Manchester: The re-born Paul Pogba scored twice, for the second time since Jose Mourinho’s departure from the club, as a 10-man Manchester United defeated Bournemouth 4-1 in the Premier League to make it three wins in a row for caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Elsewhere, rival Manchester City bounced back from two consecutive defeats to beat Southampton 3-1 Sunday.
It took Pogba just five minutes to strike for sixth-placed United, sliding the ball in at the back post after a wonderful piece of dribbling and a precise low cross from Marcus Rashford. The Frenchman, then burst into the box to head home an Ander Herrera cross from deep to make it 2-0 in the 33rd minute.
“It is different, we still won games with the old manager but it is just a different style of playing,” said Pogba. “We are more offensive and we are creating more chances and that is how we want to play. I always want to do more, but I want to play for the team and play simple.”
There was real class about United’s third, in the 45th minute, as Anthony Martial delivered a low cross with the outside of his boot and Rashford guided it home off the outside of his outstretched foot.
Bournemouth cut the deficit in the first half stoppage-time though when David Brooks skipped around the United defence and placed a cross on the head of Nathan Ake who nodded past David De Gea.
Comeback man Romelu Lukaku made it 4-1, two minutes after coming on as a 70th minute substitute, latching on to a Pogba through ball and hooking the ball past the advancing Asmir Begovic. The French World Cup winner was inches away from a hat-trick with a low drive from 20 yards out but it struck the post.
However, the relaxed and positive mood was slightly undone by a wild lunge in the 79th minute from United defender Eric Bailly on Ryan Fraser, with the Ivorian rightly being shown a straight red card.
On the other hand, City cut the gap on leaders Liverpool to seven points before the top two meet Thursday. Pep Guardiola’s champions needed to regain their footing after stumbling against Crystal Palace and Leicester, and did so with strikes from David Silva, Sergio Aguero and James Ward-Prowse’s own goal at St Mary’s.
Charlie Austin should have put Southampton ahead but miscontrolled the ball after being played in on goal and City immediately took advantage, with Bernardo Silva teeing up Silva to slot home unmarked in the 10th minute.
Alex McCarthy made a good save to keep out Aguero from point-blank range after good work by Sterling and City were made to pay for their profligacy when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg slammed home after robbing Oleksandr Zinchenko to make scores level.
City regained the lead when Sterling’s cut-back deflected against Ward-Prowse and in after 45 minutes and Aguero headed home another from Zinchenko’s cross in the third minute of first-half stoppage time.
Meanwhile at Selhurst Park, N’Golo Kante scored the only goal in the second half to give Chelsea a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.