Football’s a funny game. With Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the field, it was Juan Mata who scored Manchester United’s first goal of the Jose Mourinho era. Poetic? Yes, but hardly a surprise for anyone who has followed the Spaniard’s career over the last two years. Rooney and Ibrahimovic got on the scoresheet as well, while Martial set up the two goals.
At the Emirate Stadium, it’s a clash of titans as Arsenal and Liverpool face each other in a high-profile season opener for both the clubs.
10:24 pm: It’s over. A 4-3 win for Klopp’s Liverpool. Arsene Wenger would be seething. Will he go to the market to fix that? Unlikely.
10:13 pm: The hope that Chambers goal would trigger an Arsenal recovery remains just that as of now, hope. Liverpool lead 4-3 as the clock ticks.
10:04 pm: Chambers flicks a well-directed cross from Cazorla to pull one for Arsenal.
9:58pm (IST): Alex Oxlade Chamberlain makes it 2-4 for Arsenal. But is it a bit too late?
9:53pm (IST): More misery for Arsenal as Sadio Mane makes it 4-1 for Liverpool.
9:45pm (IST): It’s looking quite grim for Arsenal.
9:39pm (IST): GOAL! Adam Lallana makes it 2-1 for Liverpool as Arsenal defence looks quite shaky!
9:33pm (IST): The teams are back for the second half!
9:31pm (IST): Safe to say - Alberto Moreno is not having a good day.
9:29pm (IST): Earlier in the day, Manchester United started their campaign with a comfortable victory.
9:19pm (IST): It’s 1-1 at the end of the first half.
9:17pm (IST): Brilliant freekick by Phillipe Coutinho as Liverpool equalizes against Arsenal.
9:11pm (IST): Petr Cech has shown good form till now for Arsenal.
9:09pm (IST): Every Liverpool fan right now!
9:01pm (IST): Theo Walcott misses the penalty! But he makes up for that mistake almost instantly as his goal gives a 1-0 lead to Arsenal!
8:57pm (IST): Cautious play by both Liverpool and Arsenal as the score remains 0-0.
8:25pm (IST): Let’s head to the Emirates Stadium, where Arsenal host Liverpool.
8:06pm (IST): “I haven’t gotten a call yet but I know it’s coming. I think (Mourinho’s) waiting until after the Olympics,” is what Usain Bolt had to say last month. He’d make for one helluva winger, don’t you think?
7:53pm (IST): Bournemouth 1-3 Manchester United. That’s a solid win for Mourinho’s men who overcame the frustrating start and stamped their authority on the game.
7:52pm (IST): A busy final minute for De Gea who makes a point-blank save and a daredevil clearance.
7:50pm (IST): It’s gone a bit flat at the Vitality Stadium. Bournemouth’s attack has lost any zing that it had and United are moving conservatively.
7:47pm (IST): Final substitution for United as Rooney is replaced by Memphis Depay.
7:44pm (IST): Anthony Martial is replaced by Morgan Schneiderlin. And the first booking of the match for Ander Herrera.
7:40pm (IST): That’s fresh... Zlatan Ibrahimovic runs down the left flank and crosses the ball to Wayne Rooney with the outside of his boot. It is intercepted and cleared.
7:39pm (IST): Bournemouth’s Lewis Cook leaves the field to be replaced by Max-Alain Gradel.
7:34pm (IST): On comes ex-Dortmund player Henrik Mkhitaryan for Mata in the 76th minute. The Spaniard gets a warm pat on the back from his manager. The start of something new?
Mata siendo felicitado por Mourinho. Cuanto periolisto hay en este país... pic.twitter.com/aB9JDrSFft— Benji (@BenjiDoblas) August 14, 2016
7:28pm (IST): GOAAAAAAAAAAL! And It’s Bournemouth this time. Adam Smith curls it in with his left foot in the 69th minute. Too little too late? Bournemouth 1-3 Manchester United.
7:25pm (IST): Well, we told you he had a reputation to live up to.
1 - Zlatan Ibrahimovic has now scored on his PL, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Champions League debut. Glorious. pic.twitter.com/fI1l4FfDCI— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 14, 2016
7:22pm (IST): Well, so is the latter now! Ibra scores a stunner from 25 yards. United 3-0 Bournemouth.
7:21pm (IST): Ibra and Rooney over a free-kick. Ibra takes it and almost scores. Boruc with a brilliant save. Why didn’t Rooney take it? “Rooney is half the player that Ibrahimovic is,” yells a colleague, even though the former is on the scoresheet.
