Two days later than planned, Manchester United signed off for the 2015/16 Barclays Premier League season with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Bournemouth at Old Trafford.
The Reds knew a point would guarantee entry into the Europa League group stages and avoid a qualifying tie in July, and goals from Wayne Rooney, Marcus Rashford and Ashley Young ensured it was mission accomplished in that sense.
Of course, this match should have been played 48 hours earlier after Sunday’s security alert had forced the initial fixture’s abandonment and that had an impact on the crowd inside Old Trafford with not everyone who was here on Sunday able to make the rearranged meeting. It was the same XI for United that was due to start the original match though, with Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian missing out through injury and illness ruling out Morgan Schneiderlin.
Before kick-off, David De Gea was presented with the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award but neither the Spaniard or his opposite number Adam Federici had much to do in a quiet opening quarter of the match.
The best attack of the first period came just after the half-hour mark when a Rooney free-kick found an unmarked Michael Carrick in the area, but the midfielder was unable to make enough contact on it to trouble Federici.
The Cherries had half a chance eight minutes before the break when a low cross found Marc Pugh in the box, but his goalbound effort was well blocked by Antonio Valencia.
With two minutes left on the clock, the best move of the first period led to the first goal and Rooney’s 100th Old Trafford strike in the Premier League. The captain started the fine move with a pass out to the left wing. A neat one-two between Juan Mata and Anthony Martial led to the latter crossing for Rooney who, after a nice dummy from Rashford, slotted home from close range.