Football News

Defensive woes continue for Man Utd in Bournemouth stalemate

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 19:45, 13 April 2024

Manchester United extended their Premier League winless streak to four games after playing out a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium this evening.

This latest setback leaves Erik ten Hag’s men 10 points behind fourth-place Aston Villa with six matches remaining in the race to play Champions League football next season.

The hosts, meanwhile, came agonisingly close to completing a first league double over United while registering a fourth consecutive top-flight home win, something they had never done before in club history.

It was a familiar outing for the visitors, who saw André Onana’s goal peppered with shots (20 overall with five on target). Furthermore, only Luton (576) has faced more shots than Manchester United in the Premier League this season (574).

Even more dispiriting of late, following a run of six away games that saw them keep four clean sheets and concede just two goals, Man Utd have now conceded in each of their last nine on the road, shipping 19 goals in total.

Dominic Solanke and Justin Kluivert scored either side of Bruno Fernandes before United’s skipper converted a second-half equaliser from twelve yards.

Solanke netted his 17th goal in the Premier League this season, the most of any Bournemouth player across a single campaign in the competition, while Kluivert moved onto six, as many as his father Patrick managed in England’s top division.

For all his gesticulation, Fernandes remains among United’s most important players; today, he netted his 51st and 52nd Premier League goals (155 appearances). Since his top-flight debut in February 2020, no one representing the Red Devils has netted more strikes.

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There was late drama when on-field referee Tony Harrington adjudicated young United centre-back Willy Kambwala to have brought down Bournemouth forward Ryan Christie, who earlier was cautioned for simulation inside the penalty area.

However, the VAR judged Kambwala’s foul to have taken place outside, meaning it wasn’t the fourth penalty conceded in three games by the record 20-time English champions.

“Looking on the big screen it looked like it was on the line so it could’ve been a penalty but it didn’t go our way. We’re not happy. To beat Manchester United is something you always want to do. We’re a bit gutted,” Solanke said afterwards.

Cherries boss Andoni Iraola was understandably equally disappointed after the full-time whistle, although Bournemouth has gone unbeaten against Manchester United for the first time in a Premier League season. They scored five goals in the two matches, the same number as in the competition’s previous eight meetings.