Romelu Lukaku hit back at his critics with the only goal of the game as Manchester United beat Bournemouth 1-0 in the Premier League.
Lukaku, who had an afternoon to forget as United suffered a damaging loss to rivals Manchester City at the weekend, headed home after 25 minutes on a night of heavy rain and sleet at Old Trafford.
Substitute Marcus Rashford later hit the bar but it was an otherwise subdued performance from United, who were thankful David de Gea was on top form with a string of fine saves.
Tweet of the Match
30 - Since the start of 2016-17, Romelu Lukaku has scored 30 goals in 38 Premier League appearances versus "non-big-six" sides. Bully.
The Premier League's official statisticians appear to suggest United's former Everton striker Lukaku is, in cricketing parlance, a 'flat-track bully'.
Star Man - David de Gea
The United goalkeeper was outstanding, as usual. Bournemouth were the stronger side in the first half but the Spaniard brilliantly saved a tricky low shot from Charlie Daniels and also repelled efforts from Dan Gosling, Junior Stanislas and Ryan Fraser. It was a cold night, but De Gea's palms were certainly kept warm. He also saved with his legs from Jermain Defoe late on.
Moment of the match
United claimed the lead from one of the few high-quality moves that they pieced together. Juan Mata, easily the hosts' most creative player, wriggled away from a defender and picked out Lukaku with a pinpoint left-foot cross. Lukaku rose above Nathan Ake to plant a firm header past Asmir Begovic. It was a moment to savour, although Lukaku himself seemed in little mood to celebrate.
View from the bench
After Sunday's loss, United boss Jose Mourinho will be relieved to have got back to winning ways. That derby result was deflating for all concerned at Old Trafford and the controversy which followed it deepened the gloom. Victory was not enough to make any inroads into City's 11-point lead at the top of the table but spirits needed to be lifted as there is still a lot of the season to go. Given the subdued atmosphere and United's slow start, however, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe may feel his side missed an opportunity.
Manchester United: David de Gea 8 (out of 10), Antonio Valencia 6, Chris Smalling 6, Phil Jones 7, Luke Shaw 6, Scott McTominay 6, Nemanja Matic 6, Juan Mata 7, Jesse Lingard 6, Anthony Martial 6, Romelu Lukaku 7. Substitutes: Marcus Rashford (for Martial, 71) 7, Ander Herrera (for Lingard, 71): 6, Ashley Young (for Shaw, 83): 6.
Bournemouth: Asmir Begovic 6, Adam Smith 6, Simon Francis 6, Nathan Ake 6, Charlie Daniels 7, Junior Stanislas 7, Dan Gosling 7, Harry Arter 6, Ryan Fraser 7, Joshua King 7, Callum Wilson 6. Substitutes: Benik Afobe (for Wilson, 71): 5, Jermain Defoe (for Stanislas, 71): 6, Lewis Cook (for Gosling, 77): 6.
Who's up next?
West Brom v Manchester United (Premier League, December 17)
Bournemouth v Liverpool (Premier League, December 17)
tagged in Everton Manchester City Manchester United Liverpool Jermain Defoe Antonio Valencia Bournemouth Chris Smalling Romelu Lukaku Juan Mata Asmir Begovic Ander Herrera Luke Shaw Valencia West Brom Phil Jones Premier League