A poacher's goal from Juan Mata, a beautiful header from Wayne Rooney and a Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw the Manchester United era under Jose Mourinho get off to a roaring start. It was far from the perfect performance, but it was the perfect result for Manchester United, who beat a below-par Bournemouth 3-1 at the Vitality Stadium in their first Premier League match of the season.
After a cagey start, Mata put Manchester United in the lead after an awful mistake from Simon Francis, and while Bournemouth improved in the second half, Rooney added the second just before the hour, with Ibrahimovic then placing a ball, if that is possible, into the bottom corner from 25 yards out for his first ever Premier League goal. Adam Smith got a consolation goal for Bournemouth, but this was a performance from the home team, who beat Manchester United on this ground last December, that did not merit anything.
Not that Manchester United were great either. For the first 45 minutes, this was a match that you might as well have switched for a bit of the Olympics that is going on. Neither team really looked like they wanted to score, and it was a matter of "you first" really.
Francis, though, took that mentality a little too far, first playing a short back pass, which Mata got to first to force a save of Artur Boruc. The Bournemouth defender, however, was not done with his mistake, as off the rebound, another bad touch meant Mata had an open goal to hit, which the Spaniard duly did. It was vindication for Mata, who future was thrown into doubt after he was substituted in the Community Shield, despite coming off the bench not too many minutes earlier.
The second half was much better – not end to end, edge of your seat stuff, but a lot better than the first – and Rooney, who had forced a couple of saves off Boruc earlier on, brought his goalscoring instincts to the fore with a nice finish. Antonio Valencia, from the right, whipped in a ball to Anthony Martial, whose attempted volley was completely mishit. But, such was Manchester United's fortune, that the ball fell to Rooney, who headed it across goal brilliantly to make it 2-0.
Ibrahimovic, who, apart from a delightful flick which put Rooney on goal, was very much in the periphery, showed why he is world-class, and then some, by picking up the ball from around 30 yards, before taking a couple of touches to bullet a low drive across goal, which left Boruc with absolutely no chance.
Smith made it 3-1 with a cut-in-and-smash into the top corner five minutes after the Ibrahimovic strike, but it was too little too late by then, as Mourinho enjoyed a happy day out on the south coast of England.