Sunday, 5 March 2017

10-man Cherries gain amazing point against Utd at Old Trafford

Match Report
Man Utd 1 v 1 AFCB
4 March 2017
Attendance: 75,245
Man Utd and AFCB prepare to play.
The Cherries were adamant that they would put in a performance to salvage their season at Old Tradfford and they didn't disappoint. Going a goal down to Rojo's slick finish in the 23rd minute only galvanised AFCB to start fighting for their lives. Marc Pugh and his legendary chop, was responsible for the start of the recovery that saw referee Kevin Friend point to the spot. Josh King had to wait an age, but he struck home the ball into the roof of the net to leave David de Gea grasping at thin air. Yet, this was anything but a typical quiet park game. It was scrappy and end to end, and yes it was physical - perhaps as good the David Haye  and Tont Bellew fight. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Tyrone Mings were the heavyweight gladiators and while Kevin Friend was unable to control their aggression - head stamping and elbow's at the ready - it was Andrew Surman who was shown a second yellow before half time, after a push on Ibrahimovic. It was already turning into the Artur Boruc save of the year game, but when Adam Smith handled in the box it was the great Polish keeper against Zlatan from 12 yards that would be the defining moment. Boruc made the save and the Cherries had stolen a point with 10-men. What a great day for all the AFCB players, the manager and every body connected with the club - this was AFCB's special day to prove that David sometimes really does get one over on Goliath.
United players warm up.
When I switched on BBC 5 Live to get some line-ups pre-match, I immediately heard the words you have to hand it to Eddie he is going for it in playing 4-4-2 at Old Trafford. I had seen Benik Afobe get the songs from the fans as he warmed up and indeed he would start, while Jack Wilshere was pushed down to the bench. AFCB needed points and attack was the order of the day.

United brought Wayne Rooney back into their team along with Phil Jones, Luke Shaw and Michael Carrick. Hardly a weakened United side then.

AFCB took on the red Devils n their blue away kit.
There are more pictures on Match Day Gallery - they may be more distant than usual as stewards at United refused to let me take an SLR into the stadium - like Zlatan Ibrahimovic might be frightened by the sound of the shutter clicking! And no, I wouldn't throw a lens - do you know how much they cost?

AFCB were up against it from the start when Valencia got his cross in for Wayne Rooney, who headed over from eight yards out. But from the goal kick, Steve Cook set Afobe on his way and de Gea just did enough with Phil Jones to keep Afobe from scoring.

The way Josh King charged into Marcos Rojo to win AFCB's first corner, it was clear the Cherries were up for a scrap. It was just as well as typical mistakes put fans on notice that a goal wouldn't be long in coming. A mistake by Tyrone Mings led to a great opening for Pogba. He closed down on goal with Adam Smith in pursuit, but the big United star shot wide when Boruc had been in two minds whether to come right out or stay at home.

Bournemouth were just as wasteful though when a route-one long ball left Afobe in on goal with just de Gea to round, only he slipped a the crucial moment - or should it have been a penalty? It looked like de Gea stopped Afobe from getting to his feet - not the only thing Kevin Friend and his officials would miss on the day. Arter was fired up and soon picked up a yellow card for a late tackle on Shaw.

The misses were mounting up too, with Ibrahimovic looking left, right and behind hm with the ball on the six yard box, bit Cook and Daniels cleared the ball, while the big Swede saw another golden chance to score go begging.

Josh King and Ryan Fraser were on their game and looked devastating against United's back line whenever they ran at it. The boys were doing their defensive work too, and there were plenty of United corner to contend with.

Martial was slipped through by Carrick next, but Boruc pulled out a cracking save to turn it wide for a corner. The United goal came just after Adam Smith had received some treatment. Valencia put in a well-shaped low cross from the right into the box and it was stabbed home by Marcus Rojo who beat Boruc to fire United ahead on 23 minutes.

Kevin Friend is already getting stick for his friendly Man Utd whistle by this stage. Surman then committed a hard challenge on Luke Shaw and his name went straight in the book. Mings and Ibrahimovic are already seeking each other out with pushing and shoving while the game goes on - Ibrahimovic even threw Mings to the floor! 

Afobe plays Pugh in down the left side of the box and his turn back inside causes Phil Jones to take a swipe at Pugh's legs. It's just what AFCB need - a penalty. Josh King knew exactly where he would put his shot and he calmly put his firm strides in before belting the ball into the roof of the net on 37 minutes, 1-1. The Cherries were right back in the game.

Ibrahimovic was again soon setting his sights on AFCB's goal, but Boruc pulled out a finger tip save, before Pugh cleared the ball away. The big incident of the came just before half time after a United corner. Ibrahimovic and Mings were in an altercation - Mings was accused of stamping as Ibrahimovic was on the ground and Ibrahimovic was of seen leading with his elbow - it all kicked off and Surman pushed Ibrahimovic. To be honest they probably all should have gone, but Surman was given his second yellow and his marching orders. AFCB's job had just got 10 times harder.

