Bournemouth 1, Manchester United 3: Juan Mata plays his way into Jose Mourinho's good books as United set the Premier League pace

 
Frank Dalleres
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Mata opened the scoring as United went top of the Premier League (Source: Getty)

Bournemouth 1, Manchester United 3

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has given Juan Mata fresh hope that he still has an Old Trafford future after the midfielder helped them make a winning start to the Premier League.


England captain Wayne Rooney and summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic added to the Spaniard’s first-half opener in the second period before Adam Smith struck Bournemouth’s consolation.

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Mourinho offloaded Mata as Chelsea manager and raised doubts about his faith in the player by substituting him and then off again in last week’s Community Shield win over Leicester.

But he said: “It was an important goal, a clever goal, a goal by somebody with a natural instinct to play football. I know him very well because I worked with him for six months at a previous club. I know exactly what he can give and what he cannot give, so when the game is the perfect game to give what he can, it is perfect and today it was about this.”


Mata seized on Simon Francis’s weak back-pass and a kind ricochet to poke the opening goal and Rooney guided in Anthony Martial’s wayward shot for United’s second.

Ibrahimovic then continued his habit of scoring on debut, as he has previously in France, Italy, Spain and in the Champions League, with a low diagonal drive to send United top of the table.

Smith gave the hosts faint hope when he cut in from the right and beat David de Gea with a rising left-footed shot into the top corner.

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