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As it happened: Cardiff City vs Man United, Premier League

We went minute-by-minute as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge of his first game as interim Man United boss.

  • Cardiff City Víctor Camarasa 38' (p)
  • Manchester United M. Rashford 3', Ander Herrera 29', A. Martial 41', J. Lingard 90', J. Lingard 57' (p)
Image : Simon Galloway
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Hello! And welcome to our minute-by-minute coverage of this evening’s Premier League clash between Cardiff City and Manchester United.

What an occasion this promises to be, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer takes charge of his first game as interim Man Untied manager, coming up against all teams of his former side Cardiff City.

Jose Mourinho’s departure was in some ways a shock and in others not a big surprise at all. His side suffered their worst start to a Premier League season in over two decades and currently occupy sixth spot in the table.

Solskjaer, a United legend through and through, has a big job on his hands if he is to successfully secure a top four finish and Champions League football for next season, and it all gets underway here tonight.

Kick-off is coming up at 5.30pm!

So, today’s teams will line out as:

Cardiff City: Etheridge, Ecuele Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Cunningham, Gunnarsson, Hoilett, Victor Camarasa, Arter, Murphy, Paterson.

Substitutes: Peltier, Ralls, Zohore, Smithies, Reid, Mendez-Laing, Harris.

Manchester United: de Gea, Young, Jones, Lindelof, Shaw, Herrera, Matic, Pogba, Lingard, Rashford, Martial.

Substitutes: Bailly, Mata, Pereira, Fred, Dalot, Romero, Fellaini.

The big team news sees the return of Paul Pogba to the Manchester United line-up this evening. The French midfielder’s battles with Jose Mourinho were well documented and he will be hoping for a clean slate under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Early pressure from Man United sees Pogba get on the ball in a promising advanced position just outside the box. He attempts a quick give-and-go with Jesse Lingard, before being hauled to the ground. A free-kick in a decent position to come.

GOOOOOOOAAAALLL!!! The Solskjaer era gets up and running with a goal inside just three minutes. It’s a brilliant free-kick struck from 25 yards via the right boot of Marcus Rashford. It’s a powerful effort which flies through the air before finding a spot low in Neil Etheridge’s bottom corner. A great finish and United are 1-0 up already. What a start to this game!

There’s been a really frantic start to this game and the atmosphere inside the Cardiff City Stadium is electric. Rashford’s early free-kick sent the away fans into an early ecstasy and also saw a big, wide smile spread across the face of his new manager. This management stuff is easy, Ole might be thinking. 

Cardiff City v Manchester United - Premier League - Cardiff City Stadium Source: Nick Potts

There’s been 67% possession in favour of Man United. The opening ten minutes has been dominated by the visitors, with Neil Warnock’s men struggling to maintain the ball and instead being forced back into their own half.

A stoppage in play here after Callum Paterson and Luke Shaw collided heads, with both players leaping high for a header after a cross was swung into the box. It was a nasty clash for both players and there could be an early switch here.

Cardiff City v Manchester United - Premier League - Cardiff City Stadium Source: Nick Potts

Both players have been given the green light to continue on and play resumes. The pace has somewhat slowed down following a chaotic opening spell. Harry Arter and Victor Camarasa are beginning to push forward a lot more to try and allow Cardiff to get back into this.

Paul Pogba almost gets on the end of an inviting Ashley Young free-kick curled into the penalty area, but Sol Bamba did well to anticipate the cross and head clear for a corner kick. United still very much maintaining the upper hand.

Nemanja Matic was looming unmarked towards the back post, but the corner passes everybody by as the danger comes to an end. Cardiff with just one sight at goal so far as the half-hour mark approaches. Callum Paterson has been an isolated presence up front.

Cardiff City v Manchester United - Premier League - Cardiff City Stadium Source: Simon Galloway

GOOOOOOOOOALLLLL! Man United are two to the good as Ander Hererra gets his second goal in December to double his side’s advantage. On first viewing it was a thunderbolt effort from distance, however subsequent replays show the Spaniard’s shot took a wicked deflection off Ireland defender Greg Cunningham before flying past goalkeeper Etheridge. It’s 2-0 and Solskjaer’s men are flying it.

Here are the two goals:

GOOOOOALLLLLL! Cardiff have halved the deficit from the penalty spot after goalscorer Marcus Rashford was penalised for handling the ball inside the box. Michael Oliver deemed the striker’s shoulder to have guided the ball as Rashford tried to control it, with Victor Camarasa succeeding in doing the damage with a sweet strike to beat De Gea. It’s 2-1 and game on!