United just had to finish the job. But when you saw Pogba manage to miss from a few yards out in time added on, there was a suggestion that this might not all be over.
The famous Alex Ferguson stand faces AFCB supporters.
Second Half
Apparently, Jason Tindall was sent to the stands at half time to compound AFCB's problems. Marc Pugh was sacrificed to allow Dan Gosling to come on in midfield. An early free kick was sadly wasted by Ryan Fraser, but the Cherries could not be accused of not creating anything in this match. AFCB soon had to defend and defend even more as United started to make the extra man count.

A series of five corners in a row for United really started to test AFCB in every way possible. Boruc used his punch, a shot deflected out, a short corner and another to the far post. The ball was bouncing around AFCB's box and Pogba put in a thunderous drive that was bending round to the top right corner, before Boruc leapt superbly to stretch a hand and keep it out!

Every AFCB player was defending, Mings and Cook were winning the headers and the side was battling better than ever.

A relief came when Josh King was caught by Michael Carrick, who received a yellow card. United possession soon returned and a challenge by Arter on Pogba was surely Harry's final warning. The free kick was set and Ibrahimovic took it, but hit the bottom of the wall. There was a feeling that AFCB could get this done. Afobe was holding off three United players on half way, when the ball got up to him. Cook and Mings were keeping Ibrahimovic quite. It was back to the wall stuff from the Cherries.

In fact Mourinho was forced to change things on 70 minutes when Rooney, Carrick and Saw were subbed for Fellaini, Rashford and Lingard.

That's when Artur Boruc had an even bigger job to do. A cross from Valencia on the right left Adam Smith in trouble, by protecting himself from the ball being chipped back over his head. With his arms up and the Stratford End yelling for a penalty, the referee listened to the volume of calls and pointed to the spot. Ibrahimovic doesn't miss, does he? Or rather, Artur Boruc is a great penalty saving keeper. Boruc leaped to his right and made himself an instant hero!

Another close range shot from Pogba bounced wide as Utd's fans started to see that time was running out. AFCB were getting battered and Tyrone Mings was unable to continue, so on came Baily Cargill with 12 minutes to go to make his Premier League debut.

It was not Pogba's day for sure as his next attempt he might as well have with a nine iron, it was that far over!

Bournemouth fans knew, they were getting close now with United fans leaving - "Is there a bomb scare," they shouted in reference to last year's fiasco at Old Trafford. Max Gradel replaced Josh King, as we edged to the 88th minute. Even in added time there was a miss from Pogba and another save from Boruc. 
A fantastic result for the Cherries - they had to work extremely hard for that.
What a fantastic result for the Cherries. They showed fight and heart in this game and if they continue to do that I still believe they will be okay. It's the home matches they have to win now as they've always needed to. While Andrew Surman will miss a game and Tyrone Mings may get retrospective disciplinary action, the feeling among the squad that they held out at Old Trafford will be a massive help in their belief that they can stay up. Morale has been restored and every player was a hero for AFCB in this game. The fans knew it and the players knew it - this was the team's best result of the season.
Yeah, how we celebrated!
Man Utd
de Gea, A Valencia, Jones. Rojo, Shaw (Rashford 70), Carrick (Fellaini 70), Pogba, Mata,
Rooney (Lingard 70), Martial, Ibrahimovic

Utd Subs
Romero, Smalling, Blind, Fellani, Lingard, Rashford

Boruc, A Smith, S Cook, Mings (Cargill 78), Daniels, Surman (sent off 45), Arter, Fraser, King (Gradel 88), Pugh (Gosling 45), Afobe

Allsop, B Smith, Cargill, Wilshere, Gosling, Gradel, Ibe

AFCB Ratings
Boruc 10, A Smith 7, S Cook 8, Mings 9, Daniels 6, Surman 6, Arter 8, Fraser 8, King 9, Pugh 7 (Gosling 6), Afobe 6

Ref Watch
: Kevin Friend - 0/10 it should be minus really. His poor display was matched by his assistant referees. We know it is a hard job, but Friend missed far too much of all the goings on with Mings and Ibrahimovic or turned a blind eye to it.


  1. A back to the walls performance but its easier to just defend and not have to consider attacking.....we have pulled a point further away point away from the bottom three....but it looks like we have picked up injuries and suspensions out of this game....however is the team better without Wilshere..and with playing KIng and Afobe up front..maybe Mousset

  2. I have heard a lot of United fans say if Mings had been sent off for the "stamp", Zlatan would not be in trouble for the elbow.... if the game was properly officiated Zlatan could have been gone before the "stamp" for throwing Mings on the ground and for other bookable offenses. Mings got in his head by being tougher than Zlatan, which probably has not happened much in Zlatan's career.
    Great result for the team. I hope Cargill is ready for a big test the next three weeks, and that no more CHs get injured before Francis or Mings get back - even though I don't think Mings purposely stamped on his head he will be gone for a while.

    1. Afobe had just 23 touches in 90 minutes he's nowhere near the striker we need. I accept it was not a game to attack with only 10 men so why was Afobe absent in the rearguard action? Get Jermain Defoe back for next season when Sunderland go down.

  3. It wasn't 10 men it was 9. Afobe did not show. Fluffed what he is paid to do. I never saw him track or help out as usual he waits to receive,can't run and break on to a ball, always passes back or lateral and never helps out. Surely I'm not the only one who sees this he's done it ever since he joined but in the Man Utd game it was very obvious. He has to go he just does not have anything to give us.