Football, Premier League

Bournemouth vs Man United: United secure point despite dominant Cherries

Erik ten Hag’s team earned a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth, as Bruno Fernandes twice pulled Manchester United even, severely hurting their chances of qualifying for the Champions League.

Although they weren’t quite as open at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth will undoubtedly be disappointed that they weren’t able to complete a Premier League double against their opponents. United had let up at least 28 shots in their previous three games.

The Cherries dominated the first half and took the lead when Dominic Solanke took advantage of an error by Willy Kambwala to put the home team ahead. However, Fernandes scored a volley against the run of play.

Justin Kluivert’s goal, which was the result of more dubious United defending, gave Bournemouth their lead back, but Fernandes’ penalty, which came after Adam Smith’s unlucky handball, tied the score once more.

Then, in stoppage time, Bournemouth saw a penalty for a foul on Ryan Christie by Kambwala overruled. Replays revealed the foul was committed just outside the area, despite the fact that contact with Christie continued into the box.

United, who finished the game with 20 shots conceded and an anticipated goals from open play total of just 0.39, had another lucky break.

With six games remaining, they are now 10 points outside of the Champions League spots, in seventh place.

Bournemouth’s failure to secure a Man Utd double


Despite United having 28 shots on goal in the 2-2 tie against Liverpool, Kambwala received plaudits for his performance after being forced into action due to injuries to Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof, and Jonny Evans.

On his third Premier League start, however, the 19-year-old had a discouraging night. Most of the fault should go to Alejandro Garnacho, who was substituted at halftime, for giving up the ball. However, Kambwala was outmuscled by Solanke and lost his balance as the striker confidently finished past Andre Onana.

Before Fernandes’ volley tied the score, Bournemouth’s Milos Kerkez and Luis Sinisterra came dangerously close to increasing their lead.

Four minutes later, however, Kambwala was the main man again, this time for Bournemouth’s second goal. He allowed far too much space between himself and Diogo Dalot, which allowed Kluivert to jump and finish inside Onana’s near post.

There was still time in the first half for Onana to deny an unmarked Kluivert and for Kerkez to squander two enormous opportunities as United’s defenders were just standing by.

As the sole threat for United, Fernandes had previously sliced the crossbar in stoppage time in the first half. This time, he capitalised on a deflected shot from Kobbie Mainoo that caught Smith’s arm by mistake.

Credit should be given to United for containing Bournemouth’s danger in the second half, but when Kambwala blocked Christie deep into stoppage time, it appeared that all of their hard work had been undone.

However, referee Tony Harrington, who had a difficult afternoon as well, was counselled to reverse the ruling. Enes Unal missed the mark with the ensuing free-kick when the official took that advise without consulting the monitor.

While United managed to hang on for a point, they have now lost four straight games and given up nine goals; this is hardly a good reflection on Ten Hag’s abilities as Sir Jim Ratcliffe evaluates what’s best going ahead at Old Trafford.

On Sunday, April 21, Bournemouth takes on Aston Villa in the Premier League.

On Sunday as well, Manchester United and Coventry will play in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley.

And on Wednesday, April 24, they host Sheffield United in their next Premier League match.

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