Seven and a half hours the drive was. Friday afternoon off work, time for a few drinks in Bournemouth on Friday night and we were ready for Rafa’s Mags to take on mid-table (but strong at home) Bournemouth.

Sunny Bournemouth turned out to be wind swept and cloudy Bournemouth for the travelling Mags. Last season it felt like a trip down south among the palm trees and sandy beaches as the sun beat down. This time Whitley Bay beach was probably warmer as the big coats were out.

United lined up five at the back with Fernandez and Paul D lining up in the solid wall of United’s defence and big bad (but probably dead nice in person) Mo Diame replaced Ki in midfield.

The first half was a decent affair with United testing their keeper from distance and Almirón in particular finding space and causing problems. Mike Dean was just about managing to keep the spotlight on him and an outrageously harsh booking was handed out to Pérez, who looked scared to put a tackle in after the event in fear of being Dean’s 100th victim.

Neither side managed to get in behind as the wind played havoc with the game.

Then on half time, Almirón ran 60 yards with the ball before being scythed down. That’s what £20m gets you. Neither he nor Rondon had particularly good games but quality players affect the games when it matters.

Free kick. Rondon. Pandemonium in the away end.

We’d played well but it was a tight game – taking the lead gave us and Almirón the chance to counter and see the game out.

Mike Dean has other ideas naturally. Penalty straight after half time. It looked soft from the away end and softer in replays. Shit house reffing. 1-1 and United struggled to create anything meaningful with Bournemouth a threat on the break.

Near the end of the game Bournemouth got their winner (surely) as King finished well despite some ropey defending. Dummett has already heroically cleared off the line and to be honest I’m not sure what United’s plan was second half before going behind.

Muto, Shelvey and Atsu massively improved the side in search of a goal and it came in a beautiful, magical way.

Back post to Matt Ritchie, and the ball is in the top corner. Scenes. People on the pitch. Down the seats. It’s been a while since we last equalised in the last minute. Maybe. I’m too happy to think.

This time last year it felt like a defeat for the same result. We’re on cloud nine.

This football club.

MOTM: Diame

By Alex Hurst