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Lukaku ends his Premier League goal drought as Man United beat Cherries

Following the disastrous derby day, Jose Mourinho knew that Manchester United had to get a 1-0 win over Bournemouth. In the pouring down rain and sleet, United managed to get the much needed three points, thanks to a Romelu Lukaku header, but they didn't have it all their own way.

David De Gea was required to make a couple of good stops in a game that, at times, was end to end. Bournemouth were desperate for the point but United were able to keep them out, after Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford both had chances to wrap up the points earlier.

It wasn't a classic performance but it was just what was needed for Mourinho as the gap between United and many of the teams below them widens.

Positives

Lukaku needed a goal after his poor performance on derby day. That was his second goal in three games, both of them vital in earning United wins.

It was great to see the latest academy graduate, Scott McTominay, making a Premier League start. He didn't look out of place either.

Luke Shaw can be pleased with his performance too after he is working hard on the road to redemption.

At this point, on the back of defeat to City, United just needed a win. A great performance would have gone down even better but with other teams dropping points, United fans should be glad of the hard fought win.

Negatives

This was hardly a massive reaction to the City game. Had United come tearing out of the blocks, it would have gone down better. You would think United should be scoring more at home against Bournemouth.

Manager rating out of 10

7 -- Mourinho managed to rotate his squad, give a youngster a start and come away with the three points. He'll be happy.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK David De Gea, 7 -- Had to make a few stops early on and readjusted well just before half-time to deny what he had anticipated to be a cross. Held on to a late shot that was drilled at him.

DF Antonio Valencia, 6 -- Decent defensively and got forward, although his crosses didn't get very far.

Romelu Lukaku
After going four matches without scoring in the Premier League, Romelu Lukaku nabbed the winner in Man United's victory over Bournemouth.

DF Phil Jones, 7 -- Despite looking his usual clumsy self at times, he repeatedly was in the right place at the right time to make crucial blocks and tackles.

DF Chris Smalling, 6 -- Strong in defence when called upon. Looks more composed alongside Jones.

DF Luke Shaw, 7 -- Got down the left flank well and made some important tackles. Subbed off to standing ovation after another impressive display.

MF Nemanja Matic, 6 -- Solid in midfield with an inexperienced partner. Had hearts in mouths at the end when his handball resulted in a free kick just outside the area.

MF Scott McTominay, 6 -- Showed great strength to keep possession and lots of composure when passing the ball around.

FW Juan Mata, 7 -- Perfect cross in to set up Lukaku for the opening goal. Involved in lots of United's good moves but was quieter as time went on.

FW Jesse Lingard, 6 -- Guilty of a few loose passes but his excellent movement opened Bournemouth up.

FW Anthony Martial, 7 -- Made some great runs from the left and beat his opponent repeatedly with his quick feet. Important role in the lead up to the goal. Missed a sitter in the second half before he was taken off with 25 minutes to play.

FW Romelu Lukaku, 7 -- Fantastic header to put United 1-0 up. Had some nice touches and played well in the lead up to some good chances but was also wasteful with possession at times.

Substitutes

FW Marcus Rashford 6 -- Replaced Martial. Denied by the crossbar after a powerful shot.

MF Ander Herrera, N/A -- Replaced Lingard. Made some important challenges.

DF Ashley Young, N/A -- Replaced Shaw late on.

Scott is one of ESPN FC's Manchester United bloggers. Follow him on Twitter: @R_o_M.

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