Man United finish fifth in EPL
MANCHESTER, England (AP):
Manchester United beat Bournemouth 3-1 yesterday in an English Premier League (EPL) game hastily rearranged because of a bomb scare, sealing fifth place and a spot in the Europa League group stage.
United was never likely to score the 19 goals needed to finish fourth and qualify for the Champions League, so the aim was to get the win to guarantee an automatic spot in the Europa League and take some momentum into the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Wayne Rooney scored one goal and played a part in two others. Playing in central midfield, Rooney finished off a well-worked team move in the 43rd minute, for his first goal since February 2, and delivered key passes in the build up to goals from Marcus Rashford and Ashley Young.
United defender Chris Smalling scored an own goal with virtually the last touch of the game.
Even if United win the FA Cup, the season will have been a disappointment for the team and its manager Louis van Gaal, whose priority and target was a top-four finish. Van Gaal has one year left on his contract and his future remains uncertain, with United linked with a move for the unemployed JosE Mourinho.
The original game on Sunday was called off after Old Trafford was evacuated because a fake bomb was discovered in the toilets of one of the stands.