7:19pm (IST): GOAAAAAAAAAAAAL! Anthony Martial’s volley goes comically wrong, but the ball lobs up for an unmarked Rooney to head in for United’s second.
7:15pm (IST): That was close! Ibrahimovic with a backheel pass to Rooney who fails to score from a 1-on-1 situation. Boruc takes all the credit, makes himself big and the goal small.
7:09pm (IST): Eric Bailly is taking out players left, right and centre. Only this time he got the ball. King gets booed for going down cheaply.
7:07pm (IST): The second half is underway, and Manchester United have begun confidently. The first-half goal has given their visitors a world of good.
6:56pm (IST): Zlatan Ibrahimovic hasn’t exactly set the stage on fire on his Premier League debut.
19 - Zlatan Ibrahimovic made just 19 touches in the 1st half, none of which were in the opp box. Subdued. pic.twitter.com/YeKdNo0pYW— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 14, 2016
6:48pm (IST): Bournemouth 1-0 Manchester United. It’s half-time at the Vitality Stadium and the hosts will be kicking themselves. Bournemouth’s defence was on point and controlled the game well until the silly error in the 40th minute. In lead, Manchester United will now look to express themselves a bit more. Get in there, Ibra!
6:47pm (IST): Don’t watch if you are a Bournemouth fan.
6:45pm (IST): Surely not the last?
1 - Juan Mata has scored a Premier League goal under Jose Mourinho for the first time. Leaf.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 14, 2016
6:38pm (IST): GOOOOOOOOOOOAL! And it’s Mata! Bournemouth should be very disappointed! Francis tries a back pass and fails, Boruc goes for the clearance and fails, Mata taps the loose ball in. Manchester United lead 1-0.
6:37pm (IST): Here’s more of Pogba awkwardly cheering for his team.
6:35pm (IST): Another corner wasted. It’s Rooney this time. Boruc claims the ball comfortably.
6:31pm (IST): For those trying to locate Paul Pogba, the R874cr-man is not playing because of a one-match ban. He’ll play the home game against Southampton on Saturday.
Bournemouth x Manchester 👊🏿 go get it guys, supporting you all the way! @ManUtd— Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) August 14, 2016
6:30pm (IST): Tame corner from Mata doesn’t bother Boruc at all. But this has been a good period for the visitors.
6:27pm (IST): Another good move from United. Mata passes it to Rooney, who finds some space and shoots... right at Artur Boruc.
6:25pm (IST): Martial makes his move and get everything right except for the finish. Runs down theleft flank cuts in but the shot goes wide. More of the same needed.
6:24pm (IST): The only exciting bit from the first 25 minutes.
6:23pm (IST): A good 20 minutes for Eddie Howe’s men. They have won most of the midfield battles and have managed to keep Ibra, Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial out of the game.
6:19pm (IST): A through ball for Callum Wilson, and trips Blind. Wilson fires a shot off a free-kick but fails to test David de Gea, clipping the far post.
6:17pm (IST): And he’s back in seconds. Ibra has a reputation to live upto, after all.
Don't worry Ibrahimovic doesn't bleed!— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 14, 2016
6:14pm (IST): OUCH! Antonio Valencia delivers it into the box, Ibrahimovic and Simon Francis go for it and collide. Francis is down while Ibra goes out for treatment.
6:12pm (IST): Jinxed it! King is taken out by Eric Bailly, Mourinho’s first signing of the summer. No cards brandished.
6:11pm (IST): Bournemouth seemed to have settled down now. The defence is pressing well and the ball is being cleared down the flanks for Ibe and Joshua King.
6:09pm (IST): For the Cherries, debutant Jordan Ibe is making his presence felt with a few key touches.
6:06pm (IST): Like mentioned before, there are a few surprising starts for Manchester United. Contrary to the speculations, Mata has NOT been benched. Marouane Fellaini and Daley Blind are the other remnants from the Louis van Gaal-era.
6:04pm (IST): We’re off, and the visitors have started off strongly. United are looking to make their way down the left through a returning Luke Shaw.
5:50 pm (IST): This is how the two teams line up.
Bournemouth: Boruc; Francis, Adam Smith, Steve Cook, Daniels; Surman, Arter, Lewis Cook; Ibe, Wilson, King.
Subs: Federici, Gosling, Ake, Afobe, Gradel, Brad Smith, Grabban.
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw; Fellaini, Ander Herrera; Mata, Rooney, Martial; Ibrahimovic.
Subs: Romero, Rojo, Memphis, Carrick, Rashford, Mkhitaryan, Schneiderlin.
Referee: Andre Marriner