Matchweek 33
All times shown are your local time
Sat 13 Apr 2024
Kick Off:
Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth
Att: 11,229
Ref: Tony Harrington
  • HT
    90 +1
  • FT



    Manchester United very nearly conceded a last-gasp penalty as they drew 2-2 with AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

    Bruno Fernandes’ double proved enough to claim a point for Erik ten Hag’s team, who twice came from behind to avoid a chastening defeat. Man Utd remain 10 points off the top four, in seventh place and failed to leapfrog Newcastle United following their victory against Tottenham Hotspur.

    Goals from Dominic Solanke and Justin Kluivert had earlier rewarded a positive first-half performance from Bournemouth.

    The Cherries – who stay 12th – thought they had a spot-kick right at the end of second-half stoppage-time when Ryan Christie was bundled over by Willy Kambwala, but the foul was deemed to have taken place outside of the box.

    How the match unfolded

    Kambwala's slip led to Bournemouth's 16th-minute opener, granting Solanke space to reach the edge of the box and steer his finish into the bottom-left corner.

    Marcus Rashford hit the side netting as United sought a response, and they were level just after the half-hour mark. The Red Devils caught their hosts napping on the counter, with Fernandes volleying home after Alejandro Garnacho's cross deflected to him.

    However, United continued to give up chances and Kluivert restored Bournemouth's lead within five minutes, advancing into the area under no pressure to drill home at the near post.

    United had a major let-off when Milos Kerkez headed against the bar and sent the follow-up over, but they fired a warning shot of their own on the stroke of half-time as Fernandes rattled the crossbar from 25 yards out.

    But Fernandes was on target again 20 minutes into the second half, sending Neto the wrong way from 12 yards after Kobbie Mainoo's shot deflected off Christie and struck the arm of Adam Smith.

    Bournemouth were then twice denied penalties late on, with Christie involved on both occasions.

    Having been booked for simulation when going down under Diogo Dalot's challenge, Christie was then fouled by Kambwala five minutes into stoppage time, but referee Tony Harrington's decision to award the penalty was overturned after a VAR review, which determined the challenge took place outside the box.

    With Erling Haaland falling short of the remarkable pace he set last season, the door is ajar for other frontmen to put themselves in contention for the Castrol Golden Boot, and Solanke is doing just that.

    He showed pace, power and precision when outmuscling Kambwala and beating Andre Onana for Bournemouth's opener, with his 17th Premier League goal of the season taking him within three of Haaland and level with Alexander Isak and Mohamed Salah.

    That tally is also the most ever managed by a Bournemouth player in a single Premier League season. It is largely thanks to his form that they are eyeing a top-half finish, and England boss Gareth Southgate must surely have half an eye on the Cherries' No 9.

    While United showed admirable powers of recovery to avoid what would have been a club-record 13th Premier League defeat for the season, there was more cause for concern for Ten Hag as his side produced another ragged defensive performance.

    Much has been made of United's tendency to give up opportunities, and they were somewhat fortunate to even be in the game by half-time, with Luis Sinisterra, Dango Ouattara, Kerkez and Kluivert all spurning chances for the hosts.

    As it was, Fernandes' first Premier League brace since January 2022 (versus Aston Villa) spared United's blushes.

    However, amid a fierce battle to ensure European qualification of any kind for next campaign, the Red Devils need to show much more in their final six matches of the season.

    Club reports

    Bournemouth report | Man Utd report

    Match officials

    Referee: Tony Harrington. Assistants: Matthew Wilkes, Derek Eaton. Fourth official: Graham Scott. VAR: Jarred Gillett. Assistant VAR: Dan Robathan.

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    Club Reports

    Match officials

    Referee: Tony Harrington

    Fourth Official: Graham Scott

    VAR: Jarred Gillett

    Assistant VAR: Dan Robathan

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        Season So Far

        Man Utd

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          Man Utd
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          Draws 2

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