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United finish fifth after win


Manchester United ended their Premier League season in fifth place after a 3-1 win over Bournemouth in their rearranged fixture at Old Trafford.

The original game on Sunday afternoon was abandoned after a suspect package was found in the Old Trafford toilets, though Greater Manchester Police subsequently confirmed the device was accidentally left by a private company following a training exercise.

On Tuesday, man of the match Wayne Rooney gave United the lead with his 100th Premier League goal at Old Trafford, finishing off a superb team move from 12 yards.

Marcus Rashford doubled it with 15 minutes remaining, sliding home on the half-volley with a fine finish into the bottom corner after Antonio Valencia’s lay-off.

And Rooney capped off an impressive performance with a superb lofted pass over the defence for substitute Ashley Young to convert for United’s third in the 87th minute, before Chris Smalling’s unfortunate own goal in stoppage time handed Bournemouth a consolation.

The result means United finish the season in fifth and qualify for the Europa League group stage, starting in September, while Southampton drop down to sixth and could have to play in the Europa League third qualifying round, starting on July 28.

Bournemouth finish 16th in their first-ever season in the English top flight.

Louis van Gaal picked the same side that was due to play on Sunday, despite the upcoming FA Cup final against Crystal Palace on Saturday, while the visitors made just one change as Dan Gosling came in for Harry Arter.

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Not everyone decided to make the trip again for the final fixture of the 2015/16 Premier League season, with plenty of empty seats scattered around Old Trafford.

Anthony Martial looks to take the ball away from Bournemouth in the first half

The fans who did were not treated to much entertainment in the first half as both sides struggled to create any openings until late on, with Marc Pugh seeing his shot from Matt Ritchie’s cut-back blocked superbly by Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.

United took the lead on the stroke of half-time after a fine team move, instigated by Anthony Martial’s confident run into the area. After playing a one-two with Juan Mata, the Frenchman’s ball across the box was dummied by Rashford, allowing Rooney to slot the ball home from 10 yards.

Rooney was in fine form for United

The game came to life in the second half as Michael Carrick’s deflected effort hit the bar just before the hour-mark, while Mata’s effort was blocked by the face of Lewis Cook shortly after.

Adam Federici tipped over an audacious long-range effort from Valencia as United piled on the pressure, and it was 2-0 in the 75th minute through Rashford.

His eighth goal in a United shirt came from Valencia’s deft touch in the area after Rooney had found him at the back post, allowing the 18-year-old to slot into the far bottom corner with superb technique from 15 yards.

Marcus Rashford celebrates his goal in the second half

Young added a third just minutes after coming on, squirming the ball under Federici after Rooney’s ball over the top of the Bournemouth defence, before Benik Afobe’s effort was turned into the bottom corner of his own goal by Smalling in stoppage time.

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There were boos after full-time as Van Gaal addressed the Old Trafford crowd to thank them for their “unconditional support” this season, but the Dutchman has the chance of bringing silverware home on Saturday when United face Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final.

Player ratings

Man Utd: De Gea (6), Valencia (7), Smalling (6), Blind (6), Borthwick-Jackson (6), Carrick (6), Rooney (8), Mata (6), Lingard (6), Martial (7), Rashford (7)

Subs: Young (7), Depay (N/A)

Bournemouth: Federici (6), Francis (5), Elphick (5), Cook (5), Daniels (5), Ritchie (6), Gosling (5), Surman, Pugh (6), King (6), Wilson (5)

Subs: Gradel (5), Grabban (5), Afobe (5)

Man of the match: Wayne Rooney


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