Cardiff City v Manchester United - Premier League - Cardiff City Stadium Source: Simon Galloway

GOOOOOOAL! Man United have a third and the goals are flying in left, right and centre here. On his 100th appearance for the club Anthony Martial scores his 8th goal in as many games, the French forward capping off an excellent passage of passes which flummoxed Cardiff. Supreme, tiki-taka stuff from United and it’s 3-1.

That Camarasa penalty had the possibility of igniting a potential Cardiff comeback here, but Martial’s excellent finish has sucked the life out of the home supporters and Neil Warnock’s men too. They have a mountain to climb in the second half as stoppage time approaches.

There will be three minutes of injury time to come at the end of the first half.

A mad opening 45 minutes, but such an entertaining game with four goals to boast. Man United really do have a renewed sense of confidence about them and the infamous new manager “bounce” is taking shape for Ole in the dugout. His side have been brilliant so far this evening, with Anthony Martial’s goal some of the best football United have played all year. They lead 3-1 with more action to come very shortly in Cardiff.

United again taking up where they left off, with Pogba, Matic and Hererra bossing the midfield battle against Arter and Camarasa. Cardiff struggling to hold onto the ball for any sustained period of time, with chances at goal non-existent at the moment.

Cardiff City v Manchester United - Premier League - Cardiff City Stadium Source: Simon Galloway

A one-two between Pogba and Rashford sees the latter race through on goal inside the box. His eyes light up as the forward prepares for a shot at goal, but Etheridge races from his goal-line and gathers smartly.

Jesse Lingard dances through a host of challenges before going down inside the area after a foul by Sol Bamba. Michael Oliver had no doubt and points to the spot straight away. A big chance to put this game to bed for the visitors here.

GOOOOOOOOOOAL! Man United are running away with this now as Jesse Lingard slots his spot-kick away smartly to make it 4-1. There was some disagreement between himself and Paul Pogba over who would take it, but the England international was not taking no for answer and did well to beat Neil Etheridge.

Cardiff City v Manchester United - Premier League - Cardiff City Stadium Source: Nick Potts

If this game looked beyond Cardiff before Lingard’s penalty, it sure does now. Neil Warnock’s men have struggled all throughout this game and have had to take a back-seat as United stroll the ball left and right before applying pressure in the final third.

Almost a fifth for United as Marcus Rashford’s run behind enemy lines is picked out with a clever pass. Etheridge races from his goal-line and closes the space, with Rashford’s effort slipping narrowly wide of the bottom corner. Close, but no cigar.

Cardiff City v Manchester United - Premier League - Cardiff City Stadium Source: Nick Potts

SAVE! David De Gea with a smart, low stop down by his bottom left corner. Quick reaction times from the Spaniard denies Josh Murphy the chance to get on the scoresheet with a dangerously curled shot from inside the box.

SAVE! Another excellent stop, this time at the other end from Neil Etheridge. Paul Pogba lined up an audacious effort from considerable distance, but Philippines international did brilliantly to tip it over the crossbar.

West Ham United v Cardiff City - Premier League - London Stadium Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Sol Bamba almost gets on the scoresheet with a close-range header. He did well to beat Phil Jones to the cross, but he should have done better to hit the target from that range and test De Gea — instead his effort flies wide.

Cardiff looking a lot more impressive late on here. Second half introduction Kenneth Zohore skips by Victor Lindelof and gets his shot off, but De Gea stands his ground and bats the ball away to keep it at 4-1.

The game is slowly petering towards the end now. The away section is hopping with the sound of jubilant Man United fans as their side are on course for their second Premier League win in six games.

Off the bench and looking to impress his new (interim) boss, Fred threads a brilliant through ball down the middle of the pitch for Jesse Lingard. He tries to pick out Anthony Martial, but Joe Ralls closes the space and ends the attack.

GOOOOOOOOAAALLL! It’s the perfect end to this game for Man United as Jesse Lingard grabs his second of the night to make it 5-1. He runs through behind enemy lines, latching onto Paul Pogba’s through ball before rounding Neil Etheridge and slotting the ball into the back of the net.

Cardiff City v Manchester United - Premier League - Cardiff City Stadium Source: Simon Galloway

There will be three minutes of stoppage time to come at the end of the second half.

Well, there we have it. The perfect start to life in charge of Man United for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Five goals and a massive three points for the new interim boss on the road against a very disappointing Cardiff side who were never really in the game. Thanks a million for joining us this evening, you can read our full match report here. Cya!

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