wins.
The goals at a thrilled Old Trafford came courtesy of a fine volleyed finish by Casemiro on 23 minutes and a moment Luke Shaw won’t forget on 49 as he started and finished a flowing move that went the length of the pitch.
And Shaw delivered the ball from deep for Bruno Fernandes to tee-up Rashford for the third on 86.
Ten Hag has really got these players playing for him.
You don’t mess with him either as Rashford found out when he was axed from the starting line-up at Wolves for being late for a team meeting.
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He came on and delivered there and again here.
He was back in the starting line-up. As was Harry Maguire with Ten Hag hoping his confidence is restored after his performances for England in the World Cup.
It certainly looked so early on as he got a great reception when he controlled a high ball with his outstretched boot, did a swift turn and laid the ball off.
Likewise when he spread a great crossfield ball out to Luke Shaw to set a move going.
Not so much however when he miscued a clearance, sending the ball spinning behind him for a Bournemouth corner.
Victor Lindelof was back in as well in a rejigged back four with Raphael Varane rested and Luke Shaw moved back to his more accustomed left back role having played so well in the centre at Molineux.
Anyone who thought this was too much tinkering had their fears calmed early on with United in control in all departments.
Not least Casemiro who was dictating the game.
Snapping into tackles, setting moves going from deep and scoring the opening goal and what a finish it was.
The delivery from Christian Eriksen was sumptuous as always.
From a position wide on the left midway into the visitors half he curled a ball in towards the near post.
Casemiro read it with a run from behind the Bournemouth defenders connecting with a perfect side foot volley.
It was a half-time advantage that United fully deserved having dominated the opening period.
This is a team that brings roars now when it charges forward with pace.
The players know where each other is, what they are going to do next and the moves just flow.
So different from the one-paced clueless football that was served up for much of last season.
Anthony Martial had an early header that flew just wide.
Casemiro chipped through for Donny van de Beek, enjoying a rare start, but the Dutchman’s control let him down.
At the other end David De Gea was making his 510th appearance for the club to move into the United all time top ten appearance holders alongside Joe Spence.
The one he will have in his sights is Alex Stepney’s 539 to become the club’s most played goalkeeper in history.
He showed his very best form when Jaidon Anthony got in one-on-one with an amazing point blank stop.
The offside flag might have gone up but De Gea didn’t know that.
He would later deny Philip Billing and Anthony again with equally impressive stops. New contract should be at the ready.
The one low point for United on the night came right on half time when Marcos Senesi slipped in challenging Van de Beek and injured him leading to the Dutchman limping off.
The man who replaced him Alejandro Garnacho didn’t take long to make an impression with the assist to provide the second just after the break but it was Shaw who was the real star.
It was reminiscent of his goal in the Euro’s final against Italy as he started the move at one end and finish it at the other.
First he swapped passes with Rashford, charged forward and found Bruno Fernandes in a central position.
Shaw kept on into the box as Garnacho was fed and then delivered the perfect square ball for his well-timed finish.
Then with four minutes left Shaw’s searching ball found Fernandes who volleyed across goal for Rashford to finish.
Good stuff from United – the fans could really get used to this again.