Manchester United close to Champions League return as Aston Villa frustrate Liverpool

PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United close to Champions League return as Aston Villa frustrate Liverpool

Kiplagat Sang 19:24 - 20.05.2023

The Red Devils will need a point from their last two games to seal their place in the top four.

Manchester United are close to returning to the Champions League after a 1-0 Premier League win over Bournemouth on Saturday.

A point for Liverpool after a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa means United and Newcastle United need one point from their remaining games to secure a top-four finish.

Meanwhile, eight minutes into the match, United took the lead after a brilliant acrobatic strike by Casemiro. Christian Eriksen chipped the ball into the Cherries’ box, and Marcos Senesi attempted to clear but only put the ball up in the air.

Casemiro was around and acrobatically volleyed the ball into the top corner from close range for United’s breakthrough.

David de Gea was called into quick action in the 27th minute. Dominic Solanke made his way into the area, and shrugged off defenders before he fired a low shot that De Gea, who had nothing to do previously, palmed away.

Raphael Varane made a vital block to deny Ryan Christie in the 34th minute. Antony’s ridiculous backheel in his own half saw David Brooks collect the ball and spot Christie, whose effort at the near post was cleared by Varane.

The Cherries were again denied an equalizer in the 46th minute by De Gea. Brooks strode into United’s area and sent in a shot that was tipped over by the Spanish goalkeeper.

Bournemouth were lucky not to concede the second two minutes after the hour mark. They gave the ball away, and United counter-attacked, but Kelly fluffed in his own box, and the ball dropped for Wout Weghorst, who hit it the first time, but Neto parried the ball away.

Neto produced another superb save in the 76th minute to deny Bruno Fernandes. The United skipper came close to scoring a screamer after he met a volley at the edge of the box, but his powerful shot was tipped away by the Brazilian goalkeeper.

Alejandro Garnacho brought more life into United’s attack, and his move in the 79th minute made Jefferson Lerma look silly, but he wasted his final pass by sending it behind Antony.

De Gea made another huge save in the 84th minute. There was a big chance for Kieffer Moore, who was sent behind United’s defence by Dango Ouattara, but the Red Devils’ goalkeeper smothered the striker’s effort away.

Despite making critical saves, De Gea was almost caught off guard in the third minute of added time by Senesi. The Cherries’ centre-back volleyed the ball from the edge of the box, but the ball flew over the crossbar. It could have been an outrageous goal that United would have conceded late.